New music festival set for North Shields

A new festival, Songbook Originals Festival Weekend, is to celebrate local musicians will be held this weekend at The Exchange in North Tyneside.

The festival was an offshoot from The Exchange’s monthly event ‘Originals Sundays’ and has been established to give more appreciation to local musicians..

The opening act, Aaron James Potter, who will be on at 8pm on Friday April 8, said: “I feel good being able to open up for a weekend of live local music and was chuffed when the organiser Ray Rowley asked me to play. I’ve done a few gigs already at the exchange and the venue and staff are brilliant.”

Organiser Ray Rowley said that 39 artists will be playing. Georgia Porja, Aaron James Duff and Sarah Holmes will be performing music throughout the three day festival.

Sarah Holmes, a 30-year-old musician, from Ashington, is performing this weekend and said: “The Songbook Weekend is a fantastic idea – not only is it giving a lot of local artists great exposure and experience, it provides a whole spectrum of live entertainment for the whole community in a fantastic venue, at an affordable price.

“I’m really looking forward to playing this weekend and if I’m honest, I think Ray has done an amazing job in pulling this together and I can’t wait to be part of it.”

The festival aims to raise money for charity; and some of the proceeds will go towards improving the equipment and facilities at The Exchange.

The Exchange’s business manager, Jonathan Woodward, who will also perform at the festival, said: “Too much music these days is ‘covers’ orientated and some venues only like to bring this sort of music to their customers as it is easier than promoting self penned music.”

For any last minute concertgoers, tickets will be available on the door for £3 per person. However, you can also purchase your ticket online at:

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