Opening day celebrations will offer your first chance to explore what’s going on at the Exhibition hubs and along the trails.
The event was streamed live by BBC Arts, including hightlights throughout the day as well as the main event.
1pm: Officially open. Launching with the sound of Teesdale-based artist Steve Messam’s Whistle which will resound across the city, our Great Exhibition of the North trails and venues will be officially open for you to start exploring. Experience for the very first time each of the three hub venues, all 30 locations along the trails and pop-up events. Venues will remain open until dusk falls.
From 7pm. A whirl of colour, live music from bands and choirs, dance, animation and performances by imaginative entertainers from across the North will spill onto the streets along the Quayside. This will be free and unrestricted until 8pm when the performers will make their way into the ticketed areas.
8pm. Ticketed areas will open along the Quayside. Find out more about the street performers taking part in the evening activities in our list below. There will be food and drink concessions as well as toilet facilities available within each ticket zone.
9.30pm. Graham Massey and Mr Wilson’s Second Liners will keep the party rolling ahead of the Opening Event at 10pm. Enjoy his electro-based spectacle, GIANT glitter ball and the lively Second Liners who will be hot-stepping out in uniformed style as they channel the spirit of the 24-hour party people. Did you know: Second Lining is a quintessential New Orleans art form: following the band to enjoy the music, marching and dancing. It is a full-on street intervention. If we’re lucky enough to be caught up in the commotion, you’re part of the Second Line.
Audiences will line the Quayside to witness the first dramatic display of the UK’s largest water sculptures on the River Tyne. Fear not, if you are not at the evening event, the Water Sculpture will perform every day throughout the 80 days of the exhibition.
Evening Event starts 10pm
- This 80m long fountain will perform to a soundtrack of three specially commissioned music compositions by Maximo Park and Kate Rusby with Royal Northern Sinfonia and Darkstar.
- Mercury prize nominated northern rock band, Maximo Park, will be performing live from the River Tyne.
- A new anthem for the North will be unveiled and performed live by renowned writer, poet and playwright Lemn Sissay