Hot town, summer in the city: best things to do in Newcastle and Gateshead

A jam-packed summer in the north east kicks off this June. Soak up festivals, comedy and gaming at ¡VAMOS!, Jesterval and Game On 2.0

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Summer in the city: things to do in Newscastle and Gateshead

While host city Newcastle upon Tyne prepares itself for the arrival of Rugby World Cup 2015 this autumn, there’s still plenty going on in ‘Geordieland’ over the summer. Later in the season, Newcastle Pride, SummerTyne Americana Festival and Asian arts and music festival Newcastle Mela will entertain the Geordie people and guests in the city. June brings a ‘new‘ castle, a beach party, a gaming exhibition, laughs on the quayside and an exhibition of work by Tony Swain.

Here's more on our five recommendations to fill your diary as well as a chance to win your ultimate Geordie weekend:

1. ¡VAMOS!
Celebrating all that’s great about world culture, with a particular focus on Portugese and Spanish-speaking countries, highlights of ¡VAMOS! this year include a Mexican-themed Mardi Gras parade, Kid Creole & The Coconuts at Summerhill Bowling Club, flamboyant wrestling with international superstar Cassandro and a beach party in the beautiful town of Tynemouth.
From 4-14 Jun at various venues

2. Jesterval
The North East’s premier comedy festival takes place in Baltic Square on NewcastleGateshead’s famous quayside. Leading the lineup this year are Geordie favourites Jason Cook and Chris Ramsay, alongside Ed Byrne and Sara Pascoe.
From 5-14 Jun, at Baltic Square, Gateshead Quays

3. Game On 2.0
From Sonic to Samus, Mario to Minecraft, Game On 2.0 is the world’s biggest collection of playable computer games from the past 60 years. At Life Science Centre from May, the exhibition will explore the vibrant history, culture and future of gaming entertainment and technology through more than 100 playable games.
From 23 May-1 Nov, at the Life Science Centre

4. Newcastle Castle
Built between 1168 and 1178, the stone castle keep sits upon ground previously occupied by the Roman fort Pons Aelius and the Norman timber and earth castle from which the city takes its name. The castle recently reopened with brand-new exhibitions telling the story of Old Newcastle.
Open daily, 10am-5pm

5. Tony Swain – Undetailed Progress
At a time when we have become desensitised to an image-saturated world, Tony Swain uses familiar sections of newspaper that are pieced together as a support for paintings of fragmented landscapes and abstract patterns. Using acrylic paints, he fixes these ‘works on paper' directly to the gallery walls, emphasising the everyday and temporary feel of newsprint. While occasional details of the newsprint and images survive, most are transformed by their inclusion within Swain’s painted world.

Until 12 Jul, at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

Game On 2.0

A large collection of playable video games.

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