Time called on Stockton Weekender music festival

Time called on Stockton Weekender music festival

STOCKTON WEEKENDER: Paul Burns, director of Tees Music Alliance, which organised the Stockton event

HIP HOP LEGENDS: Public Enemy headlined the Sunday night of this year's Stockton Weekender

HEADLINE ACT: Shane MacGowan of The Pogues on stage at The Stockton Weekender in Stockton where the band headlined in 2012.

First published in News
Last updated
The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by

MUSIC lovers will have one less festival to choose from next year after a decision was taken to cancel a well-known North-East event which had failed to sell enough tickets to cover costs.

The future of the Stockton Weekender, one of the mainstays of the North-East music scene, formerly known as the Stockton Riverside Fringe Festival, has now been confirmed by organisers the Tees Music Alliance (TMA).

Despite Stockton Borough Council investing approximately £100,000 for each of the last four years, the organisers of the festival have decided it is no longer viable to stage.

Paul Burns, who has helped organise the music festival since its inception in 1991 when it ran alongside the Stockton International Riverside Festival, believes that the decision will help to secure the long term future of the not for profit organisation.

“It is definitely not taking place next year, it was a particularly difficult decision to take but unfortunately we have no choice as we didn’t sell enough tickets to cover our costs,” he said. “We have really given it a go and booked some top headline acts such as this year’s Public Enemy and the Happy Mondays, sadly, we have fallen short by around 1,500 tickets to cover our costs.

“We’re working in an environment of seemingly runaway costs - especially for headline artists, who tend to look towards the live circuit to recoup money they no longer get from record sales.

“One of the really sad things about closing the festival down is that we will no longer be able to put local bands like Young Rebel Set and Cattle & Cane on the same stage as major headline acts.”

TMA will continue to work in the music scene with the Green Dragon Studio and the Georgian Theatre as well as organising Stockton Calling alongside Stockton’s ARC arts venue and Ku bar.

And Mr Burns did not want to rule out the return of another festival further down the line but said he could not envisage it ever being on the scale of the Weekender.

Stockton Borough Council’s cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture, Councillor Ken Dixon said it was disappointing that the music festival was not able to continue.

He said: "We have been pleased to help TMA, a local community focused organisation, with this event.

"The Weekender has had every chance to stand on its own two feet and we think it’s had a fair crack of the whip. In many ways it has been very successful, bringing in tens of thousands of visitors and giving talented local musicians a phenomenal opportunity to increase their following.”

Comments (17)

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8:09am Fri 29 Aug 14

oojamama says...

Maybe if the ticket's hadn't been so dear, more people would have turned up. The North East is not the most affluent region in the country, but the people are joyful. This is a real shame, the festival has produced some legendary nights down by the river, but they were never attended as they deserved to be, because of the high ticket prices. Charge less to make more in the end, it would have worked.
Maybe if the ticket's hadn't been so dear, more people would have turned up. The North East is not the most affluent region in the country, but the people are joyful. This is a real shame, the festival has produced some legendary nights down by the river, but they were never attended as they deserved to be, because of the high ticket prices. Charge less to make more in the end, it would have worked. oojamama
  • Score: -7

8:45am Fri 29 Aug 14

itsbedo says...

Shame, the ticket prices were pretty steep though! I went EVERY year, most of my mates didn't because of the high prices, the beer wascheaper at Glastonbury in 2013 too!
I know a few people who got free tickets because they worked for the sponsors etc, which was annoying, that VIP part wasn't fair either, coulda saved a bit of cash scrapping those and the smaller people could get a better view from the hill!
Shame, the ticket prices were pretty steep though! I went EVERY year, most of my mates didn't because of the high prices, the beer wascheaper at Glastonbury in 2013 too! I know a few people who got free tickets because they worked for the sponsors etc, which was annoying, that VIP part wasn't fair either, coulda saved a bit of cash scrapping those and the smaller people could get a better view from the hill! itsbedo
  • Score: 1

8:49am Fri 29 Aug 14

jomhendo says...

I'd hardly call £35 for a weekend full of quality music expensive. Especially with 2 free under 14 tickets with each adult ticket purchased. This is very sad news for music lovers .
I'd hardly call £35 for a weekend full of quality music expensive. Especially with 2 free under 14 tickets with each adult ticket purchased. This is very sad news for music lovers . jomhendo
  • Score: 21

9:06am Fri 29 Aug 14

dinkyd07 says...

I SAY BRING BACK PARTY IN THE PARK !! IT WAS ALWAYS HEAVING! I'M SURE PEOPLE NOW WOULD'NT MIND PAYING A SMALL AMOUNT FOR THOSE TICKETS THESE DAYS, IT WAS FREE ALL THROUGH MY CHILDHOOD TILL THE END!!! I WAS THERE RAIN OR SHINE (EVEN THOUGH THEIR WERE SOME TERRIBLE ACTS LIKE VICTORIA BECKHAM) BUT FOR THOSE PEOPLE AND FAMILIES WHO CANT GET TO OR AFFORD BIG FESTIVALS IT WOULD BE GREAT AND YOU WOULD HAVE A BETTER OUTCOME!!! I ALSO REMEMBER THE LOVE TRAIN EVENT THE SAT NIGHTS BEFORE ! WAS FAB AND BRING IN THE LOCAL BANDS WHO ARE TRYING TO GET KNOWN ... MOST WILL EVEN PLAY FOR FREE !! NOW THATS A REAL WEEKENDER !SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE!
I SAY BRING BACK PARTY IN THE PARK !! IT WAS ALWAYS HEAVING! I'M SURE PEOPLE NOW WOULD'NT MIND PAYING A SMALL AMOUNT FOR THOSE TICKETS THESE DAYS, IT WAS FREE ALL THROUGH MY CHILDHOOD TILL THE END!!! I WAS THERE RAIN OR SHINE (EVEN THOUGH THEIR WERE SOME TERRIBLE ACTS LIKE VICTORIA BECKHAM) BUT FOR THOSE PEOPLE AND FAMILIES WHO CANT GET TO OR AFFORD BIG FESTIVALS IT WOULD BE GREAT AND YOU WOULD HAVE A BETTER OUTCOME!!! I ALSO REMEMBER THE LOVE TRAIN EVENT THE SAT NIGHTS BEFORE ! WAS FAB AND BRING IN THE LOCAL BANDS WHO ARE TRYING TO GET KNOWN ... MOST WILL EVEN PLAY FOR FREE !! NOW THATS A REAL WEEKENDER !SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE! dinkyd07
  • Score: -5

9:19am Fri 29 Aug 14

john davidson rr says...

Turn your caps lock off, hurts your eyes.
Turn your caps lock off, hurts your eyes. john davidson rr
  • Score: 7

9:31am Fri 29 Aug 14

garyhaywardcom says...

Would it have made any difference if the ticket prices had been cheaper? A hundred people each paying £10 for 'X' versus fifty people each paying £20 for 'X': either totals £1,000. Maybe, with cheaper ticket prices, people would be more likely to encourage others (friends, etc) to attend. IDK.
Would it have made any difference if the ticket prices had been cheaper? A hundred people each paying £10 for 'X' versus fifty people each paying £20 for 'X': either totals £1,000. Maybe, with cheaper ticket prices, people would be more likely to encourage others (friends, etc) to attend. IDK. garyhaywardcom
  • Score: 5

9:45am Fri 29 Aug 14

BobbyHend says...

Decent festival tickets are selling out quicker and quicker now...it's more the north easts mentality that needs to change as far as music is concerned. We're regarded as being about 10 years behind the rest of the country! Stop getting the council involved for a start! Stop booking big bands to try and get people through the door and concentrate more on making the event an experience for people. I've seen so much talent from Teesside be snapped up by bigger festivals and events after being ignored by local events. I'm not just talking about bands, but DJ's, Sound systems, decor crews, circus acts, performers, etc. They're all taking massive amounts of paying customers with them to festivals as far as down south.
Decent festival tickets are selling out quicker and quicker now...it's more the north easts mentality that needs to change as far as music is concerned. We're regarded as being about 10 years behind the rest of the country! Stop getting the council involved for a start! Stop booking big bands to try and get people through the door and concentrate more on making the event an experience for people. I've seen so much talent from Teesside be snapped up by bigger festivals and events after being ignored by local events. I'm not just talking about bands, but DJ's, Sound systems, decor crews, circus acts, performers, etc. They're all taking massive amounts of paying customers with them to festivals as far as down south. BobbyHend
  • Score: 6

11:05am Fri 29 Aug 14

dinkyd07 says...

GOT YOUR ATTENTION THOUGH DIDN'T IT?
GOT YOUR ATTENTION THOUGH DIDN'T IT? dinkyd07
  • Score: -3

11:08am Fri 29 Aug 14

dinkyd07 says...

I SAY BRING BACK PARTY IN THE PARK !! IT WAS ALWAYS HEAVING! I'M SURE PEOPLE NOW WOULD'NT MIND PAYING A SMALL AMOUNT FOR THOSE TICKETS THESE DAYS, IT WAS FREE ALL THROUGH MY CHILDHOOD TILL THE END!!! I WAS THERE RAIN OR SHINE (EVEN THOUGH THEIR WERE SOME TERRIBLE ACTS LIKE VICTORIA BECKHAM) BUT FOR THOSE PEOPLE AND FAMILIES WHO CANT GET TO OR AFFORD BIG FESTIVALS IT WOULD BE GREAT AND YOU WOULD HAVE A BETTER OUTCOME!!! I ALSO REMEMBER THE LOVE TRAIN EVENT THE SAT NIGHTS BEFORE ! WAS FAB AND BRING IN THE LOCAL BANDS WHO ARE TRYING TO GET KNOWN ... MOST WILL EVEN PLAY FOR FREE !! NOW THATS A REAL WEEKENDER !SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE!
I SAY BRING BACK PARTY IN THE PARK !! IT WAS ALWAYS HEAVING! I'M SURE PEOPLE NOW WOULD'NT MIND PAYING A SMALL AMOUNT FOR THOSE TICKETS THESE DAYS, IT WAS FREE ALL THROUGH MY CHILDHOOD TILL THE END!!! I WAS THERE RAIN OR SHINE (EVEN THOUGH THEIR WERE SOME TERRIBLE ACTS LIKE VICTORIA BECKHAM) BUT FOR THOSE PEOPLE AND FAMILIES WHO CANT GET TO OR AFFORD BIG FESTIVALS IT WOULD BE GREAT AND YOU WOULD HAVE A BETTER OUTCOME!!! I ALSO REMEMBER THE LOVE TRAIN EVENT THE SAT NIGHTS BEFORE ! WAS FAB AND BRING IN THE LOCAL BANDS WHO ARE TRYING TO GET KNOWN ... MOST WILL EVEN PLAY FOR FREE !! NOW THATS A REAL WEEKENDER !SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE! dinkyd07
  • Score: -7

11:09am Fri 29 Aug 14

dinkyd07 says...

Opps sorry don't know why it came up twice .
Opps sorry don't know why it came up twice . dinkyd07
  • Score: -2

11:24am Fri 29 Aug 14

Colcat says...

Was £35 too expensive? A quick look at what's coming up ar The Arc in Stockton shows those eighties stalwarts Nik Kershaw next month, tickets cost £21; T'Pau in October, tickets priced £18.50. Since these are for one act on one evening, is £35 too much for a weekend of lots of acts? I don't think so. Sting will be playing at The Sage in Newcastle next year, prices START at £49.50 and go up to £85 - that is too much, yet it has nearly sold out already. I think the main issue was the type of act that was booked. Public Enemy may be big/musically historically important, but their appeal isn't really anything other than niche. The group at TMA must be applauded for trying to bring such acts to Teesside, and for putting on excellent festivals in the past. Personal highlights for me include James, Mercury Rev, The Pogues, The Chapman Family, Weird Shapes and Andy Jones & the Norton Rockets!
Was £35 too expensive? A quick look at what's coming up ar The Arc in Stockton shows those eighties stalwarts Nik Kershaw next month, tickets cost £21; T'Pau in October, tickets priced £18.50. Since these are for one act on one evening, is £35 too much for a weekend of lots of acts? I don't think so. Sting will be playing at The Sage in Newcastle next year, prices START at £49.50 and go up to £85 - that is too much, yet it has nearly sold out already. I think the main issue was the type of act that was booked. Public Enemy may be big/musically historically important, but their appeal isn't really anything other than niche. The group at TMA must be applauded for trying to bring such acts to Teesside, and for putting on excellent festivals in the past. Personal highlights for me include James, Mercury Rev, The Pogues, The Chapman Family, Weird Shapes and Andy Jones & the Norton Rockets! Colcat
  • Score: 8

11:27am Fri 29 Aug 14

Counterview says...

dinkyd07 wrote:
Opps sorry don't know why it came up twice .
A capital offence perhaps?
[quote][p][bold]dinkyd07[/bold] wrote: Opps sorry don't know why it came up twice .[/p][/quote]A capital offence perhaps? Counterview
  • Score: 5

3:35pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Andy jones1941 says...

Colcat wrote:
Was £35 too expensive? A quick look at what's coming up ar The Arc in Stockton shows those eighties stalwarts Nik Kershaw next month, tickets cost £21; T'Pau in October, tickets priced £18.50. Since these are for one act on one evening, is £35 too much for a weekend of lots of acts? I don't think so. Sting will be playing at The Sage in Newcastle next year, prices START at £49.50 and go up to £85 - that is too much, yet it has nearly sold out already. I think the main issue was the type of act that was booked. Public Enemy may be big/musically historically important, but their appeal isn't really anything other than niche. The group at TMA must be applauded for trying to bring such acts to Teesside, and for putting on excellent festivals in the past. Personal highlights for me include James, Mercury Rev, The Pogues, The Chapman Family, Weird Shapes and Andy Jones & the Norton Rockets!
Whatever the issues are around ticket prices and attendance there's one thing we can all agree on and that is Stockton got to see some really memorable performances from some great international and also local acts. And as a performer it has certainly been one of the biggest highlights of my lowly career playing on the main stage next to people I've admired greatly. I also believe we will see the weekender in a new and scaled down and free form next year or the year after, starting from grass roots again and bringing the next generation of bands and performers into people's life's. I'm excited to see what's going to happen. I certainly don't see it as the end, more of a rebirth in the waiting.
[quote][p][bold]Colcat[/bold] wrote: Was £35 too expensive? A quick look at what's coming up ar The Arc in Stockton shows those eighties stalwarts Nik Kershaw next month, tickets cost £21; T'Pau in October, tickets priced £18.50. Since these are for one act on one evening, is £35 too much for a weekend of lots of acts? I don't think so. Sting will be playing at The Sage in Newcastle next year, prices START at £49.50 and go up to £85 - that is too much, yet it has nearly sold out already. I think the main issue was the type of act that was booked. Public Enemy may be big/musically historically important, but their appeal isn't really anything other than niche. The group at TMA must be applauded for trying to bring such acts to Teesside, and for putting on excellent festivals in the past. Personal highlights for me include James, Mercury Rev, The Pogues, The Chapman Family, Weird Shapes and Andy Jones & the Norton Rockets![/p][/quote]Whatever the issues are around ticket prices and attendance there's one thing we can all agree on and that is Stockton got to see some really memorable performances from some great international and also local acts. And as a performer it has certainly been one of the biggest highlights of my lowly career playing on the main stage next to people I've admired greatly. I also believe we will see the weekender in a new and scaled down and free form next year or the year after, starting from grass roots again and bringing the next generation of bands and performers into people's life's. I'm excited to see what's going to happen. I certainly don't see it as the end, more of a rebirth in the waiting. Andy jones1941
  • Score: 3

3:35pm Fri 29 Aug 14

Andy jones1941 says...

Colcat wrote:
Was £35 too expensive? A quick look at what's coming up ar The Arc in Stockton shows those eighties stalwarts Nik Kershaw next month, tickets cost £21; T'Pau in October, tickets priced £18.50. Since these are for one act on one evening, is £35 too much for a weekend of lots of acts? I don't think so. Sting will be playing at The Sage in Newcastle next year, prices START at £49.50 and go up to £85 - that is too much, yet it has nearly sold out already. I think the main issue was the type of act that was booked. Public Enemy may be big/musically historically important, but their appeal isn't really anything other than niche. The group at TMA must be applauded for trying to bring such acts to Teesside, and for putting on excellent festivals in the past. Personal highlights for me include James, Mercury Rev, The Pogues, The Chapman Family, Weird Shapes and Andy Jones & the Norton Rockets!
Whatever the issues are around ticket prices and attendance there's one thing we can all agree on and that is Stockton got to see some really memorable performances from some great international and also local acts. And as a performer it has certainly been one of the biggest highlights of my lowly career playing on the main stage next to people I've admired greatly. I also believe we will see the weekender in a new and scaled down and free form next year or the year after, starting from grass roots again and bringing the next generation of bands and performers into people's life's. I'm excited to see what's going to happen. I certainly don't see it as the end, more of a rebirth in the waiting.
[quote][p][bold]Colcat[/bold] wrote: Was £35 too expensive? A quick look at what's coming up ar The Arc in Stockton shows those eighties stalwarts Nik Kershaw next month, tickets cost £21; T'Pau in October, tickets priced £18.50. Since these are for one act on one evening, is £35 too much for a weekend of lots of acts? I don't think so. Sting will be playing at The Sage in Newcastle next year, prices START at £49.50 and go up to £85 - that is too much, yet it has nearly sold out already. I think the main issue was the type of act that was booked. Public Enemy may be big/musically historically important, but their appeal isn't really anything other than niche. The group at TMA must be applauded for trying to bring such acts to Teesside, and for putting on excellent festivals in the past. Personal highlights for me include James, Mercury Rev, The Pogues, The Chapman Family, Weird Shapes and Andy Jones & the Norton Rockets![/p][/quote]Whatever the issues are around ticket prices and attendance there's one thing we can all agree on and that is Stockton got to see some really memorable performances from some great international and also local acts. And as a performer it has certainly been one of the biggest highlights of my lowly career playing on the main stage next to people I've admired greatly. I also believe we will see the weekender in a new and scaled down and free form next year or the year after, starting from grass roots again and bringing the next generation of bands and performers into people's life's. I'm excited to see what's going to happen. I certainly don't see it as the end, more of a rebirth in the waiting. Andy jones1941
  • Score: 1

5:56pm Fri 29 Aug 14

TeessideMusicMan says...

Andy jones1941 wrote:
Colcat wrote:
Was £35 too expensive? A quick look at what's coming up ar The Arc in Stockton shows those eighties stalwarts Nik Kershaw next month, tickets cost £21; T'Pau in October, tickets priced £18.50. Since these are for one act on one evening, is £35 too much for a weekend of lots of acts? I don't think so. Sting will be playing at The Sage in Newcastle next year, prices START at £49.50 and go up to £85 - that is too much, yet it has nearly sold out already. I think the main issue was the type of act that was booked. Public Enemy may be big/musically historically important, but their appeal isn't really anything other than niche. The group at TMA must be applauded for trying to bring such acts to Teesside, and for putting on excellent festivals in the past. Personal highlights for me include James, Mercury Rev, The Pogues, The Chapman Family, Weird Shapes and Andy Jones & the Norton Rockets!
Whatever the issues are around ticket prices and attendance there's one thing we can all agree on and that is Stockton got to see some really memorable performances from some great international and also local acts. And as a performer it has certainly been one of the biggest highlights of my lowly career playing on the main stage next to people I've admired greatly. I also believe we will see the weekender in a new and scaled down and free form next year or the year after, starting from grass roots again and bringing the next generation of bands and performers into people's life's. I'm excited to see what's going to happen. I certainly don't see it as the end, more of a rebirth in the waiting.
It's sad to see the Stockton weekender gone I think a young local promotor would be able to make this huge again if they were backed by the council for example the Kush Events owner Nick Baker . Think the council should get in touch with him I be the has ideas of how to fill this festival
[quote][p][bold]Andy jones1941[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Colcat[/bold] wrote: Was £35 too expensive? A quick look at what's coming up ar The Arc in Stockton shows those eighties stalwarts Nik Kershaw next month, tickets cost £21; T'Pau in October, tickets priced £18.50. Since these are for one act on one evening, is £35 too much for a weekend of lots of acts? I don't think so. Sting will be playing at The Sage in Newcastle next year, prices START at £49.50 and go up to £85 - that is too much, yet it has nearly sold out already. I think the main issue was the type of act that was booked. Public Enemy may be big/musically historically important, but their appeal isn't really anything other than niche. The group at TMA must be applauded for trying to bring such acts to Teesside, and for putting on excellent festivals in the past. Personal highlights for me include James, Mercury Rev, The Pogues, The Chapman Family, Weird Shapes and Andy Jones & the Norton Rockets![/p][/quote]Whatever the issues are around ticket prices and attendance there's one thing we can all agree on and that is Stockton got to see some really memorable performances from some great international and also local acts. And as a performer it has certainly been one of the biggest highlights of my lowly career playing on the main stage next to people I've admired greatly. I also believe we will see the weekender in a new and scaled down and free form next year or the year after, starting from grass roots again and bringing the next generation of bands and performers into people's life's. I'm excited to see what's going to happen. I certainly don't see it as the end, more of a rebirth in the waiting.[/p][/quote]It's sad to see the Stockton weekender gone I think a young local promotor would be able to make this huge again if they were backed by the council for example the Kush Events owner Nick Baker . Think the council should get in touch with him I be the has ideas of how to fill this festival TeessideMusicMan
  • Score: 0

5:59pm Fri 29 Aug 14

TeessideMusicMan says...

Get in touch with nick baker at kush events he would smash this
Get in touch with nick baker at kush events he would smash this TeessideMusicMan
  • Score: 0

12:01pm Sat 30 Aug 14

Reminisce70s says...

All's not lost as there's Reminisce 70s music festival planned for Jul 11th 2015 at Preston Park!! facebook.com/reminis
ce70s
All's not lost as there's Reminisce 70s music festival planned for Jul 11th 2015 at Preston Park!! facebook.com/reminis ce70s Reminisce70s
  • Score: 0

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