Great Exhibition of the North 2018

22 February 2018

The summer of 2018 will be monumental for NewcastleGateshead as the area gets set to showcase world-class art, culture, design and innovation from the North of England.


Aiming to change perceptions and enhance the profile of the region, the Great Exhibition of the North is set to be the biggest event in England this year, as well as an exciting new era for the North.

The platform presents opportunities to create worldwide partnerships, that will encourage a new surge in businesses, students and investments for the future. The 80-day programme of events aims to instil a sense of pride and endless possibilities for people to pursue fulfilled lives and careers in Northern England.


The Exhibition has been supported by £5million of Government funding and events will take place across a range of world-class venues and unique spaces, such as the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Sage Gateshead and Great North Museum.

  • The BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art is a vast renovated flour mill with minimalist interiors and an ever-changing calendar of immersive exhibitions. This industrial building is home to a major international centre for contemporary art and sits on the south bank of the River Tyne in Gateshead. It includes a stunning 6th-floor restaurant (aptly named Six) with panoramic views of the city. Exhibitions are free to the public and include family activities as well as guided tours and interactive workshops.
  • The Sage is an innovate live music venue, designed to produce world-class acoustics that can be altered to suit any style of event. From spectacular auditoriums, to wood-panelled halls, conference rooms and breakout spaces, the venue spans a range of needs. All are beautifully designed and the building’s curved glass frontage provides breath-taking cityscapes that make it an exceptional place for exhibitions as well as dinners.
  • The Great North Museum a.k.a. the Hancock, is Newcastle’s museum of natural history, archaeology, geology and world cultures. The free, family-friendly destination includes exhibitions on wildlife, fossils and world cultures, as well as an exploration of the North East of England’s animals, plants, woodlands and coastal areas. The museum also includes a library and natural history archive open to the public. ‘A portal to another world’ will open in accordance with the Exhibition as a journey of Northern discovery. High-profile loans will be on display including the last piano played by John Lennon.


The official programme of events has just been announced! They include an urban garden installation that aims to be the largest in the world, an 80m-long water sculpture and the return of Stephenson’s Rocket to the city it was built in for the first time since 1862. Here are some of the things you can get involved with during the Exhibition:

  • Lauren Laverne's Great Northern Soundtrack - a week of gigs from 22nd June til 1st July taking place in the Sage Gateshead. Artists include Nightmares on Wax and Roisin Murphy. 
  • Architectural photographer Steve Mayes' LEGO Timeline of Northern Innovation at the Mining Institute.
  • The Get North Art Trail, leading spanning The BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Sage Gateshead, Great North Museum, Theatre Royal and Laing Art Gallery. Art events include a Liverpool Biennial Associate Artists group exhibition, bringing together the work of 11 talented artists from the North of England
  • The Get North Innovation Trail, that includes a bold, theatrical takeover of the Great North Museum with 'Which Way North' and 'Robots - Then and Now' at the Life Science Centre, a family-friendly exhibition that will make you question what it means to be human.
  • The Get North Design Trail. On this trail, you can get involved with creative workshops, talks and seminars and the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair at the Biscuit Factory on the 23rd-24th June. Discover the design stories behind iconic Northern products – then come up with your own idea to launch at multiple venues, including the Northern Design Centre. Find literature and visual arts at Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books. 

The Great Exhibition of the North will commence on Friday 22nd June and culminate with its ‘Creating the Future’ weekend on the 8th and 9th September, which coincides with the world-famous Great North Run.

To fully enjoy everything NewcastleGateshead has to offer this summer, stay the budget-friendly way with Euro Hostel Newcastle. We have a wide range of rooms to suit families, groups, couples and individual travellers. Make this your year to Get North!