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The Late Shows

The Late Shows are a one weekend annual cultural initiative developed in Tyne & Wear since 2007. They are intended to attract new audiences to museums and galleries. They have become the largest programme[1] organised in the United Kingdom for the 'Museums at Night Festival'.


The programme started as a one-night event with 14 cultural venues taking part including Discovery Museum, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and the Laing Art Gallery. All the venues stayed open late and put on free events and exhibitions, which aimed to entice a new, younger audience through their doors. From the outset many different agencies came together to open their doors and this has continued. In 2013 more than 50 attractions feature in what an arts site for the region describes as "The North East’s legendary culture crawl, The Late Shows"[2] . An Arts Council of England case study demonstrates its impact[3]. That report gives headline information thus "In 2009, 54 events held over two nights across the 29 venues taking part attracted 15,116 visitors. This involved nine commissions, 126 artists and four education sessions. The total audience, including print, broadcast and online was 701,800. The Late Shows 2010 has built on that success with over 19,500 people heading to NewcastleGateshead's museums and galleries after-hours. We supported The Late Shows with £25,000 of National Lottery funding from our Grants for the arts scheme. Support from other partner organisations included £39.974 from Culture 10, £8,703 from North East Regional Museums Hub and £17,990 of support in kind from the participating venues".

Selected Venues which feature in Wikipedia[edit]

Laing Art Gallery

The Biscuit Factory

Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Victoria Tunnel (Newcastle)

The Sage Gateshead

Moorbank Botanic Gardens

Hatton Gallery

Tyne and Wear Archives Service

Selected notable artists involved (having Wikipedia content)[edit]

Julia Vogl[4] [5]

Jenny Holzer[6]

Further Reading[edit] Bill Griffiths entry on London Museum's blog. Evaluation Case Study. Museums at Night Festival homepage. Evaluation of the 2010 Museums at Night season. The Late Shows main page. 36 Lime Street blog preview of 2013 programme. Guardian photo feature from 14th June 2010 reviewing the 2010 programme. Twitter feed. The involvement of Newcastle's churches in The Late Shows.


  1. ^ India Adams reporting in 2012 for Sky "the UK's largest Museums at Night event".
  2. ^ Accent the Look of the North
  3. ^
  4. ^ Julia Vogl participatory artwork.
  5. ^ Art Lovers Vote to Bring Julia Vogl to Discovery Museum explains context of the artist's visit to Tyneside and connection to The Late Shows. Quote in article " her project will create a large-scale “participatory” installation, inviting Late Shows visitors to use donated vessels to reflect the migration story of Tyneside, which is to be the subject of a permanent gallery opening later in the year" .
  6. ^ Guardian Newspaper photofeature.

Category:Festivals in the United Kingdom Category:Nightlife Category:Arts festivals in England Category:Arts festivals in the United Kingdom