Review: Gateshead Beer and Music Festival 2023

*We received complimentary tickets but all views are my own

Gateshead Beer and Music festival has been going strong for 13 years now over the early May bank holiday and we’ve been lucky enough to go for the last 3 so it’s nice to see how much something so established still continues to grow year on year.

Starting at lunchtime at Gateshead Rugby club on the Friday and running until last orders on the Sunday (bank holiday Monday reserved for those hangover of the hardcore enough to be doing all three days) there’s over thirty beers available as well as plenty of food available and bands on the main stage in the tent consistently across the three days.

The cask beer is available via a token system as was £10 for 5 tokens. Each single token gets you a half pint however you can try samples of any of the flavours you’re not sure of before you commit. I’m not the biggest beer drinker in the world so the fact that tokens are in halves works well for me, plus it means you get to try more different kinds. The guys behind the pumps are great too, always on hand to advise – perfect for people like me who are always on the lookout for some fruity little numbers.

As well as all the cask ale on offer, there’s also cash/card bars in the main music tent where you can get lager, cider, wine, prosecco, cocktails and spirits. One thing that keeps us coming back year on year though is the reasonable prices. Festivals like this often take advantage of the captive audience and their prices are astronomically high, however at Gateshead Beer and Music festival, it’s only £3 for a class of wine (£16 a bottle) and £4 for a spirit and mixer. The food is also really reasonably priced.

Last year, one of my favourite bands; Hip Hop Hooray were playing and I was disappointed they weren’t on again this year. The only band I knew of from the line up on the Friday night was We Are the Champions – a great Queen tribute act. It is, however always good to remember that whatever bands are on, they’ll play stuff you recognise, and I was pleased to hear Squeeze, Tears for Fears, Toto and The Killers all being blasted out and sang along to throughout the night.

We always like to go to the Gateshead Beer and Music Festival on the Friday night as there’s enough people there to create a great atmosphere, but it’s not overwhelmingly busy as lots of people save themselves for later in the weekend – and they’re in no danger of running out of beer on the first night! The weather gods weren’t on our side this year and it was a bit cold and muddy but there’s plenty of indoor space so even if it were lashing down, you’d be alright.

We go to a few beer festivals in the region throughout the year but I can honestly say Gateshead Beer and Music festival is my favourite. I can’t wait to do it all again next and you never know, maybe one year, we may even attempt to pull out all the stops and do the whole weekend!

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