NE1 Unveils Its Summer in the City Events Programme for 2024


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Newcastle Upon Tyne is one of the UK’s number one city break destinations for summer visitors with a packed programme of free events and activities in the heart of one of the North’s most architecturally, culturally and historically significant cities.

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NE1, the Business Improvement District company for Newcastle city centre, invests heavily in its Summer in the City events calendar designed to boost visitor numbers, increase dwell time and deliver an economic uplift in the millions of pounds for city centre businesses over the summer months – as well as providing a whole host of free activities and entertainment for locals, visitors and workers in the city centre.

The bulk of NE1’s efforts focus on the core six weeks of the school summer holidays running from the end of July to September, but the programme also includes some major milestone events outside of these times starting at the beginning of July and into late September 


NE1 has unveiled its Summer in the City events programme for 2024 with the fun starting in July with the return of NE1’s ever-popular, open-air movie theatre, Screen on the Green running until September with a packed programme of free events for all ages.

1st July – 1st September

The Summer in the City programme begins on Monday 1st July with the welcome return of NE1’s Screen on the Green. The free open-air movie theatre will take up residence in its usual location in Old Eldon Square ready to broadcast three weeks of major sporting action on the big screen before a full six-week movie schedule of blockbuster releases, family favourites and cinema classics.  Starting with the 2024 Wimbledon Tennis Championships, the sporting focus then moves to the F1 British Grand Prix which will air on Sunday 7th July and then onto the Tour de France. On Monday 22nd July the screen will be devoted to the main feature, six weeks of free movies during the school summer holidays.

Starting on Monday 22nd July and running until Sunday 1st September, two films will be screened each day, one at noon, the other at 3 pm, with a 6 pm blockbuster film screening each Thursday and Toddler Takeovers on Tuesdays at 10 am, with shorter films and storytelling suitable for younger viewers.  NE1 has also teamed up with the Tyneside Cinema for a weekly Tyneside Takeover giving their in-house experts and film buffs free rein to choose a movie for people to enjoy each Wednesday evening.

To add extra excitement to the first day of the Screen on the Green film schedule, NE1 has teamed up with Disney on Ice to offer giveaways for families in attendance.  To be in with the chance of winning one of the prizes, children are being encouraged to dress up as their favourite Disney character to be entered into a draw to win top prizes including Eldon Square vouchers and the star prize of the chance to star in this year’s Disney on Ice show.

Surrounded by NE1 deck chairs and colourful seating for all ages, the open-air cinema will host thousands of visitors each week.

The movie theatre is a hugely popular attraction in the heart of the city, named in the Sunday Times’ top 10 things to do for families, and with 50,000 people enjoying the free activities in the Square last summer.

5th July – 21st July (Various dates/times/venues) 

NE1 is delighted to partner with Northern Pride for the 10th year running as the annual festival moves into the city, for an extended event hosted between 5th July and 21st July. This year the event and its associated festivities are being brought into the heart of Newcastle with venues across the city centre welcoming and hosting Pride events over the whole month. Central to the celebrations will be the signature Pride march, attended by tens of thousands of people, which will begin and end at Newcastle Civic Centre on Saturday 19th and the music festival which will be staged at a new arena at Newcastle’s Central Park in Times Square from Friday 19th to Sunday 21st.

As part of the celebrations, a Mini Pride will be held at NE1’s Screen on the Green with activities for families to enjoy on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st July.

Organisers predict that the event will attract over 80,000 people at venues and activities across the city making it one of the largest annual Pride events in the country. This year’s festivities will not only last longer but will have the added attraction of a Market Village with stalls located around Grey’s Monument and Old Eldon Square in the city centre.


Alongside Screen on the Green in Old Eldon Square, there will be a whole host of free fun activities for families to enjoy during the school summer holidays across the whole square.

Returning for its third year is Play Rebellion brought to the city in conjunction with BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. The play installation, designed by Artist Pippa Hale, is a free sculptural and buildable installation which encourages children to express their creativity and allows children of all ages to play, build or simply relax and enjoy this interactive exhibition.  


This summer, NE1 is excited to unveil a new summer attraction in Old Eldon Square. ‘Tiny Toon’ in association with Tyne & Wear Metro, is a village of fun, mini-versions of key Newcastle locations, iconic buildings and businesses.  Children will be able to learn through pretend play, putting on a high-vis jacket and driving a mini-Metro train, playing dress up in a miniature Eldon Square, taking to the stage at a mini-Theatre Royal, or serving up some tasty pretend Indian food at a mini-My Delhi restaurant, all sponsors of the first Tiny Toon.  There will also be a mini-Grainger Market where children can play grocers, and the much-loved independent café Olive & Bean, who recently celebrated their 16th birthday in the city, will allow little ones to pretend to be bakers serving up slices of cake in the mini replica venue.

To bring extra life to Tiny Toon, some of the sponsors will be heading down in person to organise fun-themed activities and giveaways during the holidays.

Local events management company, Boutique Events, has teamed up with NE1 to build the sets and all the key elements of Tiny Toon.

Everything in the family zone on Old Eldon Square is free to attend, with no booking required. 


NE1 has devised a packed programme of new events throughout the six-week holidays as well as bringing back some key midweek favourites including yoga, exercise and dance classes.  This year, a new addition will be twilight yoga sessions held at sunset on the Quayside.

Dance City returns as a key partner with an expert team of instructors to run these hugely popular sessions attracting young and old alike for salsa, Zumba, ballet and other rhythmic fun on the banks of the Tyne, all for free throughout the summer. 

Saturday 10th August

Another new addition to this summer’s programme is the first free activation on the water. As part of NE1’s Summer in the City programme, people will get the chance to try kayaking on the river Tyne.

Working with specialist water sports company, CBK Adventures, NE1 will offer free, 30-minute kayaking taster sessions on the Tyne, on Saturday 10th August to give people the chance to try this exhilarating sport and to see the city and its iconic bridges from a different perspective.


Throughout the Summer, weekends will be the main focus of free, family fun with themed weekend takeover events.

On 27th July and 31st August between 11 am – 3 pm, visitors to Wesley Square will be able to enjoy a range of popular entertainment including appearance visits from movie character princesses, superheroes and mascots, as well as live music, fun activities and more.

Saturday 3rd August

As testament to Newcastle's summertime appeal, the city has been chosen to host the inaugural Red Bull Tyne Ride on Saturday 3rd August. In what is being called the world’s toughest head-to-head motorcycle race, races will be staged on a purpose-built and challenging course on Newcastle’s iconic Quayside. Some of the world’s best riders, including local Wallsend hero and four-time FIM SuperEnduro World Champion and Red Bull athlete, Billy Bolt will compete in what will be a hard-fought competition and a thrilling spectacle, which is free to attend.

8th – 11th August 

Newcastle City Council’s NOVUM Festival will provide the focus for the weekend of 8th - 11th August. A city-wide, multi-form cultural event, Novum will bring live performances, music and free family activities from local, national and international artists to venues and open-air public spaces across Newcastle. There will be lots of opportunities to get involved with circus performers, artists and stay-and-play activities for kids, there’s even a music festival in the Civic Centre giving rare access to the stunning Council Chambers which many people will never have seen. One not-to-miss will be the unveiling of Belgian artist, Lawrence Malstaf’s ‘Shrink’, where local people become living portraits, vacuum-sealed and suspended as huge exhibits.

Saturday 17TH August

NE1 has worked closely with HMV Newcastle to help bring together a stellar lineup of five local artists to perform at this free music event. An eclectic mix of musical styles and genres will be represented with something for everyone to enjoy.

Spilt Milk; Lauren Lamore; James Berry; Geoff Mo and Lilly Crisp are all included in the line-up spanning folk, rock and dance.

Saturday 24th August 

To celebrate International Dog Day on August Bank Holiday Monday, NE1 is hosting the inaugural Dog on the Tyne event on Saturday 24th August, a celebration of the city’s canine companions.  Newcastle’s answer to Crufts, the paw-fect event will offer everything from dog yoga, agility courses and a dog-friendly walk along the Quayside.


One of the highlights of NE1’s Summer in the City programme is the much-anticipated NE1 Newcastle Restaurant Week in August. The dates have yet to be announced, but it is one of the most significant weeks in the city’s annual events calendar with over 100 of the city’s restaurants expected to take part.  Discount meals of two and three courses for £15, £20 and £25 per head are on offer allowing diners to sample some of the city’s finest restaurants for a fraction of the normal price.  The event, staged in January and again in August, is always hugely popular and generates over £1 million for the local economy each time it is held.

The event also adds extra vibrancy to Newcastle when it returns, creating a real buzz in the city and its restaurants as 50,000 people descend to take part. The event has a positive knock-on effect for other leisure and transport operators with businesses benefitting from the extra footfall and custom created.  People are encouraged to keep an eye out for news of the release date.

Saturday 28th September

One of the last events in the summer schedule is NE1’s Dragon Boat race on Saturday 28th September, an event which is growing in stature and popularity year on year.  Held on the city stretch of the river Tyne, it is a thrilling, action-packed day of team racing on the water.

Participants from many of the city’s business community have already signed up to take part in what will be a fiercely contested race for the title of Dragon Boat Race Champions 2024.

Details of all the events, timings and locations are listed on the website which goes live in July.

Commenting on NE1’s Summer in the City programme 2024 and what is planned for the summer, Rachel Barlow, Head of Marketing and Events at NE1 Ltd said: “Summer is one of the most exciting times of the year in Newcastle, there’s so much going on. We can’t wait to launch this year’s Summer in the City events programme knowing that there will be something sensational for people of all ages to enjoy.

“This year, activities are largely focused on the weekends to give more people the chance to get involved in the fun and we are very excited about our new programme additions, Dog on the Tyne and Tiny Toon, we know they are going to be a huge hit. Newcastle is a great place to visit whatever the season, but our curated events programme will give people more reasons to visit, to spend more time here and to keep coming back.  

“There’s so much to do in Newcastle and we hope people will take advantage of all that is on offer.”

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