BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival

In Tune

Broadcast Live on BBC Radio 3

Live from Northern Rock Foundation Hall

To guarantee your ticket, book in advance. There will be some tickets available on the day on a first come, first served basis. Doors open at 4.30pm.

Katie Derham launches this year’s Free Thinking Festival with a selection of live music making and chat. Live music includes performances from The Consone Quartet, who discuss the conflicting effects of performance nerves ahead of their concert that night in Hexham. Folk musician Kathryn Tickell performs music on the Northumbrian Pipes with The Darkening on the day their debut album is released, and talks to Katie about the emotional influence of location in music. Collective Voices, a community choir for young adults from the North East are the resident choir for this year’s Festival. Katie is also joined by the Festival Lecturer Thomas Dixon who is Professor of History at the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary University of London, New Generation Thinker Daisy Black who researches medieval passion plays and actor Julie Hesmondhalgh, known for her TV performances in Coronation Street and Broadchurch.

Katie Derham began her BBC career working in financial news before moving to ITN and becoming the youngest national newscaster. She now presents Proms coverage on BBC TV, In Tune and Sound of Dance for BBC Radio and she reached the final of Strictly Come Dancing.

Kathryn Tickell is acclaimed as the world’s foremost exponent of the Northumbrian pipes. A composer, performer and educator she has released 15 albums and performed with the Chieftains, Evelyn Glennie, Sting, Penguin Café Orchestra and many others. Twice a Musician of the Year in BBC Radio 2’s Folk Awards, in 2015 she was awarded the OBE, in 2016 she founded Magnetic North East.

Band members of The Darkening are also known for their work with: Seth Lakeman, Sting, Soumik Datta, The Shee, Monster Ceilidh Band, Songs of Separation, Carthy, Oates, Farrell & Young, Moulettes, Uiscedwr.

The Consone Quartet formed at the Royal College of Music in London, and is dedicated to exploring Classical and Early Romantic repertoire on period instruments. Winner of the 2016 Royal Overseas League Ensemble Prize in London, Consone was also awarded two prizes at the 2015 York Early Music International Young Artists Competition.

The North East’s community choir for young adults, Collective Voices is our resident choir for the Free Thinking Festival. It aims to help young people find their voice, and to experience the joy of singing.

Julie Hesmondhalgh played Hayley Cropper in Coronation Street and the lead role in the final series of ITV’s Broadchurch. On stage she has performed at The Royal Court Theatre, Manchester Royal Exchange, and in a one woman show at the Edinburgh Festival.

Daisy Black lectures at the University of Wolverhampton and performs as a storyteller and freelance theatre director. Her Festival Essay is called Cooking and Eating God in Medieval Drama

Thomas Dixon is Professor of History at the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary University of London. His current research is about the science, philosophy, and experience of anger and previously the history of weeping and the British stiff upper lip. His books include Weeping Britannia: Portrait of a Nation in Tears and The Invention of Altruism: Making Moral Meanings in Victorian Britain.


For your information…

  • Phase one tickets will be available from 12noon on Friday 15 February, with phase two tickets available from 12noon on Friday 1 March.
  • Tickets are strictly limited to four per person.
  • To guarantee your ticket book in advance. There will be some tickets available on the day on a first come, first served basis.
  • Please take your seats 10 minutes prior to the event start time otherwise you may lose your place.


Part of BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival

Part of BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival 2019

Welcome to the Free Thinking Festival from BBC Radio 3. All weekend here at Sage Gateshead we’re gathering together a throng of talented individuals to wrestle, debate and celebrate the theme of this year’s festival: Emotion. Whether it’s the angry turn in contemporary politics,...

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