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New Line Up To Drive Sage Gateshead's Vision

Posted on 5 January 2017

Sage Gateshead starts 2017 with new ambitions for its next decade and nine new board members to help steer its course.

Over the past year the international music centre welcomed over 450,000 visitors and brought an estimated £14 million to the region.

Its recently published annual review (2015-16) states that audiences were up 14 per cent on the previous year and 16,228 people from 0 to 89 took part in music-making activities. But the charity wants to significantly increase the number of people in the region who connect with Sage Gateshead’s music.

Helping to achieve this will be new board members including Thinking Digital founder Herb Kim, North East PR expert Hilary Florek, former Government advisor Sir Martin James Narey DL and founder and managing director of Conference Collective Limited Jacinta Scannell. Vidya Sarangapani, Roy McEwan-Brown, Suba Das, Councillor Martin Gannon and Sue Underwood complete the new line-up.

They will be supporting Managing Director Abigail Pogson and her team to achieve other key aims: building the reach and reputation of Royal Northern Sinfonia, developing new festivals, preparing for the Great Exhibition of the North, nurturing and supporting artists, improving the iconic building for users and visitors and increasing activity in the wider region.

Abigail said: “Our vision is to play an active part in contemporary culture, community and place through music. We want everyone in the region to know that we are for them, for the north and for the long term.

“We are only 12 years old and there are still a lot of people in the region we haven’t connected with and who aren’t aware of all the music-making opportunities that we provide.

“We have appointed new board members with a wealth of experience in arts and culture, the commercial and charity sector, marketing and technology who can really support and drive us towards our new ambitions by the end of our second decade. It’s going to be a very exciting time.”

In 2015-16 Sage Gateshead presented 361 concerts and held 9,395 music workshops and classes. It trained and mentored 94 artists and supported 32 creative apprenticeships.

As a major conference venue Sage Gateshead attracted 70 conferences and events, bringing £7.8 million delegate expenditure to the region.

Musical highlights included presenting the first ever full Wagner Ring Cycle with Opera North and tours of Brazil, Amsterdam and Denmark by Royal Northern Sinfonia and youth jazz and folk bands Jambone and Folkestra. Top names such as Leona Lewis, Rick Astley, Gregory Porter, The Shires, Anastacia and Brian Wilson performed to packed audiences in the venue’s main concert hall ‘Sage One’.

Events to look out for in 2017 include LeAnn Rimes, Squeeze, Kraftwerk, The Halle, Alexander O’Neil, Radio 4’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, Freedom City Festival and annual festivals such as SummerTyne and Gateshead International Jazz Festival.


For further information, images, interview requests, competition or review tickets please contact:
Emily Taylor, Communications Officer, Sage Gateshead
E. T.0191 443 4617 M.07793 762 879

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