Hit the North Festival: Worth it or wide birth it?


Hit the North made its debut in Newcastle last year as the latest multi-venue festival to pop up in the UK. For a brand-new event it went down well, and with early bird tickets already sold out for 2018, it’s obvious that everyone’s expecting the same again.

The event ran across two days in April and saw the likes of The Hunna, HoneyBlood, and Nothing But Thieves play at 14 locations around Newcastle. It placed an indie festival in a city designed for live music and was finished off by a Lethal Bizzle set in Digi, the Monday night heartbeat of Newcastle.

Students were the main patrons because seeing nearly 100 bands for £32.50 is an absolute bargain. So, the crowds were lively, loud, and had that alcohol-sweat smell that is gross but also a sign of a great thing.

Despite that selling point, multi-venue festivals aren’t necessarily perfect. They sound fantastic, but nobody really talks about the downsides that come with them.

Set schedules are often tight, and you don't know whether you will get to see both of your favourite bands or whether you will have to eenie-meanie-miney-mo between them until approx. two days beforehand when the setlists are released.

And even though Newcastle is a compact city, the distances between the venues can prove to be a problem, and you can miss the first couple of songs of each set; if they’re a one-hit wonder, you will probably miss that one hit.

So, is it worth it? That depends entirely on what you would use this festival for. Is it the music? Or are you just going for the ultimate excuse to day drink? I personally don’t believe that day drinking needs an excuse, but this is quite a good one.

If it’s the latter, consider that Hit the North's official Twitter accounts have predicted the event to be ‘huge’ based on pre-sales alone, and if it’s the former, wait for the impending line-up announcement. And then count how many bands are one-hit wonders.

Despite a frozen chicken nugget incident in an un-named chippy, Hit the North was a great weekend for me. I got to see my favourite band all the way through their set and saw the majority of the sets for the others. It also gave me a chance to take a look at Newcastle’s music venue offerings, and most importantly, to drink beer.

I’ll be going again, unless they announce T-Swift as the headliner, because God, the crowds would be awful.

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