Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Evolution Turns Quay into Stage

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Evolution Turns Quay into Stage

Article excerpt

Byline: By Dan Thomson

The Quayside was made for days like this. Alive with people, throbbing with the beat of music and electric with activity.

The weather may have left something to be desired, but the energy of the crowd made up for the chill in the air.

The aptly-named Evolution festival has come a long way in the seven years since its conception as Newcastle 2000.

The nine-day event in and around Newcastle and Gateshead promised to offer something for everyone's tastes and I'm pleased to say it lived up to the hype ( mostly.

Yesterday's massive event on the Quayside was the jewel in the festival's crown and boasted a line-up of stars past and present including Newcastle-bred Maximo Park, Echo and The Bunnymen, The Enemy, Calvin Harris, Radio Soulwax, and Joe Jackson.

Even more impressive than the line-up was the fact that the whole event was absolutely free ( an achievement for which the organisers must be applauded. The Freevolution [correct] gathering was split over two distinct stages ( the Imagination Stage at Baltic Square headlined by Radio Soulwax and the Innovation Stage at Spiller's Wharf where Maximo Park closed the show.

But if I was going to be critical ( and I am ( I would argue that the stages were a little too far apart. Walking between them to sample the diverse selection of music on offer meant a 25 minute round trip and I couldn't help, but think this was unnecessary.

The stewards were also worryingly contradictory at times. I was told I couldn't access certain areas only to be ushered in by a different steward five minutes later. Admittedly this wasn't a major issue, but after being sent on a wild goose chase by one steward ( and missing a band while I was away ( I arrived where I had been sent only to be told I couldn't get in that way.

But thankfully the music ( for the most part ( was excellent and the intangible magic that comes with live events on the Quayside was out in full force. The biggest fear before the event was the weather, but thankfully the expected downpour failed to materialise and the slight chill in the air was a small price to pay for the electric atmosphere. …

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