Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Spectacular Plans to Celebrate the Rugby World Cup

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Spectacular Plans to Celebrate the Rugby World Cup

Article excerpt

Byline: Sara Nichol Reporter

THOUSANDS of fans will be able to enjoy a nine-day cultural spectacular as part of the celebrations for the Rugby World Cup 2015.

Visitors and locals will be entertained by live music, performance, arts, street food stall and more at the Conversion Festival next month.

Produced by NewcastleGateshead Initiative's Culture Team and funded by Arts Council England and Newcastle City Council, the event is part of the Rugby World Cup 2015 tournament, which comes to Newcastle in October.

The festivities will start with a day of street theatre and music in Newcastle city centre celebrating the musical traditions of Scotland and South Africa, who face each other in the first of three games being staged at St James' Park.

Fans heading to the game on October 3 will be treated to a mass ceilidh, complete with a South African twist, on the way to the ground.

That date also marks the opening of the 'EAT! North East Food Heroes Market' where 30 local street food traders offering some of the best local produce the North East has to offer.

The street food market will be in Newcastle city centre until October 11, and a special EAT! fringe event will run throughout the month.

On match days in Newcastle, visitors and local people will be able to enjoy live music and street entertainment that reflects the nations of New Zealand, South Africa, Tonga, Samoa and Scotland.

Musicians and performers will be found around the city centre and St James' Park before, during and after games. To mark the arrival of the New Zealand rugby team to the region, visitors to the Fanzone and St James' Park on October 9, will be treated to a live performance of Haka Day Out, a celebration of New Zealand Maori culture and art performed by Corey Baker Dance.

Carol Bell, head of culture and major events at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: "We want to create a festival atmosphere around Rugby World Cup 2015 in Newcastle; something extra special that will make it memorable for everyone, whether you're attending a game or not. …

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