This year Newcastle will once again be hosting the North-East’s premiere celebration of Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking cultures. Perfectly timed to coincide with the end of the exam period, the festival promises two weeks of ‘vibrant’ fiesta from June 6th – 22nd. With ¡VAMOS! now marking its ninth year these events are set to be their ‘strongest programme yet’ according to Co-Director Nik Barrera, with highlights ranging from a colourful Mardi Gras parade to the ‘superhero versus villain action’ of Mexican Wrestling shows and a beach party.
For music fans, DJ Toy Selectah, an ‘iconic figure’ in Mexican fusion, will be taking to the stage on Saturday 21st June, whilst more classical tastes are catered for by lunchtime concerts from renowned youth orchestra Young Sinfonia. Further entertainment will be provided through a series of film screenings – from the thought-provoking documentary Maestra to the Oscar-nominated Cuban masterpiece Strawberries and Chocolate – as well as an ‘immersive’ showing of the acclaimed Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down, accompanied in true Almodóvar style by ‘live music, tapas and drag queens’.
Alongside these one-off performances, all festival attendees will have the chance to sample traditional street cuisine which Co-Director Sara Lourenco claims ‘will bring real Latin American food to the North East’. The event will also feature a two-day literary conference, starring such names as Peru’s Daniel Alarcón, whilst everyone is sure to enjoy an exhibition of Joan Miró’s striking surrealist prints and the colourful artwork of Brazilian Flavio Morais on the ¡VAMOS! pavilion.
Jane Tarr, Director North of Arts Council England, says: ‘I’m pleased that the Arts Council is continuing to support ¡VAMOS! Festival in its celebrations of Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking cultures across the North East through our National Lottery funded Grants for the arts programme. I look forward to seeing how the development of the ¡VAMOS! Pavilion project will enable the festival to engage new audiences and increase its outdoor programming as well as work in partnership with other local arts organisations.’
More information about all of the events can be found on the festival’s website.