Summertyne – The UK’s Pioneer Americana Festival


From the AMA-UK, we can’t thank Summertyne Festival and their team enough for involving us. The artists were given the opportunity to perform in front of a great and enthusiastic crowd and to perform in part of the country they may not have been known before.  Each and every band who performed on the Concourse Stage was treated well and felt really honoured to be involved.  It is really valuable for AMA-UK to be able to offer this opportunity to our members and it has done so much for the growth of the Americana community in the UK, to bring UK artists together at an event like this, to be on the bill with the level of artists is amazing for them. So thank you from all at the AMA-UK. Here is the low down packed of reviews from the festival…

“The whole event was incredible, all the artists were amazing and the atmosphere was incredible.”
Olivia Brown, Building Our Own Nashville

The UK loves Americana. Over the past few years, thanks to artists like The Shires, Little Big Town and Kacey Musgraves, country has enjoyed a surge in popularity, however one festival has simply been riding a wave which began to swell in the North East of England over a decade ago.

Back in 2006, Sage Gateshead, a premier music venue in the North East of England, launched the SummerTyne Americana Festival, one of the UK’s first Americana music festivals, bringing top names including Guy Clark, Dwight Yoakam, Tony Joe White and Solomon Burke to Newcastle Gateshead, England on a stunning indoor and outdoor riverside site and made it feel like Nashville for three exciting days.

Twelve festivals later, it is still going strong, with headliners in 2017 including The Shires, William Bell, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Chuck Prophet, Sam Outlaw, Angaleena Presley and Americana legend, Jim Lauderdale. The festival hosted a record number of fans, all wanting to see some great live acts.

 “Now in its 12th year, the annual SummerTyne Americana Festival at the Sage Gateshead continues to get bigger and better every year.”
Adam Kennedy, National Rock Review

With a broad and diverse interpretation of Americana, SummerTyne celebrates the finest American roots music in a feel-good festival that brings together some legendary artists, rising stars and the best of the next generation for a weekend long party and some UK only shows.

“The Summertyne Americana Festival was great. Set in a beautiful venue along the river in Newcastle, the festival took good care of us.”
William Bell (Grammy winner Best Americana Album 2017)

The festival is the brainchild of Tamsin Austin, Director of Programming for Sage Gateshead. A life-long fan of American folk, roots music and a musician herself, she started her career as a music agent at Adastra, arranging UK and European tours for North American and Canadian artists before moving into programming and promoting in 1998. A regular attendee at South by South West in Austin for many years, she found herself increasingly drawn to the clubs of South Congress and the country/Americana scene, and two years into her career at Sage Gateshead, launched the now highly popular SummerTyne festival. Built on a bedrock of committed Americana audiences in the North East thanks to the earlier work of promoters like Jumpin Hot club, the festival was an immediate hit and now attracts audiences of over 10,000 each year.

Since it began, Tamsin has travelled to the US regularly to keep her ear to the ground for new talent and absolutely loves this aspect of the work. Over the past few years, alongside the more established legendary acts including Lyle Lovett, William Bell, Irma Thomas, Emmylou Harris and Rosanne Cash, Sage Gateshead has presented a whole new generation of artists including Sturgill Simpson, Sarah Jarosz, Kacey Musgraves, Nikki Lane, Brennan Leigh, Amythyst Kiah, Marlon Williams, and Jon Fulbright.

Tamsin Austin said: “The best part of working in live music is that it is a constantly evolving and thrilling journey of discovery. Promoting is tough and programming US artists into the UK (particularly in July!) takes a lot of hard work but SummerTyne is a labour of love for myself and for the team at Sage Gateshead. We love this music, we love the artists who play here and it is the highlight of our festival year.”

“Every year we welcome the opportunity to continue expanding the discovery of more amazing talent in the world of Americana music and SummerTyne is a fantastic
part of that” Paul Fenn (Asgard )

As well as a series of carefully programmed ticketed concerts, the Sage Gateshead’s SummerTyne team work closely with partners at the Jumpin Hot club and now the AMA-UK to present two very popular free stages which particularly showcase local and emerging UK Americana acts interspersed with American guests. The result is a plethora of music indoors and outdoors across the stunning Sage Gateshead site. Following his appearance at the 2017 SummerTyne event, Jim Lauderdale said: “I would definitely recommend this festival to the traveling festival goer and to artists alike. I decided to come in a day early, and I’m sure glad I did, as I got to check out several stages as a listener. The line-up was really well crafted and the atmosphere was relaxed, but with an excitement in the air for the music.

“It is planned and laid out really well, making it a comfortable place to be and it was a pleasure to be there. As a performer, they had everything so well organised and there weren’t any loose ends, and they took good care of us. A great vibe all round. They’ve got it going on at The SummerTyne Festival! I want to go back!”

The SummerTyne festival will return in July 2018.