Thousands of festival-goers went to a sun-drenched Bents Park in South Shields over the Bank Holiday weekend for a feast of food, drink and music.
Organisers of the Great North Feast in the Park said they were delighted by the turn-out for their new look event.
Although a similar event has been held for the last two years, this was the first to be run by a recently-formed festival company called Feast Pop Ups.
The business has been launched by Mark and Shelley Deakin – who ran the previous festivals – and Nigel Holliday, who has organised some of the region’s most successful pop-up food events.
“We’ve run dozens of events between us and it seemed sense to pool our expertise,” said Nigel, who worked with the Deakins at one of the region’s biggest bar and restaurant companies as well as Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Sunderland.
“There are now so many pop-up events in the North East and, while that’s a good thing, we’re determined to make ours continue to stick out from the rest. I’m sure the people who turned out in such large numbers over the weekend can testify to that.”
All free events run by the Feast Pop Ups will now come under the Feast brand. There is one festival left this summer: The Feast by the Sea in Whitley Bay on 7 and 8 September.
The popular Proper Food and Drink Festivals – which were started by the Deakins in 2012 – will continue, but they will also be re-branded under the Feast banner and Bents Park is likely to stage the first event of 2020.
“As many retailers have found to their cost, you can’t stand still,” said Mark. “Our festivals have been really successful because we keep ringing the changes. People would soon lose interest if everything was the same year after year.”
“The link up with Nigel is great and we’re already looking at new opportunities. We want to take the Feast to different places and continue to provide an outlet for the growing number of local food and drink producers to demonstrate to the public how great they are,” added Shelley.
As well as forming Feast Pop Ups with Nigel, Mark and Shelley Deakin are about to announce details of another new business venture. They will be opening a Spanish/Ibizan themed tapas bar in North Tyneside later this year.