AV Festival is a leading international Festival of contemporary art, film and music, based in North East England. A biennial event, the Festival is thematically curated to engage audiences with current ideas across contemporary artistic practice and wider society.
The Festival commissions new work, and curates thematic strands of internationally significant existing work, presented in an imaginative new context. Our commissions provide the opportunity for artists to make ambitious and risk-taking new work, in a variety of site-specific locations and venues.
We work with established and emerging artists, who relate to each Festival theme in an engaging and critical way. We are committed to working with artists who are innovative and experimental in their approach to contemporary visual art, film, moving image, media art, music and sound.
AV Festival takes place simultaneously across the region in around 30 venues and public sites, primarily in Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and Middlesbrough. Since 2012 the Festival has been a month-long in duration, previously it was a ten-day event. Each Festival consists of around 15 new commissions, 50 film screenings, 20 exhibitions, 15 concerts plus seminars, talks and workshops; presenting the work of approx.140 artists.
The Festival is built on collaboration and partnership working and has a strong network of supporters locally, nationally and internationally. Partners include major regional visitor attractions and venues, artist-led spaces, Universities, and heritage sites, including: BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, The Sage Gateshead, mima, Tyneside Cinema, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art.
Past editions of the Festival have taken place biennially since 2006, with a pilot edition in 2003. We have seen festival-on-festival growth in visitor figures from 6,395 in 2003 to 94,096 in 2012. Each Festival trains and deploys approx.140 volunteers, with the majority feeling that volunteering improved their future employability, studies or training.
92% of our audience rated the quality of the last Festival as good or outstanding. We also make a strong economic impact to the region. In 2012 we attracted 24% of visitors from outside the region, contributed £516k GVA to the local economy, and achieved a return on investment of £2.88 for every £1 of public funding received.
AV Festival has been critically acclaimed nationally, which in 2012 included positive reviews in The Guardian, Sight & Sound, Art Monthly, The Wire, Frieze, Afterall, The Quietus and Artforum. In his Guardian article Sukhdev Sandhu described us as “One of the most imaginative festivals to be staged in the UK for many years.”
AV Festival has previously commissioned and worked with artists including:
Kenneth Anger, Martin Arnold, artificiel, Autechre, Craig Baldwin, Vicki Bennett, James Benning, Sonia Boyce, Chris Carter & Cosey Fanni Tutti, Oron Catts, Marcus Coates, Cluster, Attila Csihar, Gina Czarnecki, Hanne Darboven, Rhodri Davies, Manon de Boer, Lav Diaz, Graham Dolphin, Evelina Domnitch & Dmitry Gelfand, Benedict Drew, FM Einheit, Jem Finer, Cyprien Gaillard, John Gerrard, Kenneth Goldsmith, Graham Harwood, Felix Hess, Joyce Hinterding, Harun Farocki, Richard Fenwick, Alec Finlay, Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard, Hamish Fulton, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Suguru Goto, Andy Gracie, Ryoji Ikeda, Atsuhiro Ito, Fred Kelemen, Zilvinas Kempinas, Felix Kubin, Steve Kurtz, Torsten Lauschmann, Pe Lang, Liliane Lijn, Sharon Lockhart, Anthony McCall, Julien Maire, Kaffe Matthews, Gustav Metzger, Agnes Meyer-Brandis, Elizabeth McAlpine, Yuko Mohri, Alan Moore, Phill Niblock, Carsten Nicolai, Michael Nyman, Stephen O'Malley, On Kawara, Charlemagne Palestine, Lee Patterson, Marko Peljhan, Jean-Jacques Perry, Rick Prelinger, Ken Rinaldo, Kate Rich, Ben Rivers, Ben Russell, Aura Satz, Jonathan Schipper, Semiconductor, Iain Sinclair, John Smith, Steven Stapleton, Simon Fisher Turner, Staalplaat Soundsystem, Susan Stenger, Yoshi Wada, Chris Watson, Jana Winderen, and :zoviet*france:
+44 (0)191 261 4949
Alderman Fenwick's House
98-100 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle upon Tyne
AV Festival is run by Audio Visual Arts North East. Limited company registered in England 06141603. Registered charity number 1120368.