GMC Presents: AN EXHIBITION  “To explore the legacy of Tyne and Wear Youth Music Collectives and identify engagement methods to inform current and future practice.”

For the 3 weeks between October 21st – November 11th at Newcastle Contemporary Art, High Bridge Works, 31-39 High Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1EW (fully accessible).  Thursday – Saturday, 12 – 5pm

The exhibition has epherma, images and stories from the Gateshead and Sunderland Music Collectives and their venues the  Garage, Station and the Bunker
A programme of  guest speakers, workshops and interviews are in the planning stages,  watch this space.  

We have a gofundme set up now : – all donations are welcome!

In the early 80’s  DIY music collectives formed in Sunderland (Sunderland Musicians Collective) and Gateshead (Gateshead Music Collective), bothfrustrated by the lack of space available for practicing, recording and playing live music. Both negotiated the use of buildings, The Bunker and The Station respectively.

These spaces were heavily indebted to punk and DIY with its emphasis on active participation in culture in contrast to the traditionally hierarchical division between performer and spectator. The GMC arose from those involved with the Garage venue in Newcastle (1980 -1981). A successful working  model had been achieved upon its closure the GMC / Station was the next step. Punk in the North East grew out of a lot of anger and disenchantment,as the rapid de-industrialisation of the area reduced opportunities for work for young people.  Punk gave a sense of agency to resist systemic issues at the local level.

Having a space to practice and play gigs gave respite from the unrelenting socio- economic conditions of the time and opened participants to co-operative and collectivist structures, allowing them to explore ideological alternatives to the status quo.

This concept of DIY collectivism and participation is alive and well locally to this day, we can see this in practice at the collectively / volunteer run Star and Shadow Cinema / Venue (the current incarnation of local alternative cinema culture timeline stretching back to the 1960s). Through the continuing existence of the Bunker celebrating its 40th anniversary, as well as the more recently opened (2022) Lubber Fiend venue, there are no doubt many more examples we’re missing here too..

An aim of this exhibition and associated events 40 years on from our collectives formation is to explore that legacy and the impact it has had on peoples lives as part of our living cultural history, and as it says above ‘to inform current and future practice’

If you’ve any input on this:  photos /art/ words / opinion / contributions –   contact:  [email protected]  

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