Jun 28 2012

RIVERSIDE – The True Story of a Truly Independent Music Venue

David Bowie at Riverside during his 1997 tour

For 14 years – from 1985 to 1999 – Riverside was Newcastle’s ultimate gig venue. Playing host to the likes of Nirvana, David Bowie, Radiohead, The Pixies and Pearl Jam as well as a host of other global superstars, the region’s music fans would flock to the intimate venue on Melbourne Street to see some of the best live performances ever to have graced the City.  With a capacity of just under 900 it was the smallest venue on David Bowie’s 1997 tour, Nirvana played their first ever UK show there in 1989 and live on national radio, Oasis’ 94’ gig had to be stopped after an audience member ‘lamped’ Noel on onstage.

These are just some of the memories that will be immortalised in a forthcoming documentary about Riverside. Following the publication of their book ‘Riverside: Newcastle’s Legendary Alternative Music Venue’ in 2011, authors Hazel Plater and Carl Taylor have teamed up with local film makers Carol Lynnn, Ashley Horner and Production Company Pinball Film to make what they describe as “A beautiful and visually ambitious music documentary covering the roots of grunge to the birth of dance.” But first, they need your help…

Earlier this month was the official launch night of a ‘crowdfunding’ campaign to raise around £3000 to ensure they can cover the costs of star interviews as well as HD film quality production. Following the ‘collective’ ethos of the venue itself, the filmmakers see this as an opportunity for those that enjoyed Riverside over the years to come together and contribute to the creation of the film. Those that do donate receive ‘perks’ ranging from signed copies of the book, official Riverside Tote bags and invites to the official premier.

The team set themselves 30 days to reach their target and there are less than 20 days left! So far they have raised a third of the target but need your help to get up to £3000 before 15th July.

You can view a trailer for the documentary, which includes rock icons such as Henry Rollins recall their memories of the venue at below. Go to to make a donation.


You can  follow the campaign on Twitter @rivfilm and use the hashtag #rivfilm to tweet your Riverside recollections.

“Newcastle upon Tyne today is a different place because of Riverside.  Its legacy is the city’s vibrant independent music scene.”

1 comment

  1. Elizabeth Killoran

    The Riverside was a real haven for those of us who loved the true indie music scene in the late 1980s/early 90s. It was legendary & fabulous and, if I remember correctly, a co-operative. Just a great place to go. This documentary will be a fabulous way to recognise a real regional treasure.

Comments have been disabled.


Fun Mini Golf hire for your event - More Details