Press Office


Latin fever hits Newcastle as ¡VAMOS! Festival begins


Carnival is coming to to campus this weekend as this year’s ¡VAMOS! Festival gets underway.

A Mardi Gras parade, featuring hundreds of local school children, costumed performers, dancers and musicians, will head along Northumberland Street before ending on the Students’ Union lawn for performances and an afternoon of free activities and a fiesta of live music.

The procession will move to music commissioned and composed by Newcastle University PhD student and award-winning trombonist, Hannabiell Sanders (pictured), who will perform with her group Hannabiell and Midnight Blue. Other musicians include Cuban Son band Son Yambu and tango group Duo Norteño. 

This is the ninth year ¡VAMOS! has taken place in Newcastle, which celebrates Spanish and Portuguese speaking cultures and is delivered in partnership with the University. Highlights this year include international act Jaleo Flamenco from Seville; an exclusive immersive Almodovar film screening; Mexican wrestling and an outdoor family picnic with a Portuguese and Brazilian Festa de Juninas theme.

Professor Ella Ritchie, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University, said:“¡VAMOS! Festival brings an international dimension to the life of Newcastle that aligns well with the University’s own aims and we are very proud to once again play a part in its continued success. Its brave and exciting programming attracts highly regarded artists and practitioners to the city and many of our staff and students will be contributing with their knowledge, talent and passion during the public launch and the range of events being hosted on campus.”

For the first time, an international literary conference will be held as part of the festival. Fiction, non-fiction and new journalism: The arts of storytelling in the Spanish and Portuguese speaking worlds, will be held on Friday 20 June and Saturday 21 June at the Great North Museum: Hancock, and Culture Lab.  It will bring together international writers and academics  including  Javier de Isusi, Basque author of graphic novels including Los Viajes de Juan Sin Tierra; journalist, poet and performer Gabriela Wiener who is the chief editor of Marie Claire in Spain, and Spanish/Argentinian journalist and photo journalist Leonardo Faccio, author of an acclaimed biography of footballer Lionel Messi.

Dr Patricia Oliart, ¡VAMOS! Festival Co-Director and lecturer in Latin American Studies at Newcastle University, said: “This is going to be a very special version of ¡VAMOS! Festival. We are also very proud to host the first conference in the UK on New Journalism and Narrative in Latin America with three very special international guests.”

¡VAMOS! runs until Sunday 22 June 2014.

published on: 6 June 2014