The ¡Vamos! Festival, founded in 2006 by Ian Biddle (ICMuS), Nik Barrera and Vanessa Knights, is an annual festival of music, art, film, theatre, dance, literature, cuisine, fashion, sport and education. The festival brings together artists and practitioners from all over the world to celebrate Spanish  and Portuguese speaking global cultures. From its inception, the festival has showcased a diverse range of cultural materials and practices, brought a new understanding of these global cultures to Newcastle-based audiences, and facilitated the establishment and consolidation of a range of local and global partnerships. Partners include Newcastle University, The Sage Gateshead, Northumbria University, Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside Councils, The Spanish Government, The Mexican Government (see here for more) and was funded by Newcastle University, Arts Council England, The Instituto Camões, The Spanish Embassy to the UK and others.

Ian Biddle was active in ¡Vamos! up to 2011 and had had a key role in the first three festivals, drawing on his research expertise in Hispanic and Lusophone musical cultures, and contributing to the programming and organisation.

To date, the festival has achieved total audience figures exceeding 45,000.

For a full list of previous festival editions, see here.