In 2015 ¡VAMOS! presents it’s 10th edition and since 2006 has delivered 380 events to a total audience of over 300,000.
It is supported by Newcastle University, Arts Council England, The Mexican Embassy and Instituto Cervantes.
In celebrating Spanish and Portuguese speaking cultures, it combines cuisine, art, film, theatre, dance, music, literature, fashion, sport and education offering an international festival appealing to partners and diverse mainstream audiences.
- Promote appreciation and understanding of other cultures
- Offer work experience opportunities for young people, students and graduates and support North East graduate retention
- Open cultural institutions and venues to everybody helping to increase accessibility and enjoyment of local resources
- Position the region as location for world-class culture and professionally delivered cultural events
- Develop new partnerships and simpler links between artists, venues and institutions
- Offer performance and commission opportunities and extra promotion of artists
- Engage and excite the North East Lusophone and Spanish speaking community via the festival
- Use the festival programme to highlight Newcastle University's world class research and talent
- Develop flagship projects that the community can take ownership of and become embedded in the region
- Foster deeper relationships with embassies, festivals, artists, academic institutions, media partner and corporate sponsors
- Link North East artists with national and international artists for greater learning
2014 presented exclusive commissions with artists Flavio Morais and AVAF, the ¡VAMOS! Pavillion and #LocoHero photo stand. There were live performances by Jaleo Flamenco, Son Yambu, Da Lata and Mexican Wrestling. Also an International Conference featuring Gabriela Weirner and Daniel Alercon, pop-up restaurants and supper-clubs plus the Mardi Gras carnival! The combined total audience was over 28, 000.
2013 presented exclusive commissions with artists Derlon, Juan Pablo Echeverri and Felipe Mujica, performances from Tulipa Ruiz, Cumbé, Los Chinches, film premieres, world renowned guest speakers like Paul Preston, sell-out pop-up restaurants and outdoor carnivals! The combined total audience was over 100,000.
¡VAMOS! 2012 spanned 6 weeks, with 59 events in 35 venues and included a series of commissions developed with curator Pablo León de la Barra with Jaime Gili, Arto Lindsay and Ximena Garrido-Lecca. Alongside this were talks, UK film premieres, food events and more. The total combined audience was 80,000 . Feedback from our audience included, “Unlike any other local festival, far exceeding the quality of nearest competition”. Check the video sampler here.
A 10 day programme with Patricia Oliart joining the team, with a total attendance of 26,000 presented large scale picnic, club Djs, talks, food events and a commission with the world famous Danza Contemporanea de Cuba. The Guardian commented, “!VAMOS! has taken the idea of a Latin Cultural Festival to a whole new level”. Check the short edit here.
Back with a weekender edition, ¡VAMOS! 2009 showcased exhibitions, talks, education programmes and a closing party in a swimming pool!
A 10 day programme packed with over 40 events, working over 20 partners we presented beach parties, dance commissions, international visual artists Los Super Elegantes, Peter Kennard and Murray Close plus a Guinness World Record attempt at the biggest Salsa dance! View the video sampler here.
¡VAMOS! returned for a Weekender edition, with capacity crowds, concerts, exhibitions and films. 75% of the audience was new showing continued growth!
Launching in July 2006, the first ¡VAMOS! presented 77 performances, 168 artists to a total combined audience of 10,000. Junot Diaz winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, said, “Primarily people wanted more of everything! More artists, more countries represented, more music, more food!” View the video sampler or the programme here.
¡VAMOS! is delivered by a passionate team. If you’d like to contribute get in touch!
Nikolas created ¡VAMOS! in 2003 and early on linked with Ian Biddle and Dr. Vanessa Knights from Newcastle University. The festival was developed over the following three years. Nikolas works on festival development, delivery, commissioning, fundraising, design and promotion.
Patricia contributed to one of the best events of the first edition in 2006 (the Martín Chambi exhibition at SIDE Gallery) and since then has contributed inspiring ideas, partnerships and programming. After the 2008 edition she came on board in a more formal capacity to help drive the festival forward. Since then the festival has established richer partnerships and diversity and strengthened it’s ties with Newcastle University.
Sara has worked closely with ¡VAMOS! since 2006 and has recently joined ¡VAMOS! as Creative Producer. Focussed on the development of the Mardi Gras and Paladares projects with an emphasise on the education, programming and event management she is an inspiring and driven team player.
Jill has worked closely on the festival since 2006 and has been vital in ensuring all the events are delivered smoothly and always with a friendly face! She is a huge asset to the festival and to cultural events in the region generally.
Since arriving in the North East she has blazed a trail with grass roots driven musical performances as part of her group Hannabiell and the Ladies of Midnight Blue. She is a performer, composer, producer and all round visionary. She is the lead musician for the ¡VAMOS! Mardi Gras project.
Yilis is a multi disciplinary artist working as a visual artist, costume maker and musician as part of Hannabiell and and the Ladies of Midnight Blue. Yilis is also our costume director for the ¡VAMOS! Mardi Gras project.
Yuvel is a dancer and artist, originally from Bolivia. He was one of the founders of the Tyne Carnival and is the lead choreographer for the ¡VAMOS! Mardi Gras project. Yuvel also teaches Zumba throughout the region.
Paco has been an integral part of the team since the first edition of ¡VAMOS! Paco helped establish the Peña Flamenca events at Dance City in 2011 and Paco has performed and delivered countless additional projects for ¡VAMOS! Ever inspiring and equally talented he is a huge asset to the team.
Richard Berg Rust
Richard Berg Rust (Fellow, Hughes Hall, Cambridge University) has been Development Advisor to ¡VAMOS! since 2012 and has been integral in increasing the impact, scale and ambition of the organisation.