With the summer-long arts festival kicking off next week, singers, artists and curators share their favourite places in Newcastle and the wider region

I came up the A19 from Teesside to Tyneside as a student and never left. Newcastle is a compact city, and very manageable on foot. If you breach the city limits you can walk across the Town Moor to clear your head, a huge open space that brackets the north of the city, with only free-roaming cattle for company. If you need an independent substitute for your Greggs fix, Pink Lane Bakery provides homemade pasties, cakes and vegan treats. Across the road is the Amnesty Bookshop, which always has interesting stock. For secondhand vinyl, try RPM and Beatdown Records. Culture-wise, check out the Cluny, an excellent music venue; the Star & Shadow, a leftfield, volunteer-run cinema and event space; and Workplace Gallery in Gateshead, which hosts up-and-coming artists and the occasional “happening”.
Maximo Park play the sold-out opening event on 22 June; Paul Smith DJs at the Parental Guidance Party at Sage Gateshead, 1 July, free, sagegateshead.com

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