The Gathering Sounds: All you need to know for one day Teesside festival

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For its fifth edition, the much-loved festival of emerging music The Gathering Sounds has pulled out all the stops to bring its biggest and best line up to date to venues across Stockton.

The Gathering Sounds is a multi-venue festival taking place in six venues.

ARC at Stockton Ars Centre on Dovecot Street will house the main stage, while the venue’s smaller ARC 2 stage will play host to the celebrated live music promoter Under The Influence which is returning to The Gathering Sounds for its third year as programming partner.

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Featuring some of the event’s biggest names is KU, Stockton’s favourite independent venue. Meanwhile, the KU’s new sister venue The Social Room is kicking off its debut season with an impressive roster of up-and-coming musical talent.

Skinner Brothers.Skinner Brothers.
Skinner Brothers.

Taking over The Storytellers – also located on Dovecot Street – is major UK promoter and a festival programming partner, This Feeling.

The final venue is the beautiful Grade II listed venue, the Geogrian Theatre. As one of the oldest Georgian provincial theatres in the country, it will make for a historic backdrop for some incredible music.

Headlining the KU mainstage are The Skinner Brothers, who plan to bring their gritty rogue soldier approach to music and swagger-filled tracks to Stockton. Joining the Brothers are The Clause, who will bring their heady mix of indie disco, 60s fashion, 80s influence and 90s edge for a real night of modern nostalgia. Joining the KU pool will be legends-in-the-making Fat Dog, Casino, The Molotovs, House of Wolves, Dawks & Northern Hospitality.

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Headlining Stockton’s latest unique hangout spot, The Social Roonm, is Zuzu, Liverpool’s latest sci-fi obsessed export whose gaming addiction and topical storytelling has fused together to create a truly 21st century popstar.

Joining Zuzu are the ever-electrifying Mexican Dogs, who masterfully combine their old rock ‘n’ roll attitude with a modern day mindset to create riffs and rhythms that will have the whole venue on their feet.

Rolla, a Mancunian rock ‘n’ roll quintet whose ferocious live show reputation and intense sonic signature precedes them. Joining Rolla is The Utopiates, a rising indie-rock outfit whose unique brand of groove-laden powerhouse indie guarantees to push boundaries.

With its commitment to championing local bands, the region’s top up and coming acts will be opening a majority of the stages. The Redroom, High Tide, Northern Hospitality, Waves of Dread are all set to perform at earlier slots in the day.

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There will also be local talent playing big slots like Finn Forster, headliners Komparrison and of course, ARC headliner, Andrew Cushin.

From 2pm, Stockton’s favourite music venues and bars will light up with live music. Each venue will see up to eight acts take to the stage, finishing off with KU headliners The Skinner Brothers.

Festival organiser Jimmy Beck says there is “something for everyone” at this year’s event.

For pop fanatics, Zuzu and Zela are Beck’s top picks. For fans of heavier music, he says Fat Dog are the band not to miss. “They make a lot of noise and their debut single received a big reception,” Beck says.

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“Or, The Skinner Brothers at KU is guaranteed to be a mental end to the festival if their last gig is anything to go by.”

“If indie-rock is more your thing there's The Clause or Bedroom High Club. Ruby J and The Molotovs are something totally different, like a callback to past eras of music.”

How to get there

Stockton can be reached via public transport with buses going straight into the town centre from across the North East. Stockton and Thornaby train stations are both walking distance from the town centre.

For those driving, there is parking across the road from and behind KU as well as limited street parking around the venues.

Food and drink

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There are bars at every venue. For food, ticket holders can head to Storytellers, ARC and Georgian Theatre who will offer food throughout the event.

Aside from the event’s venues, Beck’s local recommendation is Shawarma City which offers the “best kebabs around.”


All venues are accessible with a wheelchair apart from The Social Room which can only be accessed by stairs due to the age of the building.

The Gathering Sounds will take place on 30 September across Stockton.

Tickets for the full day are priced at £22.50 including booking fee.

For more information and to buy tickets, head to:

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