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collage of images Clockwise from top left: Cook House, Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF), Disney’s Winnie the Pooh, Yorkshire Balloon Fiesta, Leeds Festival
What's on
August 2023
Reading time 4 Minutes

Fingers crossed for some sunshine soon, but whether the weather plays ball or not, there is still so much fun stuff to do this month

From great food and drink to fun festivals, award-winning shows and even a hot air balloon fiesta, here's what you'll want to do this August.
Yorkshire Balloon Fiesta

Take a sip…
Start the month as you mean to go on – with wine! Newcastle’s Cook House are hosting their inaugural wine fair on Sunday 6th August and it’s an opportunity to taste more than 100 wines from some of the best importers in the country. You can meet suppliers and producers, and there’ll be workshops and talks throughout the afternoon to book into. The terrace will also be in action, the barbecue will be lit with a menu designed by Long Friday x Cook House kitchens and the bar is open all day for drinks.

Up, up and away…
Castle Howard are hosting the Yorkshire Balloon Fiesta for the first time and it’s set to be a big one. From 25th–28th August, the action-packed family-friendly weekend will include mass balloon launches, iconic tethered balloons and spectacular night glow displays, with more than 50 balloons expected from across Europe. There’s also a star-studded line-up of musicians across multiple stages, including Eurovision’s Sam Ryder, and activities across the weekend will include a fun fair, famous TV character meet and greets, and the world’s largest inflatable assault course, before the Fiesta’s spectacular finalé on Monday evening.

Time travel…
Kynren – An Epic Tale of England has returned to its spectacular outdoor stage in Bishop Auckland and there are shows every Saturday throughout August. From Boudicca’s battles with the Romans to two World Wars, our history is told through stunning stunts, equestrianism and pyrotechnics, inviting you to embark on a thrilling journey through 2,000 years of history, myth and legend. This family-friendly, multi award-winning live action show is a North East cultural highlight.

Read More: Our Round-up of North East Comedy Nights and Gigs You'll Want to Book this August

Leeds Festival

Sing it loud…
Leeds Festival is back at Bramham Park from 25th–27th August and with headliners Billie Eilish, Sam Fender and The Killers joined by The 1975, Mimi Webb and Rina Sawayama, there’s an electric lineup of artists to see. There are various stages to hop between so we recommend carefully planning where you need to be and when. You won’t want to miss the BBC Music Introducing stage where you can see up-and-coming stars perform before anyone else. Tickets for Leeds Fest are selling fast so make sure to grab yours soon.

Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF) is back this weekend (3rd–6th August) with a jam-packed programme of street theatre, dance, music and outdoor arts performances in the heart of the town (both in the centre and by the river) to entertain the whole family. This year’s official launch show is the spectacular Perceptions by Bivouac and the ever-popular Community Carnival will parade down the High Street on Sunday, ending at Trinity Green.

Go Greener…
On Sunday 20th August, Pollen Market host their monthly botanical spectacular along the Grey to Green corridor in Sheffield's Castlegate district, and there’s something for everyone. This inner-city flower market offers a mega mix of market traders so whether you pick up fresh or died florals, a new plant pot or GYO herbs, you won’t leave empty-handed. As well as an abundance of gorgeous greenery, each event also brings together live music and art, and lots of local produce, along with a selection of street food.

Read More: How to Pack for a Festival on a Budget

Disney’s Winnie the Pooh

Make memories…
Younger audiences are in for a real treat as Disney’s Winnie the Pooh is coming to Newcastle Theatre Royal from 7th–9th August. Deep in the Hundred Acre Wood, a new adventure is about to happen. A.A. Milne’s beloved characters Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin and their best friends Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit and Owl (and Tigger too!), will all arrive on stage in a beautifully-crafted musical stage adaptation. The story is told with impressive life-size puppetry, exciting new stories and featuring characters that have played iconic roles in the lives of children for generations. 

Help out…
Do something good this weekend by taking part in a local beach clean. From tiny micro-plastics to tangles of deadly rubbish, marine pollution is threatening the amazing wildlife both in the sea and along our coastline. As part of their Waves of Waste programme, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust organise beach clean events up and down the coast and there are a number to take part in this month. With cleans in North Bridlington on the 5th and Scarborough on the 7th, head down to your nearest beach clean to help out.

Read More: The Best New Paperbacks to Buy Now

Eat up…
There are a number of foodie events taking place throughout August, from Seaham Food Festival from 4th–6th August, to Malton’s on the 26th and 27th. For those in Newcastle, on Friday 4th August Jesmond Dene House are teaming up with North Shore Coffee to host their own Neighbourhood BBQ. Meanwhile in Yorkshire, leading street food event Peddler Market are bringing their expertise to Wakefield with a launch at Tileyard North on 18th and 19th. Visit for more food and drink inspiration and recommendations across the North East and Yorkshire.

Watch it…
With the football pre-season over, the North East’s football action starts in August for the region’s teams. Middlesbrough take on Millwall on the 5th, before Sunderland face Ipswich Town the day after. Then on the 12th a strong Newcastle United team will play Aston Villa at St. James’ Park. Meanwhile, an iconic racing occasion that delivers year after year is the Ebor Festival at York Racecourse 23rd–26th August. It’s a highlight of the summer racing calendar and a fabulous day out with an abundance of great food and drink, and huge crowds. But make no mistake, the racing here is out of the very top drawer too.

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