This Is Tomorrow, Newcastle’s biggest outdoor festival, has announced that it will be organising a free festival for NHS workers to ‘thank those individuals who are risking their lives to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic’.

‘This Is For The NHS’ festival will offer all NHS and care workers within Newcastle and Northumberland free tickets. 

The event will follow This Is Tomorrow festival, which includes headliners Sam Fender, Gerry Cinnamon and Royal Blood as well as a full festival line-up.

This is For the NHS is aiming to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, and The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Organised by SSD Concerts, the family-friendly festival will soon be releasing the line-up of  performers from both music and comedyall of whom will be donating their time to show their appreciation for frontline workers.

MD of the festival and Founder of SSD Concerts, Steve Davis, decided it would be ‘amazing to throw a huge party for the region’s NHS to celebrate their incredible work’ after working in the NHS for 18 years as a radiographic practitioner.

Davis said: “We’re donating This Is Tomorrow’s festival site to give NHS workers a big day out and say a massive thank you to the key workers who are putting their own health at risk to keep us all safe. 

“After speaking with former colleagues, I realised just how hard it has been for NHS workers. Considering the amount of risk that they have had to face on a daily basis and with the number of NHS staff that have died as a result of the disease, it is commendable that they have continued to go to work while everyone else has been able to stay safe at home. 

“The care workers also need to be recognised for the courageous protection of the elderly in care homes and hospices. I hope we can give them a day to remember with their colleagues in May.”

The festival plans to include a charity banquet dinner, prizes to be won and all proceeds from ticket sales are to be donated to the NHS.

Davis added: “The festival wants to give something back. We have been able to reschedule This Is Tomorrow festival, but without the incredible work being done by the NHS, the festival might never have gone ahead again, their hard work will ensure we get over this difficult time.”

SSD Concerts extended its thanks to Urban Green and The Freemen of Newcastle, saying that had been ‘incredibly supportive’ in setting up the event.

Cllr Ged Bell, Newcastle City Council cabinet member with the responsibility for special events, said: “NHS staff, care workers and everyone on the frontline battling coronavirus is doing an incredible job and going above and beyond what is expected of them every day.

I worked in the fire service for over 30 years and I can only imagine the pressures and struggles these courageous people are going through as they support some of Newcastle’s most vulnerable residents. They are heroes and it is important that we recognise them in every way we can.

This will be an incredible event and the Council will work closely with the organisers to make sure every step is taken to ensure the safety of festival goers, staff and performers. These major events will be building blocks for our cities eventual recovery from this crisis and will help the vibrant spirit of Newcastle thrive once again.  

Our city is known across the world for being able to put on a show, I know this will be a day to remember for frontline staff and their families.”

This Is For The NHS Festival will be taking place on 31 May 2021 at Exhibition Park, Newcastle. Tickets will be available from 22 May at 10 am, and will be completely free for NHS workers and care workers.

For more information and to buy tickets, click here.