Tyne & Wear

Great North Exhibition city residents' tickets sell out

Water sculpture Image copyright Eyelevel
Image caption The "water sculpture" on the Tyne will be a highlight of the exhibition

Residents' tickets for the opening ceremony of the Great Exhibition of the North sold out within an hour.

People living in Gateshead and Newcastle were given access to the tickets ahead of their general release.

Some tickets were showing as unavailable within 20 minutes, with the whole allocation sold out by 11:00 BST.

The 11-week festival, whose opening ceremony is on 22 June, will celebrate "great art, culture, design and innovation from the north of England".

Great Exhibition of the North executive director Carol Bell they were "really excited" to see the tickets go quickly.

Chiefs pull out

"We hope that many more people will register to come along and celebrate the start of what is going to be an amazing summer in true Northern style," she said.

The festival's opening ceremony will feature live music and a huge fountain display on the River Tyne.

This 80m long water feature, reaching the height of the Tyne Bridge, will be soundtracked by compositions by Maximo Park and Kate Rusby with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Darkstar.

The Kaiser Chiefs announced on Tuesday they had pulled out of the event.

Organisers said they had no more information in addition to the band's tweet.

About 50% of the 20,500 tickets have been allocated for early release, the rest will be made available to the general public on Tuesday.

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