Biggest NARC. Fest Ever

Ouseburn Festival's Musical Arm Reaches Out!

A whopping 10 venues across the valley boasted a range of music, spoken word and comedy as part of this year’s Ouseburn Festival this weekend.

NARC. Festival is a long established staple of the programme and traditionally offers festival goers a night of top notch (and free) entertainment from local talent.

Of course NARC. is first and foremost a magazine, distributed locally at music and arts venues. Whether you’re moshing away in The Cluny or sipping a quiet pint in The Cumberland, it’s likely a copy of the magazine is never too far away.

Read All About It! June's edition of NARC. Magazine

Read All About It! June’s edition of NARC. Magazine

For editor and founder Claire Dupree, the offer to coordinate the first NARC. Festival came at just the right time.

“I’ve been doing the festival for about five or six years now,” she said. “I’d always wanted to put together a multi-venue event, and the Ouseburn Festival committee were in need of someone to help programme music, so it just fit really.”

The publication has a number of strong ties with the valley. Not only are its offices based in Maling Court, the pages are full of events and gigs happening around the Ouseburn – only natural for a publication that lifts the lid on local talent.

“The festival is really a marketing exercise to get NARC. out there and tell people about the magazine and hopefully to support live music in the region,” explained Claire.

“I like to make the music as broad as possible, but always keeping a consideration to our readership. So I guess a lot of the bands that play the festival are likely to be bands you’ve read about in the magazine already (or will in the future). I have to consider which venues fit which bands too – some pubs are more known for certain sorts of music – a heavy metal band wouldn’t work in the Cumberland Arms, for example!”

Fitting in with the strong community spirit associated with Ouseburn Festival, bands and venues annually chip in to help Claire organise events.

The delightful Cornshed Sisters performed at the Free Trade

The delightful Cornshed Sisters performed at the Free Trade

“I’m fortunate that I don’t have to do it all myself,” she explained.

“Many of the venues help to programme their own stages, but some prefer to leave it to me to deal with. It starts with a ‘wish list’ and goes from there really.”

This year saw the introduction of two new stages. Cycle Hub became the venue for an evening of performance poetry, while comedian Simon Buglass worked in association with NARC. to present a programme of stand-up comedy at The Cluny 2.

“I’ve been very grateful to Creased Comedy and Gigglebeats for creating such a wonderful stage – it was their idea in the first place!,” Claire said.

“We’ve also got a spoken word stage in conjunction with Apples & Snakes too, so that’s yet another string to our bow!”

NARC. Fest 2013, just like the Ouseburn Festival as a whole, was undoubtedly bigger and better than ever before. And while Keep Your Eyes Open, NARC.’s online hub for the last couple of years, is drawing to a close, the magazine is going nowhere.

As long as Ouseburn continues to offer such a vibrant music and arts scene, you can rest assured NARC. will be there!

Below: A map of the locations where you can grab yourself a copy of NARC. Magazine.

View NARC Magazine Locations in a larger map