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Headline acts bound for Hunter in 2023

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Always synonymous with great entertainment options, 2023 is looking even brighter for the former steel city and its surrounds, with big names set to take centre stage at many of the region’s best entertainment venues.

International headlines, food and wine events, festivals, comedy and kids concerts are all set to hit our shores soon after the calendar ticks over to a new year.

MEMORY LANE

Forty-something year-olds will want to dig out their short skirts and shoulder pads, tease the fringe and find the Fluro when some of the best 80s and 90s songsters find their way to our shores in 2023.

Richard Marx

Fans of 80’s singer songwriter Richard Marx will be hoping he brings his hits Endless Summer Nights, Satisfied and Should’ve Known Better when he takes to the stage at his NEX gig on 1 March.

Belinda Carlisle

Most famous for her Heaven is a Place on Earth album, Belinda Carlisle will be celebrating a 35-year music career with a show at Newcastle’s Civic Theatre on 29 November.

Sting

Then there are legendary artists like Sting. The former Police frontman will bring his timeless classics that span three decades to Bimbadgen in the Hunter Valley when he performs at A Day on the Green on 18 February.

Rod Stewart, Cyndi Lauper & Jon Stevens

Rod Stewart will be performing The Hits Australia tour at Roche Estate in the Hunter Valley on Saturday 1 April. 

The man behind the raspy voice that has made him one of the best selling artists of all time, will hit the stage for a two-hour songfest with special guests Cyndi Lauper and Jon Stevens.

Elton John

In a huge coup for the region, the Rocket Man himself, Elton John, will perform at McDonald Jones Stadium on 8 and 10 January.

The Farewell Yellow Brick Road: The Final Tour concert is expected to fill the venue’s 30,000 seats with locals and visitors, in what is rumoured to be the 75-year-old’s final Australian tour.

This will only be the second time the stadium has hosted a concert, the first was the Newcastle Earthquake Relief Concert in 1990.

Michael Buble

Forced to cancel his November Australian tour due to ‘global logistics’, multi-award winning Canadian singer Michael Buble will now bring his Higher Tour to Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Thursday 1 June.

Darren Hayes

One of Australia’s best singer-songwriters and performers, Darren Hayes will bring his Do You Remember tour to the Newcastle Entertainment Centre on 8 February, celebrating 25 years of Savage Garden and solo hits, old and new.

Newcastle 500 Supercars

SUPERCROSS

Adrenalin junkies are revved up about the return of the Newcastle 500 to the city’s streets 10-12 March. Although the staging of the season-opening race is still subject to approval from NSW Government agencies, Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes says the council supports the return of the event and the tourism it draws to the city.

British comedian Michael McIntyre is coming to Newcastle in 2023

FOR LAUGHS

Jimmy Carr

British-Irish comedian Jimmy Carr will showcase his unique deadpan humour at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre on 24 February when he hosts Terribly Funny.

Urzila Carlson

South African born New Zealand comedian and actress Urzila Carlson will perform her Just No! show at Newcastle’s Civic Theatre on 14 May.

Michael McIntyre

Guaranteed to bring the laughs to the NEC is UK’s funniest comedian Michael McIntyre who will be in the city presenting his show Jetlagged and Jolly on 20 June.

Dylan Moran

Irish comedian Dylan Moran is bringing his show We Got This to Newcastle Civic Theatre on Saturday 29 April, promising to be ‘a joyously furious romp through the frustration and folly of modern day life’.

British brothers Doctor Chris & Dr Xan will bring Operation Ouch to Newcastle in 2023.

KIDS

Operation Ouch

Operation Ouch twins Dr Chris and Dr Xand will bring their latest show Not for the Squeamish to the Civic Theatre on 22 January. All-new crazy experiments, mind blowing illusions and amazing facts will fill two shows at 1pm and 4pm.

Andy’s Amazing Adventure

Written and directed by Mister Maker, aka Phil Callagher, Andy’s Amazing Adventure is set to wow audiences at the Newcastle Civic Theatre on 24 January. Two sessions at 1pm and 4pm are set to bring laughs, learning, games and surprises all focused on creatures big and small, live and extinct.

Colour Frenzy

Kids of all ages will run, walk, stroll or push either 1km, 3km or 5km around Newcastle Foreshore on Sunday 7 May across obstacles and foam, splashing bubbles and throwing coloured dust everywhere they can while raising money for animal rescues.

FESTIVALS

Aussie line-up

Red Hot Summer 2023 will see big names like Paul Kelly. Bernard Fanning, Missy Higgins, Mark Seymour, Vika & Linda, Ian Moss, and Troy Cassar-Daley hit the stage amongst the vineyards at Roche Estate in the Hunter Valley on 25 March.

Lime Cordiale & Bliss N Eso

If hip hop and pop is more your thing Dalwood Estate is hosting Wine Machine on Saturday 18 March, welcoming names like Lime Cordiale, Bliss N Eso, Hot Dub Time Machine, Northeast Party House, KLP, GrentPerez, and The Poof Doof Drag Jamboree from 3pm to 10pm.

Beer & BBQ Festival

A big weekend of barbecued foods to taste, washed down with more than 40 different craft beers and ciders at Hope Estate in the Hunter Valley.

Gin & Jazz

The Hunter Valley Gin & Jazz Festival is returning to Hope Estate on Saturday 23 September, offering gin tastings, masterclasses, live music, wine, market, and food stalls from 10am to 5pm.

Coffee & Chocolate

The Aroma Coffee and Chocolate Festival will return to The Levee’s Riverside car park in Maitland Saturday and Sunday 12 and 13 August. Expert chocolatiers, talented baristas and the region’s finest winemakers will showcase their talents from 10am to 4pm both days. Workshops, talks, kitchen tricks, baking demonstrations, and plenty of coffee and chocolate, plus wine and craft beer, ciders and liqueurs will be on show at the annual event.

Airshow action

The Hunter Valley Airshow 2023 is promising more stunts and high-flying action than ever before. The two-day event, to be held at Cessnock Airport on Saturday and Sunday 25 and 26 March, is offering a weekend of family entertainment both on the ground and in the air. Activities will include aerobatics, historical warbirds, amusement rides, markets, a beer and wine garden, street food and live music. Visitors can take to the sky in a helicopter or adventure flight, take part in a paper aeroplane competition, jump in the virtual cockpit of a fighter jet or stay grounded and watch the non-stop airborne spectacular taking place overhead. Gates will open 9am to 5pm, with air displays 10.30am to 4.30pm.

The cast of Come From Away. photo: Jess Busby

BROADWAY

In a first for Newcastle, Broadway is coming to the city, with Come From Away hitting the stage at Newcastle Civic Theatre from 18 February to 5 March. The two-hour show shares the incredible real-life story of the 7,000 air passengers from all over the world who were grounded in Canada during the wake of 9/11, and the small Newfoundland community that invited these ‘come from aways’ into their lives.

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