The best events and festivals inform and inspire as well as entertain and there is nothing else locally like the Black Huts Festival for widening horizons.
Now in its fifth year, The Black Huts programme was as strong, varied and thought provoking as ever.
The festival covers music and film but also has poetry and writing at its heart.
Thursday night, at the Electric Palace, was a heady mix of rare film shorts, puppetry and performance.
It was also a showcase of the local talent we have, not least Rebecca E Marshall, who surely deserves wider recognition for her work.
She presented a haunting film of an old woman who lives a solitary existence, fending for herself in a Siberian forest and who went 38 years without seeing another human being.
Beautifully shot, Rebecca’s film was a meditation on the nature of solitude, time and eternity and watching it was a transformative experience.
There was also a short film of re-discovered Northumbrian modernist poet Basil Bunting reading from his work.
Black Huts creates worlds within worlds. The arts community owes a debt to poet and publisher Nicholas Johnson, who created the festival as a labour of love and works almost single-handedly to produce it each year.
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