Cheers Issue 71

Here we are at the middle of the year and looking forward to a cracking summer. June is the month of the Summer Solstice, the time when the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky when seen from the North or South Pole. It generally marks the end of spring and the beginning of summer and is interpreted by holidays, festivals and rituals, some of which in ancient times were associated with religion and fertility. Hopefully one of those will be the ritual of dressing like a postie – in freedom-flaunting shorts and polo shirts.

It’s also beer garden time; al fresco drinking and dining and slapping on the Factor 30. But don’t forget the pubs with no outside area – often the coolest place to be (in every sense of the phrase) in hot, dry weather is indoors among the handpulls and keg taps.

To celebrate the uplift of optimism and wellbeing that summer brings (caution: this was written before the result of the General Election was known), we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of gigs and festivals that will illuminate the coming months. Save them in your diary and we might see you there.

Elsewhere, we’re reporting on the great and not-so-great aspects of the pub industry; stories from the North East peppered with those from further afield such as India and Russia – with a page full of readers saying “cheers”. We’re looking at the region from another angle, listening to what music has to offer, and being amazed at the inventiveness of our pubs and publicans.

Enjoy yourself, go to the pub – inside or out – but go easy on the shorts and polo shirt ritual. Not all of us are honed and tanned posties.
Alastair Gilmour
Editor, Cheers North East

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