The two trophies on the Quayside
The two trophies on the Quayside


With the biggest weekend in rugby coming to Newcastle in May, the city’s famed Quayside will transform into a festival-like fan village for people to make the most of the party atmosphere. 


St James’ Park is hosting the finals of the Heineken Champions Cup on Saturday May 11, and the European Rugby Challenge Cup the night before, bringing some of Europe’s biggest teams, and thousands of their supporters, to Newcastle for one spectacular weekend. 


For the tens of thousands of spectators expected, those not fortunate enough to get hands on tickets and locals simply out to make the most of the occasion, the EPCR Champions Rugby Village will be the place to be. 


With music from local band Smoove & Turrell, Hyde Park Brass and a soon-to-be-announced special headline act, other performers and activities as well as food and drink stations, there will be almost constant action from the moment it opens on Thursday May 9 until it closes with a stunning fireworks display on the Saturday night. 


One of the prime attractions will undoubtedly be an exhilarating zip wire suspended from the iconic Tyne Bridge down to the Quayside which people will be able to book to experience. There will also street theatre and rugby activities – including the chance to try kick a ball across the Tyne – and a mainstage hosted by media partner Heart North East. 


Michelle Percy, Newcastle City Council’s acting director of place, said: “The excitement for the Newcastle Finals weekend has been building for months now and is almost tangible as we’re just weeks away. 


“The city is dressed for the occasion and we’re starting to see some of the amazing attractions that are going to be available to those who come to share in what will be a memorable weekend. 


“The Champions Rugby Village is in a stunning setting on the Quayside and I can’t wait to see masses of supporters making the most of what will be on offer. 


“We’ve worked hard with partners at Newcastle United, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, European Professional Club Rugby and Newcastle Falcons and now we’re all eagerly anticipating the weekend coming around.” 


The Champions Rugby Village, and other fan enclosures in the city, will result in some road closures during the weekend of the matches. Full details of these will be released soon. 


Other fan activation zones will also be operating across the weekend including a local food and craft market at Monument, activities with Pride at Baltic Square and Spectator Plaza at Strawberry Place and St James’ Metro Car Park.