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The Sage, Gateshead

From To Details  
10:30 14:00 Registration, Robing and Photography  
13:45 14.15 Auditorium doors open; Graduates and Guests to be seated by 14.15
14:00 14:30 Pre-ceremony musical programme
14:30 15:45 Ceremony takes place
15:45 16:30 Refreshments available and robes to be returned to the robing point

On the day

Arrival and registration

You can arrive at The Sage Gateshead at any time from 10.30 am onwards, although we recommend that you allow at least an hour in order to collect your robes and have photographs taken. On arrival please come to the Open University reception desk next to the cloakroom on the main concourse level to register and collect your seat tickets. All seats will be pre-allocated. 


Robes will be available for collection between 10.30 am and 2.00 pm on Level 2. Please have your robing ticket ready. 

Details of gowns can be found under Helpful info.

The ceremony

Graduates will be seated in presentation order at the front of the hall. Guest seating is allocated in the back of the hall or on the two balconies. Graduates are presented alphabetically in order of award category. Open University staff will be available to help you find your space. The ceremony is expected to last between 1½ - 2 hours. 


The photographers will be available between 10.30 am and 17.00 in the Barbour Room on Level B. 

Details of the service provided by Ede and Ravenscroft Photography Ltd can be found under Helpful info.


There is a short flight of steps from the auditorium to the stage, but there is wheelchair access to the stage for graduates from the auditorium through a side door leading directly onto the stage; assistance will be available as necessary on the day.

Graduates and guests with special requirements should contact us in advance of the ceremony on 0191 477 6100 or email: We can then ensure that any necessary arrangements are put in place and that you are allocated to suitable seats. Please do not hesitate to ask a member of staff if you need any assistance on the day.

Venue information


If you have any queries about the ceremony, please contact the Ceremonies Centre on 01908 653003 (option 2) or email us at


Sage Gateshead
Gateshead Quays
NE8 2YR 


The location


Sage Gateshead is the international centre for music designed by Norman Foster and opened in 2004. It is part of the redevelopment of Gateshead Quays, including the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge. 

Overnight stay

Information about accommodation in the area can be found at or through local tourist information offices.  You can telephone the accommodation booking service on 0191 440 5757.

Getting there

By car

From the A1: Take the exit signposted (from the South) Gateshead and Newcastle (Centre) A184 or (from the North) Gateshead A184. Keep in the left-hand lane of A184 signposted Gateshead town centre. At roundabout, take third exit, signposted Gateshead town centre. Go straight through three sets of traffic lights. At the fourth turn left onto Oakwellgate. Take first right immediately under the railway bridge up the slope into Sage Gateshead car park, or second right to the drop-off point or blue badge parking.

From Newcastle Centre: From the Tyne Bridge, go through the pedestrian traffic lights, under the railway bridge and straight across the next traffic lights. At the next lights, take the left signed Gateshead Quays and East Gateshead (NOT the loop signed Consett or Metro Centre).
At the first lights with Mecca Bingo on your right, turn left onto Oakwellgate. Stay in the right hand lane under the railway bridge and take first right into Sage Gateshead car park or second right to the drop-off point or blue badge parking.

From the Swing Bridge: Go straight up Bridge Street, which turns into Cannon Street: as the road bears round to the right, go left for the drop-off point or blue badge parking or follow the road right into Oakwellgate and take the first left to Sage Gateshead car park just before the railway bridge. 


There is a drop off and pick up point at the west door of Sage Gateshead.  The venue has a car park which charges by the hour, located directly behind the building (£1.50 per hour, payable on exit) there is an overflow car park (£1.50 per hour, ticket parking) to the east of the building.  Further public car parking is available within ten minutes walking distance from Sage Gateshead. 

By train

The nearest mainline train station is Newcastle Central Station. From there you can either: Catch the QuayLink bus direct to Sage (ten minutes journey). Take the Metro one stop to Gateshead (a couple of minutes journey time then either a ten minute walk to Sage Gateshead or catch the QuayLink bus from Gateshead Interchange). Walk across the Tyne Bridge from Central Station (twenty minutes). Take a taxi (about ten minutes). 

By Coach

Newcastle coach station is operated by National Express and is situated at St James' Boulevard, ten minutes walk from the Metro at Central Station.

By Bus/Metro

Gateshead Metro and Bus Interchange is a 10-15 minute walk to Sage Gateshead or a short bus ride.  There are regular buses from Newcastle and around the region, and the Metro runs from Newcastle centre, the airport, the coast and Sunderland.  For further information about bus and metro, contact Traveline on 0871 200 2233 or visit  The Quayside bus services takes five minutes from Gateshead Interchange to Sage Gateshead.  The service runs every 30 minutes until 11:00 then every ten minutes.  See the website for details: 

On foot from Gateshead Metro

The route from the Metro and Bus station is signposted to Gateshead Quays and Sage Gateshead.  Exit onto West Street. Turn left and walk down to the traffic lights.  Turn right on to Askew Road, straight over the traffic lights at the end of Tyne Bridge and then left at the next traffic lights onto Oakwellgate. Sage Gateshead is on your right. This walk takes about ten minutes.

By air

Newcastle International Airport is located about 6 miles to the north of the city, and is about 20 minutes away by car or taxi, or 30 minutes by metro. 



Sage Gateshead has a café restaurant on the main concourse level which serves breakfast, lunch and snacks as well as a wide range of homemade cakes, alternatively the Brasserie Restaurant (advanced booking recommended) offers an elegant setting for a two or three course menu.  Please telephone +44 (0)191 443 4654 to make your booking and receive a 10% discount.  There is also a wide range of cafes and bars in the Quayside area.  For further information see

In order to celebrate the occasion, graduates and guests are most welcome to attend a reception after the ceremony, when wine and soft drinks will be available in the foyer areas outside Hall 1 on Levels 1, 2 and 3.  Graduates and their guests may attend a reception at any of these areas.

Toilets and Cloakroom

There are toilet facilities - including accessible toilets - on each level of Sage Gateshead.  A free cloakroom facility is provided by Sage Gateshead on the Concourse level.


Although it's natural for graduates to wish all their family to be in attendance at the celebration of their academic success, a degree ceremony is quite lengthy and can be rather boring for small children.  If you do decide to bring young children, we ask that out of consideration to other guests, you remove them from the hall should they become restless during the speeches.