This year, the Bupa Great North Run will be the first event of its kind in the world to reach its one millionth finish.
On Thursday 4 September, the Newcastle Gateshead Quayside and the River Tyne will be transformed into a huge outdoor arena for an Opening Ceremony, marking the start of the official countdown to the millionth finish of the Bupa Great North Run in South Shields on Sunday 7 September.
Written by David Almond and narrated by Jill Halfpenny and Tim Healy, the Opening Ceremony tells the spectacular story of the North East. From the dawn of time through to the millionth finish of the Bupa Great North Run, this is a story of energy, endeavour and inspiration!
Devised by Bradley Hemmings, (co-artistic Director of the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony and Artistic Director of GDIF), the Great North Run Million Opening Ceremony will tell the incredible story of the North East, of ordinary people working together to achieve extraordinary things - all inspired by the energy of a million runners powering Tyneside's past and future.
Featuring musical performances from Local Hero Mark Knopfler, Mercury Music Prize nominees The Unthanks and platinum-selling drum'n'bass Chase & Status, as well as show-stopping acts from Lords of Lightning and Alchemy, this will be a night to remember.
The Newcastle Gateshead Quayside will come to life with spectacular set pieces designed by Jon Bausor, a specially commissioned film and animation by BAFTA award-winning artist Tal Rosner, music composed by Ivor Novello-winning Dan Jones and performed by Northern Sinfonia, and performances by hundreds of volunteer performers choreographed by Nathan Curry.