The event's organizers decided to make the tickets for the opening weekend free, with workshops and short concerts, instead of starting with a black-tie gala.
On Friday evening, 1,000 arrived in the first hour, and an estimated 15,000 passed through the building by the end of the weekend. On Saturday, the box office reported that many events had already sold out, according to the BBC News.
The venue, designed by British architect Norman Foster, features a glass and steel roof that curves magnificently over two performance halls (one with 1,700 seats, the other with 400) , a music-education center, a restaurant, and other amenities. The center will be the new home for the Northern Sinfonia.
Mick Henry, Gateshead council leader, said, "The Sage Gateshead completes our vision to create a new artistic and cultural quarter called Gateshead Quays. The best thing for me is that you don't have to go to Vienna or Amsterdam but you can do it right here in Gateshead."