Each to his/her own opinion on a city but IMHO <RANT> Newcastle is a fine city, with quite a few geeky events bubbling:
like Super Mondays for the IT crowd, Thursdayfizz for design, Dorkbot for wierd electronics, Dartarama for art of an opensource nature, also there is a Open Frameworks 3 day hack in Jan, and Toplap(livecoding event) is planned for later in the year.
The Maiker Faire is part of Newcastles Science Week and clashing with it is AVFest10, a digital media festival. Also have an anual barcamp, and Thinking Digital which is a bit like TED of the North.
We haven't even started on a hackerspaces... but like the idea. If you want to do postgraduate study, Newcastle Uni has a Masters of Research in Digital Media, they use Arduino as one of their protoyping tools, and occasionally have residents from Eyebeam and ITP, New York.
(havent even started on the media events, the volunteer run cinema, etc etc)
Anyway, for you out of towners, am building a google map for the eventhttp://www.google.co.uk/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=108624159303607787776.00047d142829127d08742&z=14
At the moment, it only has the venue and a nearby hostel, but let me know what you want on it like bars or food, last year was fun and looking forward to this years!