Music is live and kicking at coast

The Undertones, who are headlining Northumberland Live Festival at Blyth.
The Undertones, who are headlining Northumberland Live Festival at Blyth.

Thousands of music fans are expected to descend on the North East coast this weekend as the Northumberland Live Festival returns.

The massive free music event takes place at South Beach, Blyth, on Saturday, and will be headlined by The Undertones.

Support acts will include Germany-based new wave icons Cryssis, along with up-and-coming Indie band Pacific.

And there will also be an array of homegrown talent, with Ashington singer-songwriter Peesh and Durham pop rock band Twister.

Other acts include the Real Gone Gadgies, Arieanne Masters, The Exciters, Endless Sky, Little Moth, Bad Apples hip-hop crew and Blyth Samba.

However, the fun isn’t restricted to music, with family entertainers, street theatre, military vehicle displays, food stalls and a parachute display team also in the mix.

Some 15,000 people are expected to attend the festival following the success of similar previous events.

Events committee chairman Kath Nisbet said: “To have 15,000 people enjoying themselves at a free family festival in Blyth is great for the town, and we are looking forward to yet another successful event.”

The Undertones shot to fame with the ground-breaking Teenage Kicks, following it up with a string of catchy hits, such as Here Comes The Summer, Jimmy Jimmy, and My Perfect Cousin.

After four studio albums and 13 singles, they broke up in 1983, but reformed in 1999 with new frontman Paul McLoone.

The band has since played at sell-out festivals and venues across Europe, but this will be their first visit to Blyth.

“Northumberland Live is all about bringing the very best international acts to south east Northumberland, and at the same time giving local performers a chance to star alongside these chart favourites,” said Coun Nisbet.

“I’m delighted that this festival helps to put Blyth on the cultural map and encourages tourism and investment.

“The Undertones are a quality band that appeal to people of all ages, and together with a great range of support acts, Northumberland Live at Blyth is guaranteed to be a great, free, family fun day out.”

The festival is supported by Blyth Town Council and has been 12 months in the planning.

The entertainment has been organised by Mel Jackson, who has been involved with the festival for the past four years.

She said: “This is a great event for music lovers, families, the people of Northumberland and for those travelling from near and far to attend the festival and have a great free day out in Blyth.”

The Northumberland Live Festival takes place at Blyth Beach on Saturday, from 10am until around 9pm.

Parking is limited on site so a free park and ride service will be in operation, run by Phoenix Taxis from Blyth library in the town centre. There will also be free parking off the A193 Links Road.

A disabled viewing platform, sponsored by Transped of Blyth and the Port of Blyth, is between the beach huts.