IMG_1462 - Joe Washbourn of ToploaderA free music festival that took place at The Links on Blyth seafront in South East Northumberland attracted throughout the day [Saturday June 27th] in the region of 11,000 visitors – who were treated to some of the best music and culture the region could offer.
Hoards of people flocked to Northumberland Live 2015 to watch international acts like “Toploader” who mesmerised the crowd with a set of sing-a-long classics including their smash hit “Dancing in the Moonlight” that had everyone bopping and singing at the top of their voices.
Another attraction was 80s heroes “Doctor and the Medics” who entertained the audience that was a mixture of mums and dads, children and grandparents.  The Doctor (aka Rev Dr Clive Jackson) conducted the crowd like an orchestra especially during their worldwide number one anthem “Spirit in the Sky” – where Air Guitar Star contest winner Rebecca Flynn of Ashington joined them onstage to strike a pose during the legendary guitar solo.
Northumberland Live 2015 was supported by Northumberland County Council and Active Northumberland.
The Leader of Northumberland County Council, Cllr Grant Davey, said: “Northumberland Live was absolutely brilliant! It was wonderful to see so many people coming to Blyth and enjoying themselves.
“The one thing that really stood out was the number of families who came down to the festival together. Northumberland Live appeals to audiences across the age spectrum and that was definitely reflected in Saturday’s crowd.
“It wasn’t only the music lovers who benefited as it must have been a great day for local businesses located around the seafront and tourism on a whole. There must have been a lot of money spent by visitors and residents attending the event.  Northumberland Live is a fun and likeable cultural model that will hopefully grow and grow; and become a key factor in Northumberland’s cultural calendar.”
People came from far and wide to enjoy Northumberland Live 2015.  Here are a few comments:
Kirsty Baird, of Ashington, a nursing assistant – brought her daughter Ruby (aged 7) along to Northumberland Live. She said: “We had a really lovely day out. The festival was great for the local people and it was superb for the kids to experience the nice atmosphere.”
Michael Monaghan, an engineer of Bedlington – brought his children Kelise (aged 10) and Leyton (aged 5) out for the day to Northumberland Live. He said: “Something like this festival brings people out into the sunshine.  My children enjoyed everything that was on offer and even had time to play on the beach.”
Joan Ridley, of Denton Burn, has a caravan in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea and often visits Blyth to go shopping.  She said: “It’s very rare that you see events like these where young people are outside and having a great time. It harks back to the good old days!”
Terry Brayshaw, a braillist of Blyth. He said: “I think the festival is very good and looks to have been successful, as there’s a lot of people here; and it has been well put together.”
Sharon Thompson, of Kingston Park, a sales representative came to Northumberland Live with her children Bradley (aged 11) and Ava (aged 5).  She said: “This is a great idea – great for the kids. We came especially to Blyth for Northumberland Live!”
John Cunningham, a retired electrician of Gosforth, said: “I think that local live music is absolutely fantastic! It’s nice to see so many families out and about, who’ve headed down to the coast in the beautiful weather and enjoying the lovely beach area.”
Sharing the bill with Toploader and Doctor and the Medics were local bands and singers: kosoti (Newcastle); The Caffreys (Tyneside); Tony Bengtsson Band (South Shields); Shaw:Clark Project (Blyth); Muddy Line (Newcastle/Northumberland); Rose Parade (South Shields); Driven Serious (North East England); Melissa Rose (Blyth) and Andy Stead (Stakeford – who is currently number one in the Funky Dance charts with his song “Crazy4u”).
The amassed crowds also loved the other elements of the entertainment including street theatre performances by stilt acrobats ‘Team Power Stilts’ and routines by ‘Bad Apples North East’ including national award-winners, “Chaos”.
People can reflect on the success of Northumberland Live 2015 by visiting the event’s Facebook page facebook.com/NorthumberlandLiveFestival and on Twitter at @NLiveFest.
Northumberland Live 2015 was sponsored by Coastline Fish and Chip Restaurant and Phoenix Taxis, who provided the free park and ride service.
Northumberland Live 2015’s media partner for this year’s free festival was BBC Newcastle 95.4FM / Digital.