Bents Park summer gig proves a big hit with music fans as venue is filled to capacity

The first of South Tyneside Festival's Sunday Concerts at Bents Park, featuring Ben Haenow
The first of South Tyneside Festival's Sunday Concerts at Bents Park, featuring Ben Haenow
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Thousands of music fans packed out Bents Park as the first of the Sunday summer gigs kicked off with stars from the X-Factor.

Alexandra Burke, Ben Haenow and Reggie ‘N’ Bollie took to the stage helping to create an electric party atmosphere.

Reggie 'N' Bollie with South Shields X-factor winner Joe McElderry

Reggie 'N' Bollie with South Shields X-factor winner Joe McElderry

The show started with local acts Channy Thompson and 96OneDream, who warmed up the 25,000-strong crowd that flocked to the seafront venue.

The gig was filled to capacity with organisers forced to stop more people from entering the park before the main acts hit the stage.

South Shields X-Factor star Joe McElderry also made an appearance backstage to support his fellow singers.

Ben Haenow won the eleventh series of X-Factor. He was the first of the stars to face the crowd of screaming fans.

“I think gigs like this are great as it brings people together.”

Ben Haenow

He started his set with Come Together, singing a series of songs before answering calls from the crowd for him to perform hit ‘Something I need.’

In true South Tyneside style, people sang their hearts out to the song which was Haenow’s first number one single.

Haenow, said: “People in the North have been really good to me. The support has been amazing and it’s what keeps me going. I think gigs like this are great as it brings people together.”

X-Factor runners up Reggie ‘N’ Bollie, who were mentored by Geordie star Cheryl in the 2015 series, brought their own unique ‘party style’ to the park.

The first of South Tyneside Festival's Sunday Concerts at Bents Park, featuring Reggie n Bollie

The first of South Tyneside Festival's Sunday Concerts at Bents Park, featuring Reggie n Bollie

Kicking off their set with The Black Eyed Peas’ ‘I Gotta Feeling’ they had the crowd bouncing along to a series of covers before performing their single New Girl.

Reggie said: “It has been a busy seven months. Being on the X-Factor is life-changing. We are just humbled by the way our fans support us.

“We are so pleased to be in South Shields. Looking at the crowd we just want to have a good time with them.”

Headline act Alexandra Burke is now showcasing her talents in theatre following a successful solo career since winning the X-Factor in 2008.

Crowds gather at the first of the South Tyneside summer festival concerts

Crowds gather at the first of the South Tyneside summer festival concerts

Burke, who has already performed at the Bents Park as part of the Great North Passion event, said: “It’s amazing to be here again and to be here doing my own thing.

“I’m just going to go out there and enjoy it.”

Next Sunday, Lindisfarne and The Proclaimers will take to the stage.

The first of South Tyneside Festival's Sunday Concerts at Bents Park, featuring Alexandra Burke

The first of South Tyneside Festival's Sunday Concerts at Bents Park, featuring Alexandra Burke

The Bents Park was filled to capacity with music fans

The Bents Park was filled to capacity with music fans

The first of South Tyneside Festival's Sunday Concerts at Bents Park, featuring Ben Haenow, Reggie n Bollie, and Alexandra Burke, along with local acts Channy Thompson and 96oneDream.

The first of South Tyneside Festival's Sunday Concerts at Bents Park, featuring Ben Haenow, Reggie n Bollie, and Alexandra Burke, along with local acts Channy Thompson and 96oneDream.