X Factor favourite Ella Henderson and 90s legends The South wow packed out crowds at Bents Park for latest This Is South Tyneside Festival gig

A capacity crowd gathered in Bents Park for thrilling performances by Ella Henderson and 90s legends the South in the latest in a series of free gigs at South Shields seafront.

Hot on the heels of Pop Idol winner Will Young, who wowed audiences last weekend to mark the return of the This Is South Tyneside Festival, X Factor favourite Ella Henderson and 90s singers the South took to the stage at Bents Park today (Sunday, July 17).

An overcast start to the day couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of festival goers, who were already queuing to be let in well ahead of the early bird gates opening for priority ticket holders at noon.

Hide Ad

And within just a few hours the venue had already reached its 20,000 capacity, forcing organisers to activate their one-in-one-out policy.

Ella Henderson singing at Bents Park for the This Is South Tyneside Festival.
Read More
Plan to 'roll back' Whitburn Coastal Path to save route from erosion between Sou...
Hide Ad

Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, the festival programme was a mainstay of Tyneside's events calendar, estimated to be worth millions to South Tyneside’s tourism economy, and returned with a bang following a two-year hiatus with the regular carnival parade and Proms in the Park.

Alison Wheeler and Gaz Birtles, late of The Beautiful South, whose hits include Rotterdam and Don't Marry Her, but now performing as The South, were among the headline acts, promising “all the hits and more” at what Birtles described as a "perfect venue” overlooking the seafront.

Hide Ad
Alison Wheeler and Gaz Birtles of Beautiful South regaled crowds with some of the band's hits.

He added: "It was an amazing sight looking out over all those people.

Hide Ad

"We played to a crowd of 190 last night, then this.

"It has been brilliant organised from our point of view and just a great day, I am really glad they invited us.

Hide Ad

"The fact its free is great, people will come and see acts they wouldn't pay to see but have a good time and come back to see them again."

Fans at the Ella Henderson gig.
Hide Ad

Festival goes also praised the event.

Nicola, 50, and John, 52, Blythe, from Penshaw queued from 9.30am to get in.

Hide Ad

"It was brilliant," said Nicola, "all the acts were as good as each other."

Nicola and John Blythe queued from 9.30am to get into Bents Park.