Bents Park buzzing as Pop Idol winner Will Young headlines return of legendary concerts in South Shields

Thousands poured into Bents Park as the first big-stage open-air concert since the pandemic took place at South Shields seafront.

Pop Idol winner Will Young wowed music fans as he took to the stage at the concert; the first to take place since July 2019.

The legendary open-air Sunday concerts attract huge crowds and are a highlight of South Tyneside’s summer festival.

Hide Ad

And after being postponed in 2020 and then again in 2021 due to the Covid pandemic, they are back with a bang

A big smile from singer Will Young at his Bents Park concert.

Most Popular

    Rebranded as This is South Tyneside Festival, events got underway last week with the carnival parade and Proms in the Park.

    But this weekend saw the return of the concerts proper, with crowds packing into the seafront park to enjoy an afternoon of live music in the blazing summer sunshine.

    Hide Ad

    North East singer Beth Macari was first up on stage to warm up the crowds, before Will Young got fans roaring with a selection of hits including Leave Right Now and Evergreen.

    Speaking to the Gazette before his set, he said: “I’m thrilled to be here, really looking forward to performing.

    Hide Ad
    Event organisers expected 20,000 people to attend Sunday's Will Young concert.

    "The weather is beautiful and it’s always great up here!”

    Hide Ad

    And while onstage, he voiced his approval at the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson from the top job this week, adding: “I’m glad he’s gone.

    "We’re celebrating that today, as well as these lovely trousers I've got on.”

    Hide Ad
    Read More
    Blazing sunshine as Bents Park concerts make triumphant return to summer calenda...
    Will Young entertains the crowds at Bents Park on Sunday, July 10.
    Hide Ad

    Carrying a tune down at the front of the stage were Will Young superfans Gayle Smith, Sheila Gregson, Beverley Rannigan, June Spencer and Deb Robinson.

    The women have been huge fans of the singer since his Pop Idol victory 20 years ago.

    Hide Ad

    Speaking after the performance, Gayle said: “It was absolutely fantastic! We’ve followed him since Pop Idol, we’ve never missed a concert

    "I’ve got a meet and greet with him in October, we absolutely love him!”

    Hide Ad
    George, 79, celebrates his birthday with family and friends at Bents Park. What a day for it!

    Tanya Omann, Lynn Crawford, Jane Murphy, Carrie Waugh and Mark Waugh were also among those in the crowd.

    Hide Ad

    “I’ve been buzzing all week for this, I couldn’t wait. We come every year so it’s nice to see everyone again after the pandemic,” Tanya said.

    Jane added: “In previous years we’ve travelled from Barnard Castle after a wedding to come. We love it!”

    Hide Ad

    Meanwhile, there were festivities of a different kind for punter George Young who, along with family and friends, was celebrating his 79th birthday at the Bents Park gig.

    Family friend Alan Smith added: “We come every year and it’s nice all getting back together.

    Hide Ad

    "We don’t really come for the music, just to get altogether and have a good time. And we’re celebrating George’s birthday today!”

    Support from singer Beth Macari onstage at Bents Park.
    Hide Ad

    Event organisers confirmed on Sunday that 4,000 priority tickets were sold for the concert, with an estimated 20,000 expected through the gates throughout the day.

    South Tyneside Council chiefs say the summer festival events generate millions for the borough’s economy.

    Hide Ad

    The Bents Park concerts will continue each Sunday this month. Next up is Ella Henderson and The South on July 17.

    Hide Ad

    A special Dance Revival day will feature Whigfield, Sonique, D:Ream, Phats & Small and Kelly Llorenna on July 24, then Shalamar and The Fizz on July 31.

    From left to right; Tanya Omann, Lynn Crawford, Jane Murphy, Carrie Waugh and Mark Waugh.
    Hide Ad
    From left to right; Gayle Smith, Sheila Gregson, Beverley Rannigan, June Spencer and Deb Robinson.