Crowds make a comeback to Bents Park in South Shields as Will Young prepares to headline first free Sunday concert of season

The party spirit is flowing in a South Shields park as families make the most of the sunshine and gear up for an afternoon of live music.

The first free Sunday concert of this year’s This Is South Tyneside Festival takes place at Bents Park, South Shields, today (Sunday, July 10) – and it’s safe to say gig-goers are in the mood for fun as the events return for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Priority ticket holders entered the site from 12pm, with general admission permitted entry from 12.45pm.

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And the good vibes were in full flow as families set up their deck chairs and blankets, tucked into their refreshments and warmed up for some singing and dancing throughout the afternoon.

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    Among the priority ticket holders were friends Judith Thompson, Tracy Pickering, Kathryn Rutherford, Julie Potts and Mandy Ng.

    The women are part of a tap-dancing group in Sunderland, and were raising their glasses to a day of great entertainment in Shields.

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    Judith told the Gazette: “It’s the first time for some of us but I’ve been in previous years and it’s definitely the busiest I’ve seen.

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    Priority ticket holders arrive at Bents Park on Sunday, July 10 to watch Will Young headline the first free summer concert of the season.

    "I’m a fan of Will Young so we’re looking forward to seeing him. I voted 24 times for him when he was on Pop Idol.”

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    Friend Julie added: “We’re going on a cruise together so we are starting our summer holidays today. The sun is shining and we are all looking forward to it.”

    In the weeks ahead, Ella Henderson, Shalamar and The Fizz and a dance revival line-up will also play Bents Park.

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    Robin Gamble and Andi McAndrew were also there early on Sunday for Will Young.

    From left to right Judith Thompson, Tracy Pickering, Kathryn Rutherford, Julie Potts and Mandy Ng.
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    Andi said: “it’s our first time here and it’s a lot busier than we expected. We’ve got high hopes for today, really looking forward to it.”

    Meanwhile, Sarah Forrester and Beth Evans were on a day out with children Harper Evans, 2, Arthur Alexander, 2, Molly Murray, 14 and Libby Riley, 14.

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    Beth added: “We try to come every year, we’ve arrived a lot earlier this year so we have a much better space, we are usually at the back! Looking forward to it starting.”

    *Stay tuned for more updates and pictures from Bents Park throughout the afternoon on our website here.

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    Crowds building at Bents Park for the first Sunday concert of the summer.
    Robin Gamble and Andi McAndrew ready for a day packed with sunshine.
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    Sarah Forrester, left, Beth Evans, Harper Evans, age 2, Arthur Alexander, also age 2, Molly Murray, age 14, and Libby Riley, also age 14.