Let's Rock crowd parties on as Sunderland festival brings together stars of the 1980s
The return of a 1980s music festival proved a hit as crowds turned out to party through the rain.
The organisers of Let’s Rock the North East decided to press on with the event, sure that ticket holders were prepared for the wet weather and ready to have a good time.
The show, hosted at Herrington Country Park for the second year running and ongoing into this evening, features a line up including Chesney Hawkes, Captain Sensible, T’Pau, Staus Quo, Marc Almond, Betty Boo, Limahl, Owen Paul, Belouis Some, From the Jam, Kim Appleby, Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey, Black Lace’s Conga Party and Jason Donovan.
Among those to be part of the crowd of thousand today is Geoff Mason, 54, a software engineer, and his wife Lesley, 48, a travel agent, who travelled in from Durham for the day and dressed up as Beetlejuice for the day.
“We’ve put in a lot of effort because it’s a special occasion and it’s once a year, so we thought we’d get dressed up and make a real day of it,” said Geoff.
“It’s fantastic and we’ve had a great time so far, this is right up our street.”
Lesley added: “We missed this last year because we were at the Trooping of the Colour in London and we just saw all the photos of it online and it looked so good, so this year, we came here instead.
“The rain hasn’t put us off, we’ve got our plastic macs on.
“We’ve had lots of comments about our outfits and we’ve had hundreds of comments on Facebook about them.”
Houghton couple Gail Duffy, 47, a healthcare assistant at the University Hospital of North Durham, and husband Steve, 53, a driver for DPD, also pulled on fancy dress for the day.
Gail added neon accessories to her outfit, while Steve dug out his Honey Monster costume.
Gail said: “We came her last year and straight away, we got tickets for this year, we loved it.
“We’ve been here since 10am and wanted to get right to the front.
“The atmosphere is just great, everybody is our age and we just love the 80s.”
Steve added: “It’s just such a good atmosphere and we really enjoy it.”
Payroll clerk Rachel Smith, 45, Judith Allon, 52, Denise Fletcher, 48, who are both learning support assistants, and Lesley Turnbull, 32, a nail technician, all headed to the park from South Shields.
Rachel said: “We came last year and it was excellent, so we all got tickets for this year.
“We’re really looking forward to seeing Jason Donovan.”
Natalie Yost, of Let’s Rock, said the team had opened the gates later than scheduled as they ensured the site was ready for the crowd following this morning's downpour.
“It’s been an extreme challenge with the rain, but people have come prepared.
“The audience has really been up for it and for us, that is fantastic and for everyone who is on the stage.
“Today’s crowd has been the most determined we’ve ever seen and they’re here to have a good time.”