Billy Ocean and Dodgy announced for South Tyneside Festival

Billy Ocean
Billy Ocean

INTERNATIONAL R&B and soul legend Billy Ocean and Britpop band Dodgy will be heading to South Tyneside this summer.

Billy Ocean will be performing at Bents Park in South Shields on Sunday, July 19 in one of the borough’s famous free Sunday concerts – a highlight of the annual South Tyneside Festival.

The Trinidad-born British singer/song writer had a string of world-wide hits in the 70s and 80s. These include ‘Suddenly’, ‘Get Outta My Dreams’, ‘Caribbean Queen’ and the well-known theme tune from the film The Jewel of the Nile, ‘When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Gets Going’.

While Dodgy will headline this year’s live music series at the open air Amphitheatre at Sandhaven on Saturday. June 27. The pop rock group rose to prominence during the Britpop era of the 1990s with songs such as ‘If You’re Thinking of Me’, ‘Staying Out for the Summer’ and Top 5 hit ‘Good Enough’. Dodgy is returning to South Tyneside having previously headlined a Sunday Concert at Bents Park in 2011.

Coun Alan Kerr, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council, with special responsibility for culture and leisure, said: “We are thrilled to announce that one of the biggest names in the music industry will be coming to South Shields this summer. Artists don’t come more legendary than Billy Ocean! His timeless classics have seen him sell more than 30 million records around the world and will surely get the Bent’s Park crowd on their feet.

“Dodgy is the perfect festival band with their summery songs. What better way to enjoy the sounds of Dodgy than at our open air Amphitheatre on a warm summer evening.

SOUL LEGEND ... Billy Ocean will be part of the South Tyneside summer Festival

SOUL LEGEND ... Billy Ocean will be part of the South Tyneside summer Festival

“We are delighted to be bringing some of the best music to the region this summer and giving people the opportunity to enjoy performances from top name artists completely free of charge. Billy Ocean and Dodgy are great additions to our live music programme. I know they will go down a storm here in South Tyneside with everyone having a great time.”

The announcement comes hot on the heels of Joe McElderry, Collabro and Lola Saunders being revealed as the artists to perform at the special North East Stars concert taking place at Bents Park on Sunday 2 August.

However, the acts performing on Sunday July 12 and 26 have yet to be announced.

The Amphitheatre music series sees up and coming bands and musicians as well as established artists performing on Thursday and Saturday evenings throughout June. The series will be kick started by The Alan Hull Songbook on Thursday 4 June with Dodgy bringing the programme to an end with a bang on Saturday 27 June.

Artists don’t come more legendary than Billy Ocean

Coun Alan Kerr, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council

The free Sunday concerts and ever-popular live music series at the Amphitheatre are just some of the highlights of the South Tyneside Festival, which is organised by South Tyneside Council and runs from June through to August.

Other events include a summer parade (Saturday 4 July) with a special Alice in Wonderland theme to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s story Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The Council is working with acclaimed couture designer Paul Shriek and his design partner Matt Fox to capture Carroll’s weird world of Wonderland in this year’s Summer Parade.

The festival programme also includes a fun-filled Summer Fayre (Saturday 27 June), Kid’s Fun Fest (Tuesdays and Thursdays, 28 July to 20 August) brass band music in the Amphitheatre (every Sunday throughout the summer) as well as bandstand performances and the very popular Proms in South Marine Park (Sunday 5 July).

Counc Kerr added: “Our free South Tyneside Festival has been a highlight in the region’s cultural calendar for more than 25 years and is an extremely important event, not just for the Borough, but for the region.

“We are pulling out all the stops to make sure there is plenty of entertainment for people of all ages to enjoy and of course it is all free! We want our residents and visitors to have a brilliant summer in South Tyneside.”

For further details of the packed programme of free family South Tyneside Festival events, activities and entertainment, keep checking the council’s website at www.southtyneside.info/festival

Alternatively, people can follow the council’s social media sites at www.facebook/southtynesideevents or www.twitter.com/STynesideEvents