Council bosses in South Tyneside are hoping that a programme of summer events will bring £1.5million to the region’s economy.
Hotels and leisure operators across South Tyneside are preparing for an influx of visitors, as one of the region’s most popular events gets underway.
The South Tyneside Festival, which attracted more than 120,000 visitors in 2015, kicks off in South Shields tomorrow and runs until the end of August.
Event organisers, South Tyneside Council, are hopeful that the 2016 festival will contribute more than £1.5million to the regional economy, with free live music and entertainment for all ages drawing in visitors from across the UK.
One of the event’s busiest periods will likely be in July when it hosts a Maritime Mayhem-themed parade through the streets of South Shields, as well as a series of high profile, open air concerts in Bents Park.
The Sunday Concert series alone attracted more than 77,500 music lovers in 2015, with crowds once again expected to flock this year to see free performances by artists such as Alexandra Burke, Tony Hadley, The Proclaimers and UB40.
“Visitors numbers for the South Tyneside Festival have been growing year on year,” said Coun Alan Kerr, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council.
“Last year our parade through South Shields attracted a record breaking 25,000 spectators, with the Sunday Concert series alone, also contributing more than £940,000 to the local economy.
“This year we’re hoping the event will be bigger and better than ever and accommodation across the borough is already in high demand, especially during July.”
The South Tyneside Festival, organised by South Tyneside Council, runs for three months at venues across South Shields, with highlights including live music at the open-air Amphitheatre twice weekly in June, Kids’ Fun Fest parties throughout August, regular performances at the Victorian bandstand in South Marine Park and brass band concerts at the seafront every Sunday.
The Sunday Concerts series in Bents Park will welcome appearances by X Factor favourites Alexandra Burke, Ben Haenow and Reggie and Bollie on July 10, Scottish duo The Proclaimers with 70s legends Lindisfarne on July 17, Spandau Ballet frontman Tony Hadley on July 24 and British reggae pioneers UB40 on July 31.
It is being delivered with support from Arts Council England, Port of Tyne, Colmans, National Citizen Service (NCS), Zeera Indian Cuisine and media partners, BBC Newcastle.
Entry to all of the festival’s events is free.