Talented teenager Cortney Dixon says she can’t wait to get on stage in South Shields this weekend.
The 18-year-old, from Chichester, South Shields, is kicking off proceedings in Bents Park on Sunday.
She’ll be opening the free South Tyneside Festival concert and will share the stage with Sophie Ellis-Bextor and The Feeling, who are both returning for their second performance.
Singer and guitarist Cortney, who is taking a year to concentrate on her music after completing a BTEC in music performance at Newcastle College, will be performing some of her original songs.
She said: “This will be my first time playing at Bents Park and I’m slightly nervous but really excited. I felt really honoured to be asked to perform.
“I’m so excited to support Sophie Ellis-Bextor and The Feeling, and the thought of performing in front of 20,000 people is so exciting, but also nerve-racking.
“I’m going to be performing my own songs as well, which makes it a little more scary because you haven’t got those well-known songs to fall back on – I hope people like my music.
“It will probably be the biggest crowd I’ve ever played to and it’s amazing to be asked, it makes me feel like people are starting to hear more about me.
“I started off doing buskers’ nights in South Shields but tend to play in Newcastle more these days so it will be great to come back.”
Cortney has had a big year. She’s been offered management contracts and has had her first major label interest, although she’s still gathering her options and hasn’t signed anything yet.
I started off doing buskers’ nights in South Shields but tend to play in Newcastle more these days so it will be great to come back.Cortney Dixon
She’s just finished setting up a recording studio at her home and has had interest from other artists who want her to write songs for them.
Last year, she was scouted by music mogul Simon Cowell, who had seen videos of her performing on YouTube and personally asked her to audition for The X Factor.
She said: “I went for a meeting with Simon and Cheryl and they were both so lovely. Simon asked me to go on the show and said he’d understand if I didn’t want to but that he’d never forget me.
“I said no because it just wasn’t for me. I aspire more to people like Stevie Nicks and want to work on my own music and I just didn’t think The X Factor was the right route for me.”
Gates for the concert open at 1pm and entry is free. Due to the huge popularity of the previous two Sunday concerts, people are advised to arrive early.
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