Father and son duo from Sunderland to share bill with Happy Mondays

The Nutopians
The Nutopians
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A father and son singing duo will play this year’s Sunniside Live festival after racking up more than 4,000 votes in a Battle of the Bands competition.

The Nutopians, made up of Ian Jackson, 52, and Phil Jackson, 20, received 4,100 online votes in the contest to find a local act to perform at the annual festival.

It means the Sunderland duo will now be sharing the bill with the likes of headliners Happy Mondays, Heather Small from M People, Incognito and The Farm.

This year the alternative indie duo played at Newcastle’s O2 twice and have recorded their second album.

Ian, who is also in a well-known local tribute band called 1977, said: “We are excited to appear at Sunniside Live alongside some amazing acts, especially as it is in our home town. It’s the cherry on the cake.”

Due to the thousands of votes cast, organisers also decided to name Tabitha Jade from Liverpool as a close runner-up, meaning both acts will now play on the second day of the festival, on Saturday July 8.

Tabitha Jade

Tabitha Jade

Pop urban act Tabitha has performed at a number of music festivals and racked up more than 3,000 votes in the competition.

Helen Davies, Sunniside Live organiser, said: “The quality of entrants was impressive. We were inundated with acts wanting a chance to perform this year, but couldn’t choose, so we let the public decide.”

Out of all the entrants, ten were shortlisted and voters were able to listen to them on Sunniside Live’s website.

The other acts included Rivet City, Cappellino, Regan, Arrows Of Time, Maybelleen, Cazimi, Under The Abstract, and DeadWetThings.

Last week the organisers announced they are working with Northumbria Police on increased security measures for the festival, which has a capacity crowd of 4,000.

Helen said: “The team at Sunniside Live wish to ensure all festival-goers that their safety on July 7/8 is our number one priority. We are liaising with local police and increased security measures will be taken so the festival is a safe environment for all.

“This is in line with nationwide action for extra caution during events with high numbers of attendance.”

Organisers have also said that 10percent of ticket sales that take place in the first two weeks of June will go to North East family members of those killed in the Manchester atrocity, which includes the families of Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford from South Shields.

•Sunniside Live will take place in Sunniside Gardens on July 7 and 8. Tickets are on sale at www.sunnisidelive.co.uk