PREVIEW: Bernicia Festival

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SOUTH Tyneside’s biggest alternative festival is back – and this time it’s straddling both sides of the river.

Taking place on August 30 and 31, Bernicia Festival has expanded to take on both sides of the Tyne for a weekend of free live music from some of the region’s biggest acts.

The Saturday of the event will take place outside of The Customs House, South Shields, while the Sunday will see acts perform in the recently renovated Spanish City Plaza in Whitley Bay.

Co-headlining the weekend will be Sunderland’s Hyde & Beast on August 30 and folk four-piece Bridie Jackson & The Arbour on the Sunday.

Joining the headliners are more than 30 acts including East Herrington’s The Lake Poets and Sunderland-based Lilliput, as well as a host of other North East acts such as Shields, Boy Jumps Ship, Ajimal, Railway Club, Grandfather Birds and Sam Fender. Organisers from local events company Kittle will deliver the event alongside The Customs House and North Tyneside Council.

Emma Howe from Kittle said: “It’s a spectacularly strong local line-up with the addition of some brilliant emerging bands from around the UK.

“Last year was fabulous and with the festival now being over two days and the support from new and existing partners, we really can’t wait to build on what we achieved last year.”

•Tickets will be available from this month at and available to pick up at The Customs House. Each person can apply for up to 10 tickets.