All Tomorrow’s Parties is over, The Essential Festival has gone, for this year at least. Glasto, Reading and Leeds are all on the horizon but there must be more coming up before that sure...
Well the answer is an emphatic yes from Middlesbrough. What’s more, this festival, unlike all previously mentioned is completely free - spot on. Middlesbrough Music Live 2002 - Bank holiday Monday - June 3rd will be spread across six stages in Middlesbrough Town Centre with over a hundred acts ranging from the majors to minors. The day is tied with the BBC’s Music Live Day - a national event in celebration of the Queen’s jubilee, and if you’re a republican that doesn't mean you should hold that against the event.
Last year saw over 30,000 music fans enjoying a sun-drenched day and a hot evening of great live entertainment. Playing there myself I remember having a great time of it - my band usually gets about 10 people in down the local pub, but on the day hundreds of music fans turned out to watch us play, which is a success in anyone’s book!!
Last year was an extremely successful and highly popular event; my home town playing host to the Cooper Temple Clause prior to their explosion onto the UK music scene later in the year. This year they’ve happily returned to play on the main stage (situated in Middlesbrough Central gardens, home of the bottle of notes) after being voted for by the people of Teesside, in a hugely popular response to an e-mail appeal for requested acts. Along side them will be US geek rockers Wheatus, local heroes with Irish charm and heritage The Wildcats of Kilkenny and Dreadzone (of classic dance track 'Little England' fame) amongst a mass of other bands. The main stage last year saw Space and Shed 7 play to thousands of happy piss heads at the end of what was probably one of the brightest days for music Middlesbrough had ever seen. Whilst the major acts played out the night, the Studio 64 Stage promoted the very best of local talent throughout the day and proved more successful than anyone could have hoped. The incredible inflatable stage will be situated outside Dr. Brown’s pub and the Studio itself.
The main stage brings Middlesbrough the biggest acts and the Studio 64 stage brings the local lads. Also on the day there will be the New Bands Stage - situated in Middlesbrough’s Town hall crypt - is a great idea to bring the best of the UK’s surfacing acts to the festival. Last year the stage boasted Murry The Hump, LowGold, Clearlake and Alfie amongst others. This year will see a gathering of more acts blatantly headed in the direction of complete superstardom such as: the already huge Californian duo Radar Bros. The stage line-up is diverse, Radar Bros. will play along side The Burn (recently having supported Oasis and The Charlatans), Teenage Fanclub-a-likes Longview and four-piece rockers Athlete.
For a more dance-orientated feel there will be the Victoria Gardens Stage and for the agoraphobic amongst us there will be the BBC Radio Cleveland Stage inside the Cleveland shopping centre. The day is set to be one of the biggest events in the history of Middlesbrough entertainment-wise, and if last year’s success is anything to go on, this year looks set to be yet another great bazaar of music for the people of Middlesbrough and the north-east.