Ian Dury and Elvis Costello will co-headline the opening day of the first "Rock On The Tyne" festival, an ambitious two-day event to be staged at the Gateshead International Stadium over August Bank Holiday weekend (Saturday and Sunday, 29-30), as a Northern rival to the traditional Reading Festival. It will be the first time Dury and Costello have appeared on the same bill with their own bands, The Blockheads and The Attractions respectively, since the very first Stiff package tour.
Also appearing on the Saturday are U2, about whom Bruce Springsteen raved when he caught their set in London recently — plus Pauline Murray & The Invisible Girls, Doll By Doll and Huang Chung. Special guests are The Polecats.
The Sunday bill ranges from heavy metal to folk-rock, and is headed by Rory Gallagher. The rest of the line-up — together with full details of ticket price, booking arrangements and facilities — can be found in Tour News on page 32.
The festival is the biggest ever staged in the North-East, one of the most densely populated catchment areas in the country, but — apart from concerts at Newcastle City Hall — a region starved of major events of this kind. It's expected to draw an audience from Scotland to Yorkshire, and beyond — and the promoters intend to make it a regular annual event.