SOME of the Tyne Valley’s rising music stars took to the stage once again at this year’s Haydon Bridge Festival.

The festival, which took place on the village’s football field on Saturday, has an excellent track record of providing a platform for up-and-coming local acts, as well as more established names.

The likes of Amy Ridley and Haydon Bridge’s Stratosphonic have performed in the past, and this year continued to showcase the excellent talent on offer in Tynedale.

Hexham’s Lauren Simms opened the festival’s music at 2pm, and was joined in the line-up by Ovingham’s rising star Sam Shields.

Bellingham’s Jason Arnup, the 16-year-old country singer who opened last year’s festival, made a second appearance at the festival.

Funk, soul and pop group SHAKA made their debut at the festival, alongside the award winning Tynedale Big Band, who also played the festival last year, and Sold Out.

Sam Shields, who was also playing the festival for the first time, and enjoyed the experience.

He said: “It was good – I played from half three and then I had to get away to play a gig at the Tannery. I’m in demand on some days!

“I said I’d be back next year but it’s a year away.

“I’m good friends with Lauren Simms who also played, she performed with me at the Tannery too.”

Sam will be back in the Tyne Valley later this month, when he will be performing at Corbridge Festival alongside Reef, Fun Loving Criminals, and the Futureheads.

Brian Alderson, of the festival’s organising committee, is in charge of picking the acts.

He says the festival is a great experience for young artists.

Brian said: “The music was great. Jason Arnup used to play football for Haydon Bridge, so I know well from there.

“I’m also good friends with Kevin Moore, who runs the buskers night at The Anchor.

“He tells me who has been performing and who’s good.

“I come along and watch them, then have a chat and ask if they’d be interested in playing.

“The artists have usually done a lot of buskers nights and pub gigs.

“To get up on stage with a professional sound engineer in front of two or three hundred people is a big step for them, it’s a great experience.”