North rock star Sting boosting number of music tourists travelling to the region...
October 13, 2013 
Survey shows Wallsend-born Sting attracted 194,000 people to the North East in 2012 and new album shaped by experiences of growing up in the North

North rock star Sting is boosting the number of music tourists travelling to the region, according to a new report.

Figures from UK Music and VisitBritain survey show that the Wallsend-born singer attracted 194,000 people to the North East in 2012.

The Government-backed report says that nationally music tourists have brought £2.2bn to the economy, as cities cash in on their musical heritage.

The news comes as Sting releases his latest album Last Ship, which is shaped by his experiences of growing up in the North.

The album is made up of songs about the shipbuilding industry in his native North Tyneside, including the Swan Hunter shipyards, which he says had a great impact on his life.

Meanwhile, red bus tours around musical and film locations across Newcastle are proving to be a hit for the economy.

Music fans Paul Irwin and Chris Wilson, pop historian and producer Chris Phipps and former Lindisfarne drummer Ray Laidlaw set up the Tyne Idols tour in 2010 to promote the city's musical heritage.

En route visitors find out which Beatles hit was written in a hotel in Grey Street and where Bryan Ferry and The Animals' Eric Burdon showed off their artistic talents by painting a New York scene inside a former nightclub.

Last night Paul told the Sunday Sun that he believed the North East's music and film legacy was a real boost for the region's tourist economy.

He said: "People travel from far and wide for the tours. Often people that come on the tours will be staying in a hotel and will eat in the region."

Recently Tyne Idols held the Brickies Banquet to mark the 30th anniversary of the Auf Wiedersehen Pet's first episode. Visitors from as far as New Zealand attended the event.

Paul added: "Anything that brings people to the region is a good thing and if we can bring people here through music then that's great. It's a win-win situation."

The survey tracked visitor numbers and their spending patterns at gigs and festivals across the UK.

Nationally, it found that "direct spending" by 6.5m music tourists - buying tickets and paying for transport and accommodation for events was worth £1.3bn.

Further spending on things such as food and drink added a total of £914m.

(c) Evening Chronicle by Katie Davies
COMMENTS 1
bobansell October 17,2013
bob Ansell
Just bought, "The Last Ship". Best tenner I ever spent. Thanks GS.

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