Westlife go East to play Scarborough Open Air Theatre as only 2021 outdoor north date

Westlife’s poster for next summer’s Scarborough Open Air Theatre concert

IRISH grown-up boy band Westlife will play an exclusive north of England outdoor show at Scarborough Open Air Theatre next summer.

The top-selling album band of the 21st century should have played both the Yorkshire coast venue and the inaugural York Festival in 2020, but the Covid lockdown enforced their cancellation.

Instead, Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan and Nicky Byrne will perform in Scarborough four days before their headline show at Wembley Stadium.

Westlife’s official statement reads: “Some exciting news! We are delighted to announce that Scarborough Open Air Theatre have invited us to join next year’s line-up on Tuesday, August 17.

“Given the current circumstances, we really are hopeful to announce more shows in the new year and look forward to being back with you all as soon as we can.

Westlife will perform such hits as Swear It Again, You Raise Me Up, My Love, Flying Without Wings, Uptown Girl, Unbreakable, When You’re Looking Like That and World Of Our Own, as well as picks from their chart-topping tenth album, 2019‘s Spectrum, Hello My Love among them.

Venue programmer Peter Taylor, of Scarborough OAT promoters Cuffe and Taylor, says: “Westlife fans were heartbroken when this summer’s tour was postponed due to the global pandemic, so we are delighted the boys will be coming to Scarborough OAT next summer.

“This is a real exclusive: Westlife’s only outdoor show in the north of England and four days before their headline show at Wembley. It’s going to be a brilliant night here!”

Westlife were booked to play Scarborough OAT on June 17 and York Festival at York Sports Club, Clifton Park, on June 20 as part of their 2020 Summer In The Stadiums tour before summer was scrapped.

Tickets for August 17 will go on sale via scarboroughopenairtheatre.com at 9am on Friday, October 30.

Scarborough Open Air Theatre’s 2021 season so far comprises: June 19, UB40 featuring Ali Campbell and Astro; June 20, RuPaul’s Drag Race: Werq The World; July 9, Keane; July 10, Olly Murs; August 17, Westlife, and August 20, Nile Rodgers & Chic. More concerts will be added; watch this space.

Did you know?

ALL ten of Westlife’s studio albums have reached the top five in the Official UK Albums Chart, five of them peaking at number one. Fourteen of their singles have made the top spot too.

OFF: York Festival cancelled. OFF TOO: Scarborough Open Air Theatre season shut

Goodbye, not Hello: Lionel Richie’s York Festival and Scarborough Open Air Theatre concerts have been cancelled

THE inaugural York Festival with Lionel Richie, Madness and Westlife in June is off.  The entire Scarborough Open Air Theatre summer season has been cancelled too.

The “unavoidable” double blow for promoters Cuffe and Taylor was confirmed in a brief statement at high noon, enforced by the grip of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“We are sad to announce both York Festival and the 2020 programme at Scarborough Open Air Theatre will not go ahead,” they said. “We did not want to take this step, but it was unavoidable. The health and safety of concertgoers, artists, staff and community will always be our top priority.

Grey Day for Madness: no House Of Fun after all at York Festival on June 19

“We are working with our ticketing partners and they will contact customers very soon to process refunds. Peace, love, kindness and thanks.”

So, alas, this means goodbye to Hello and Lionel Richie at York Sports Club, Clifton Park, Shipton Road, on June 21, when the American soul legend, now 70, would have been supported by Grammy Award winner Macy Gray and Newcastle soul-pop duo Lighthouse Family.

Camden Town nutty boys Madness were to have headlined the opening night, June 19, joined by Ian Broudie’s Lightning SeedsCraig Charles, for a Funk and Soul Club DJ set, Leeds indie rockers Apollo Junction and York band Violet Contours.

Westlife: York and Scarborough shows grounded without wings

Irish matured boy band Westlife were booked to top the June 21 bill, backed up All Saints, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Scouting For Girls and Take That’s Howard Donald for a DJ set.

Over on the East Coast, Cuffe and Taylor had lined up big hitters galore for Scarborough Open Air Theatre’s 2020 season, opening with Lionel Richie on June 9, followed by Westlife on June 17.

Further bookings were: Supergrass, June 20; Alfie Boe, June 27; Snow Patrol, July 4; Mixtape, with Marc Almond, Heaven 17 and Living In A Box featuring Kenny Thomas, July 10; Keane, July 17; Little Mix, July 21; McFly, August 14; Louis Tomlinson, August 15, and Nile Rodgers & Chic, August 21. What’s more, further shows were to have been added. Not any more.

Leopard king: Rod Stewart at York Racecourse last June, promoted by Cuffe and Taylor

Last year, Cuffe and Taylor promoted Rod Stewart’s first ever York concert, erecting a pop-up amphitheatre in the centre of York Racecourse and duly drawing 35,000 people to Knavesmire on June 1. Ah, those were the days.

Earlier this spring, Cuffe and Taylor were given the City of York Council thumbs-up for a licence for their first York Festival, albeit with the proviso that the volume must be turned down. Now, there will only be silence.

Boyzone meet Westlife as Brian and Keith bring Boyzlife to York Barbican in October

Keith Duffy and Brian McFadden are…Boyzlife

THERE’S still life in the boyz! Boyzlife, the supergroup of Irish boy band graduates Brian McFadden, from Westlife, and Boyzone’s Keith Duffy, will play York Barbican on October 15.

Their live show is drawn from a joint back catalogue of 18 number one singles, nine chart-topping albums and combined global record sales of 60 million. Expect to hear World Of Our Own, Mandy, Uptown Girl and Flying Without Wings among many fan favourites.

First playing together in 2016, Boyzlife embarked on part one of their 2020 travels on February 1 at Hull Bonus Arena, selling more than 35,000 tickets for a 32-date tour that will run until March 28, with limited tickets still available for Sheffield City Hall on March 24 (box office, 0114 2 789 789 or sheffieldcityhall.co.uk). 
Part two of the tour is booked in for September 1 to November 1, taking in further Yorkshire dates at Victoria Theatre, Halifax, on September 10, The Dome, Doncaster, October 17, and Scarborough Spa, October 23.

McFadden, 39, featured on all Westlife’s number one singles and albums before leaving in 2004, since when he has released five albums and 17 singles in a solo career launched with the UK number one Real To Me in September 2004. 

Duffy, 45,finished touring with Boyzone on October 25 last year on their Thank You And Goodnight Tour after six UK number one singles and five number one albums in a career where he also has branched out into acting in Coronation Street, Broken Nation and Fair City.

York tickets go on sale from today on 0203 356 5441, at yorkbarbican.co.uk or in person from the Barbican box office; Halifax, 01422 351158 or victoriatheatre.co.uk; Doncaster, 01302 370777 and 08442 770700 or dcit.co.uk; Scarborough, 01723 821888 or scarbroughspa.co.uk.

York Festival seeks charity partners for next summer. Here’s how to apply…

Madness: June 19 headliners at the first York Festival

YORK Festival, next summer’s three-day music event headlined by Madness, Westlife and Lionel Richie, wants to raise thousands of pounds for good causes by supporting York charities.

The organisers, concert promoters Cuffe and Taylor, are seeking three charity partners, who will benefit from the June 19 to 21 concerts at York Sports Club, in Clifton Park, Shipton Road.

Charities in and around York are asked to send an email to hello@york-festival.com to “find out how York Festival can help you” and register their interest in becoming a partner.

Cuffe and Taylor director Peter Taylor said: “We are incredibly excited about York Festival. This is going to be three amazing days of live music in this wonderful and historic city, headlined by a host of global stars.

“York Festival is going to be something really special,” says Cuffe and Taylor director Peter Taylor. “What will make it extra special is if we can help good causes in the city.”


“We want to help raise funds and exposure for local good causes. Over the past decade, we have worked with a number of fantastic charity partners at our events right across the UK. Through these partnerships we have helped raise more than £100,000 and we are now looking for charities based in and around York who we can work with.


“York Festival is going to be something really special. What will make it extra special is if we can help good causes in the city.”


Cuffe and Taylor promote the summer concert seasons at Scarborough Open Air Theatre, bringing Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue and Lionel Richie to the Yorkshire coast.

They also staged Rod Stewart’s sold-out York Racecourse concert this year, drawing 35,000 people to a specially constructed pop-up amphitheatre in the centre of the Knavesmire course on June 1.

All night long: Lionel Richie has the York Festival stage to himself on June 21

Cuffe and Taylor previously set up Lytham Festival, a Lancashire event that has worked with various charities over the past decade.

Trinity Hospice and Brian House Children’s Hospice in Blackpool, for example, have benefited to the tune of £50,000.

Trinity Hospice Community fundraising manager Michelle Lonican said: “We feel very honoured to have worked with Cuffe and Taylor on a number of their high-profile events.

“Their support for both Trinity Hospice and Brian House has been phenomenal, and not only have we been able to raise thousands of pounds, but also every event has always been a fantastic opportunity for us to increase our profile and attract new supporters.

Westlife: Playing York Festival on Summer Solstice night

“It is great to see Cuffe and Taylor launching a new festival in York and we would urge charities there to apply to become a partner and get involved in what will no doubt be a very successful event.”

York Festival’s debut line-up brings together headliners Madness, those Nutty Boys from Camden Town, Lightning Seeds,funk and soul DJ Craig Charles, Leeds indie rockers Apollo Junction and York’s Violet Contours on June 19.

Irish boy band Westlife top the Saturday bill – next year’s Summer Solstice night – as part of their Stadiums In The Summer Tour, joined by All Saints, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Scouting for Girls and Take That’s Howard Donald for a DJ set.

The Sunday night focus falls on American soul and funk legend Lionel Richie for a set of Commodores and solo hits.

For more York Festival information and tickets, go to York-festival.com.

Hello again! Lionel Richie to play Scarborough as well as York next summer

Hello? Play Scarborough as well as York, you say? Why not, says Lionel Richie

LIONEL Richie will play two North Yorkshire shows within a fortnight next summer after adding Scarborough Open Air Theatre on June 9 to his York Festival appearance on June 21.

Tickets go on sale for his Scarborough return on Wednesday at 9am, Richie having made his sold-out debut there in June 2018 on his All The Hits, All Night Long tour.

“It was a truly wonderful night on the Yorkshire coast in 2018 and I cannot wait to return to this beautiful part of the UK again,” says the Alabama soul singer, songwriter and producer. “It’s going to be another night to remember, so bring you’re dancing shoes.”

Richie, 70, will play Scarborough as part of his Hello!, Hits tour, performing songs from his Commodores days to the present day, taking in Three Times A Lady, Truly, Dancing On The Ceiling, Say You Say Me, Hello and All Night Long.

Honoured last year with the Ivor Novello PRS for Music Special International Award, to go with an Oscar, Golden Globe and four Grammy awards and 100 million album sales, Richie released his latest album, Live From Las Vegas, in the summer.

Heading East: Westlife: to play Scarborough in the same week as their York Festival headline show next June

York Festival can be added to such Richie festival headline sets as Bonnaroo, Outside Lands and Glastonbury, where he drew more than 200,000 to main stage in 2015.

Cuffe and Taylor are promoting both his Scarborough and York gigs. “Lionel Richie is an undoubted global superstar and we are delighted to be able to bring him back here to Scarborough,” says director Peter Taylor.

“His 2018 sold-out show was the stuff of legend. It was a brilliant night in the presence of one of the most successful and celebrated music artists of all time.”

As well as Richie, Cuffe and Taylor have booked Irish boy band Westlife to play both locations, Scarborough OAT on June 17 and York Festival, at York Sports Club, Clifton Park, Shipton Road, on June 20.

Tickets for Scarborough OAT concerts are on sale at scarboroughopenairtheatre,com, on 01723 818111 or 01723 383636, or in person from the venue, in Burniston Road, or the Discover Yorkshire Tourism Bureau, ScarboroughTown Hall, St Nicholas Street.

For York Festival tickets, go to york-festival.com.

Lionel Richie, Madness and Westlife are “perfect line-up” for first ever York Festival

Hello…is that York Festival calling? Lionel Richie says yes to playing at York Sports Club


AMERICAN soul icon Lionel Richie, British ska legends Madness and Irish pop stars Westlife will headline the first ever York Festival next year.

Mounted by Cuffe and Taylor, the three-day music festival will be held at York Sports Club, Clifton Park, Shipton Road, from June 19 to 21 2020.


Three-day passes, giving access to every night, are available at £129 from today at york-festival.com. Tickets for each night go on sale at £39.50 at 9am on Thursday.


Opening-night headliners Madness, the Camden Town Nutty Boys with a music-hall wit and ska roots, will be joined by Ian Broudie’s Lightning Seeds; BBC radio presenter Craig Charles, for a funk and soul DJ set; Leeds indie rockers Apollo Junction and rising York act Violet Contours.

Westlife will play York Festival on the Saturday as part of their Stadiums In The Summer Tour. Billed as “Britain’s top-selling album group of the 21st century”, they will combine such hits as Swear It Again, Flying Without Wings and You Raise Me Up with songs from their November 15 album, Spectrum.

Joining Westlife in the June 20 line-up will be All Saints, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, indie rock band Scouting For Girls and Take That’s Howard Donald for a DJ set.

On the closing night, Lionel Richie, 70, will be the star attraction as the four-time Grammy Award winner performs both solo and Commodores material.

Good sports: Madness sign up to bring the nuttiest sound around to York Festival at York Sports Club

Promoters Cuffe and Taylor present the Scarborough Open Air Theatre concert programme each summer, bringing Lionel Richie, Madness and Westlife to the East Coast in past years, as well as the likes of Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, Sir Elton John and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

They also staged Rod Stewart’s York Racecourse concert on June 1 this summer, drawing 35,000 to a specially erected amphitheatre in the centre of the Knavesmire course.

Director Peter Taylor says: “This is the very first York Festival, so we wanted to make this a very special debut year.


“To have Lionel Richie, Westlife and Madness as headliners – alongside many other brilliant chart-topping artists – is a real coup. We feel this is the perfect line-up for the first year of what we hope will become a major annual event in this wonderful and historic city.


“We cannot wait for Friday, June 19 and opening night. This really is going to be a weekend to remember.”


York Festival will be staged at York Sports Club, the home of York RUFC, York Cricket Club, York Tennis Club and York Squash Club, where The Best Of York Music Festival was held on May 26, The Big Nineties Festival on October 25 and Oktoberfest on October 26.


Nigel Durham, Trustee of York Sports Club and Chairman of York Cricket Club, said:“We are delighted to be hosting the first York Festival, a major new event for the city of York.

Full Spectrum: Westlife will perform songs old and new at York Festival next June


“An historic city the size and stature of ours truly deserves a high-profile music festival like this. And to be attracting such massive stars as Lionel Richie, Westlife and Madness is just brilliant.


“And with the festival being staged in the heart of the city, right here at York Sports Club, this really will capture the imagination and be a great thing for the city, residents, local businesses and visitors.”


Cuffe and Taylor are working closely with City of York Council and Make It York, whose role is to showcase and promote the city around the world.


Championing the inaugural York Festival, Sean Bullick, managing director of Make It York, says: “York Festival will be a brilliant addition to the city’s already busy calendar of summer events for both residents and visitors to enjoy.

“Welcoming such music legends and chart-topping artists, as well as showcasing local talent, is another step forward for York’s cultural offer and we are delighted to help spread the word to audiences.”

In addition to three-day passes and day tickets, a range of VIP offers are available. For more information, go to york-festival.com.

Charles Hutchinson