Breakthrough Hartlepool musician to make 700-mile round trip to play at two festivals including Isle of Wight

Scottish pop duo The Proclaimers sang about walking 500 miles.

Friday, 10th September 2021, 4:45 am
Updated Friday, 10th September 2021, 9:20 am

Now a breakthrough Hartlepool musician will go one step further by embarking on a 700-mile round trip in 48 hours to play at two festivals at the opposite ends of the country.

Singer-songwriter Michael Gallagher, 25, has been offered the chance to play at This Is Tomorrow in Newcastle on Friday, September 17, and the famous Isle of Wight Festival the following day.

Despite the logistical difficulties of appearing at both Michael, who has been featured on BBC Music Introducing for raw UK talent, was desperate to make it happen.

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Michael Gallagher (right) performing on stage with band member Matthew Nicholson.

This year is the first festival season that he has played.

Unlike the top festival headliners, he doesn't have the same budget or backing, so he will be driving himself on the 15 hour, 691 miles round trip in a van.

Michael, who grew up in Dyke House, said: “You don’t get two opportunities like this in same the weekend so I thought it was important we do both.

"I went to a festival in Cornwall last week and stupidly volunteered to drive so that might soften it.

Left to right: Jake Hopkins, Will Hamilton, Michael Gallagher and Matthew Nicholson.

"But it’s still some trek. I will be tired come Sunday night.”

He will be joined by his band mates, who are also from the town, drummer Jake Hopkins, and guitarists Matthew Nicholson and Will Hamilton.

Michael is working night shifts at TMD Friction brake pad factory in Hartlepool this week and next to be able to make the trip.

After playing at This Is Tomorrow he and the band will jump straight into their van and hot tail it to their Airbnb near Southampton.

Early the next morning they will catch the ferry to East Cowes ready to go on stage at the Isle of Wight Festival in the afternoon.

Michael will then begin the long journey home on Sunday afternoon ready for work on Monday morning.

He played at this year’s Hartlepool Waterfront Festival where he supported top-billed The Futureheads and will headline his own show at Think Tank in Newcastle in December.

He is also playing at venue Independent, at Holmeside, Sunderland, on Friday, September 10.

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