Lighthouse Family announce split, leaving festival without headliner

The group, who had hits with Lifted and Ocean Drive have split after almost three decades together.

Nineties duo Lighthouse Family announce split after 30 years, leaving Newcastle festival without headline act Getty Images

Nineties duo Lighthouse Family have announced their split after almost 30 years, leaving a music festival without a headline act. 

Comprising of keyboardist Paul Tucker and singer-songwriter Tunde Baiyewu, the pair enjoyed hits such as Lifted and Ocean Drive in the 1990s. 

However after three decades, Baiyewu has left the group to focus on his solo career. 

Lighthouse Family were due to headline the Mouth of the Tyne festival just outside of Newcastle upon Tyne next month, which had been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However organisers have now been left without an act for the Saturday slot.

Announcing the news on Facebook, Tucker said: “I have tried everything with our agents and promoters over the last few weeks to make this work but we just couldn’t get it over the line.

“Tunde now wants to focus on his solo career and I wish him all the best.

“I would like to say sorry to the promoters and to all of you who have tickets for this show and have waited through the last two years.

“I was really looking forward to this hometown show and playing our songs in this amazing place close to the lighthouses that gave us our name.

“I am as disappointed as you are. It breaks my heart to let you down.”

North Tyneside Council has started to look for a replacement for the empty Saturday night slot.

The festival, which will be held at Tynemouth Priory and Castle in North Shields, will still run on Friday, July 8 with headliners Keane. 

Sophie Ellis-Bextor will headline the event on Sunday July 10 and festivalgoers with tickets for Saturday’s show will be given a refund. 

Councillor Carl Johnson, North Tyneside Council’s deputy mayor and cabinet member for culture, tourism and events, said: “We were extremely disappointed to hear that the Lighthouse Family are no longer performing together and will be unable to play their headline slot at the Mouth of the Tyne Festival.

“A sell-out audience have held onto their tickets throughout the pandemic, and like us, they were looking forward to the performance.

“However, the decision to pull out of the show has been made by the band leaving us all bitterly disappointed.

“Our festival team works throughout the year to put on an incredible show and are exploring all avenues to get a new headliner set up – as soon as we have a name confirmed we will communicate this and the new details to purchase a ticket.

“Thanks to all ticket holders for their understanding and apologies again for any disappointment.

“The show must go on and we know this year’s festival will still be a huge success.”

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