A MUSIC event promoter is offering to give away 300 free tickets to frontline emergency service and care staff for a community festival planned for this summer.

Scoop Music Festival is due to be held near Lanchester in August with camping over three days.

Last year, about 1,800 attended the first festival, at Wheelbirks, near Stocksfield, in Northumberland, and Tris Raine, 45, from Consett, was hoping for a good turnout this year.

With the country still in lockdown while the Government tries to tackle the coronavirus pandemic the festival, from August 21 to 23, looks uncertain, but Mr Raine remains hopeful.

He said: “Obviously, with the social distancing we don’t know whether it is going to go ahead this year, but we have not been told it cannot yet because it is so far ahead.

“A lot of the festivals happening in May and June have all postponed until August or September, so they are obviously hoping the same thing.

“They have not cancelled them.

“I am confident it will be okay.

“We are only at the start of May now so we have got months.

“We are hoping it will go ahead but if not it will be the same time next year.”

The festival is due to have a range of music including ska, punk, pop, indie and soft rock on three stages over the three days.

Tickets normally cost £45, including camping, for the three days at a site on Longedge Lane, which is on the way to Satley, and so far around 300 have been sold.

Mr Raine said: “If it is postponed until next year tickets can be refunded or held over until next year.

“Everyone knows the situation we are in and the guidelines.

“That is just life isn’t it? You cannot really argue.”

Mr Raine is offering 300 free tickets to frontline workers in the community for the way they have risen to the challenge during the Covid-19 outbreak.

He said: “I want them go the local people such as the frontliners from Dryburn, Shotley Bridge, Blaydon walk-in centre, all of the people from the ambulances and the fire service, all those kind of people, not just the managers, as they are the ones doing the work.

“They are all playing their part.

“We all go out an clap for a minute but if they are not there they do not see it happening.

“We want them to see our appreciation.

“It is our way of saying ‘thanks’.

“Give it a year and everyone might have forgotten what they have done.

“By giving away the free tickets we want to say ‘thank you for putting your life at risk’, because they are everyday by going out there.”

If the event is postponed the offer will still stand.

Mr Raine said: “We want them to have something to look forward to.”

To qualify, NHS and care staff, firefighters, police and ambulance staff can email scoopfestival@gmail.com with proof of their status.