A talented teenage singer-songwriter and her band are set to battle for the chance to perform at a major North East festival this summer.

Seventeen-year-old Tilly Lockey, from Consett, is to take part in the 'Road to Hardwick' competition this week with her band for a chance to play at Hardwick Festival this August.

This year, Becky Hill and Snow Patrol are amongst the headline performers and Tilly is now hoping to play on that same stage as the first heats to win that coveted spot begin on Friday (April 19).

The Northern Echo: Tilly and two of her band mates.Tilly and two of her band mates. (Image: SARAH LOCKEY)

This news comes less than a year after Tilly, who has amassed an impressive 107,000 followers on Instagram, released her debut single Porcelain. 

Tilly lost both her hands due to meningitis when she was just 15 months old, but since then has persevered to define her own sound, brand and even has her own record label.

Now, she is hoping her band will cinch the spot at Hardwick Festival which would give them the opportunity to perform in front of thousands.

Tilly said: “My band was only just formed at the end of 2023, and we have always been on the look out for opportunities – my mum actually sent me the link to apply.

“All bands look for these types of opportunities, especially here in the North East!”

The competition itself has multiple heats - with Tilly's being an all-female fronted group.

The Northern Echo: Tilly Lockey performing.Tilly Lockey performing. (Image: SARAH LOCKEY)

They will gather in the Newgate Social in The Gate, Newcastle, to be judged by professionals including Bondy, Generator national music agency chairman David Haley, BBC radio presenter Shaak, the female-led events company Marisam.

Out of hundreds of applicants, Tilly was chosen to compete and is now brimming with excitement to take to the stage and prove her band is worthy of the spot.

Tilly added: “I was so excited to find out we got through to the heats, we have been looking at festivals because that really is where you dream of being as a band.

“We pulled ourselves together and quickly got to rehearsals in preparation for the big day.”

In terms of what she's set to sing, Tilly said the majority of her set includes original songs as well as some covers to “get the crowd going”.

Tilly added: “To win, it would mean so much as it’s a huge opportunity and would be a big break for us.

“The fact Hardwick Festival is from the North East, it’s where I’m from and where the band was formed, it would be so special.

The Northern Echo: Tilly Lockey performing with her band.Tilly Lockey performing with her band. (Image: SARAH LOCKEY)

“We are hoping the North East will get behind us, but I know whoever wins will be worthy!”

As the clock ticks down for the heats, Tilly's mum Sarah expressed her pride and excitement for her daughter, who is "so passionate" about music.


Get more content including the stories that matter to your community from The Northern Echo for just £5 for 5 months for a limited time only here.

Sarah said: “I love it – Tilly is really coming into her own. Music is just one of the many things she is passionate about.

“She has the most amazing voice and her bandmates are so talented.

“To see the talent, to hear the songs she is writing – I just could not be more proud of her.”