BGT winner Jai to open Rock the Stadium

Jai McDowall will open Rock the Stadium on June 21.
Jai McDowall will open Rock the Stadium on June 21.

A Falkirk connection sealed the deal for a singing star to perform in the town this summer.

Jai McDowall was this week announced as the opening act at the Rock the Stadium festival, which takes place at The Falkirk Stadium this summer.

The vocalist from Ayrshire, who shot to fame when he won the televised contest ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ in 2011, will play Westfield on Friday, June 21.

The 26-year-old was booked following an appeal from the board of Falkirk Football Club for acts with a local connection to get in touch about the possibility of playing at Rock the Stadium.

That prompted life-long Bairns fan Shad Love, who plays keyboards in McDowall’s backing band, to make contact.

Shad, originally from Grangemouth, said: “I’m at The Falkirk Stadium every second week to see the Bairns play. I can’t wait for my own chance to perform there.”

Andy Thomson, of the event’s organising committee, said: “As you can imagine we are all delighted to have Jai open Rock the Stadium.

“From a personal point of view it’s fantastic that one of our own is able to take to the stage on opening night - for most of us playing at The Falkirk Stadium is only a dream, but for Shad it’s a dream come true.”

More than 12 million people were watching when McDowall upset the odds by winning the fifth series of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’.

Music mogul Simon Cowell, one of the show’s judges, described him as a “worthy winner”.

McDowall released his debut album, ‘Believe’, shortly after on Cowell’s own record label, but was then dropped after it only made number 54 on the charts.

The Rock the Stadium festival takes place from June 21-23 and will feature performances from a diverse range of pop stars and legendary rock groups.

Friday night will be headlined by Irish boy band star Ronan Keating, while Saturday will have a distinct 1980s theme as a host of retro pop acts such as Altered Images and Five Star perform. Midge Ure, the organiser of Band Aid and writer of such chart smashes as ‘Vienna’ and ‘Fade to Grey’, will headline.

Then on Sunday it’s the turn of rock n’ roll legends Status Quo to take to the stage.

Organisers will be hoping the concert can match the success of last year’s Elton John show, when more than 13,000 people flocked to Westfield.

For ticket details, visit www.rockthestadiun.co.uk.