IT’S beginning to look at lot like Christmas - even before we’ve had Bonfire Night!
Meadowhall shoppers dreaming of a bright Christmas got an early present as X Factor winner Matt Cardle headlined an outdoor Christmas Lights Switch-On Charity Concert for over 10,000 people on the Hallam FM stage, in the mall’s huge Oasis car park.
For the first time pop fans were asked to pay £2.50 each to attend - but with proceeds going to Meadowhall’s Charity of the Year, Helen’s Trust and Hallam FM’s Cash for Kids.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our video report with concert highlights, plus chat with Matt Cardle and the other stars.
Matt, who topped the charts last Christmas with debut single When We Collide, was promoting his new album, Letters.
What he really wants for Christmas is another number one - with next single, Starlight, out on December 5.
One wish was granted early when he was asked to take part in the lights switch-on event.
He revealed: “I’ve never been asked to do this before. It’s my first. It’s amazing how much X Factor has changed my life. It was scary taking part, but I’m enjoying this year.”
Also performing were MOBO award-winner Tinchy Stryder, Britain’s Got Talent finalist Ronan Parke, ex-Neighbours heartthrob turned singer Sam Clark, Bajan four-piece Cover Drive, trio Girls Next Door, up-and-coming band Encore, girl group Vanquish and pop dance outfit SixD - featuring Chesterfield lass Cassie Macmillan.
She told The Star: “I’m usually shopping in Meadowhall and here I am singing on stage. It’s crazy.”
The concert also saw local hip hop theatre company Rationale wow the crowd with their energetic dance routines.
Hosting the event was Hallam FM Breakfast show presenter Big John. He said: “What a party. It was an absolute honour for me to play a part in the switch-on concert and to be in the middle of it all once again. Last year was big, but this year was massive.”
Darren Pearce, Centre Director at Meadowhall, said: “It was terrific to have such a brilliant line-up, thanks to Hallam FM – and so many people turning out to raise money for great causes.”
Hallam FM Station Director, Anthony Gay, said: “The switch on has become a big occasion on South Yorkshire’s event calendar and as ever we were proud to be involved.”
Santa will help kick-start more festive celebrations at Meadowhall with a parade, featuring special guests The Chipmunks, in Lower Park Lane next Thursday, November 10, at 4pm.
The parade will make its way through the malls to The Enchanted Kingdom grotto, in the Upper Gallery, which will be open shop hours to December 24.