Ingleby singer Ryan Petitjean takes title at international contest that's like 'mini Eurovision'

A Teesside singer wowed the judges to win an international singing competition.

Now, in its sixth year the Music Meets Tourism Festival 2024 was held in Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, this month and Stockton singer Ryan Petitjean won the event, beating singers from all over he world. Ryan, who hails from Ingleby Barwick, said he hadn't heard of the competition before, but when he got there he couldn't believe what a big event it was - like a 'mini Eurovision'.

The Fujifilm scientist said: "I was taking part in another competition and the organisers saw me perform and asked me to take part in this. I didn't think it would be a big deal, but when I got there I was blown away by the scale of it. It was like a mini Eurovision.

"The whole idea of the competition is to fuse music and tourism, so they ask you to talk about where you come from. I was promoting Teesside, I talked about what was here and of course the Parmo. It was odd there were people talking about Miami and Berlin and I was talking about Teesside."

READ MORE: First look at proposed new restaurant and boutique hotel planned for former Mike Ashley store REAN MORE: Spain holidays 'more expensive than ever' with tourists facing whopping £164 nightly charge

Teesside singer Ryan Petitjean won the Music Meets Tourism Festival 2024
Teesside singer Ryan Petitjean won the Music Meets Tourism Festival 2024

He said he couldn't believe it when he won the event. He said: "There was a girl taking part who I thought would win, she was amazing. I hoped to be in the top three. So when they didn't say my name for third or second place I just thought she had won - I couldn't believe it when they were saying my name."

The organisers of the three-day festival said Ryan won 'because of his charisma, power of voice and connection with the public'.

Ryan, who performs lots of his own songs at events across the North East, including at Stockton and Orange Pip events, said the main part of the prize is to produce a song with an award-winning music producer and he will also perform and promote the festival next year.

Music Meets Tourism Festival aims to be a benchmark in the combination of music, fashion and tourism with a solidarity and cultural focus. Throughout the week, attendees enjoyed fashion shows, DJ battles, an awards gala and concerts, in an environment that showcased creativity and diversity. The festival was created to bring together residents, tourists, companies in the tourism sector and music lovers in the same space.

For breaking news in your area direct to your inbox every day, go here to sign up to our free newsletter