Open House

Calling all amateur performers in Sunderland – Come and take part in Open House!

Get involved in a citywide celebration of talent in our communities at The Fire Station.

We’re throwing our doors open and inviting Sunderland’s amateur performance groups to be among the first performers to grace the stage at the city’s brand-new music and performance venue, The Fire Station, in February 2022.

All amateur groups are welcome – singers, dancers, musicians, theatre groups, magicians, circus acts, comedians, performance poets and more…of all ages.

Photo credits: The Cultural Spring, Twisting Ducks Theatre Company and Summer Streets Festival.

An Easy Read Version of the Call Out can be found here

An audio version of the Guidelines and application form can be found here


  1. Open House is a celebration of community performing arts in Sunderland – it is open to anyone who lives in the city – of any age, gender, ethnicity, and background.
  2. Open House is for our amateur performers and not open to professional artists. We define “amateur” as referring to people who engage in an activity as a pastime without any financial reward.
  3. This opportunity is primarily for amateur performing arts groups.  We will consider solo artists but cannot guarantee a performance slot for them
  4. By “performing arts” we mean music, theatre, dance, comedy, circus, poetry/spoken word, magic – of any genre or type
  5. The event will take place over several days in the week 21st – 26th February 2022
  6. Performances will take place during the daytime and the evening, and we will discuss what timings work best for you or your group
  7. Performances must be a maximum of 10 minutes long
  8. You will be able to rehearse on stage for a short period of time either on the morning of your performance or on a day earlier in the week.
  9. You may wear costumes and use light props if required but we will not be able to put any scenery up for you
  10. We will provide basic lighting without any special effects
  11. We have excellent sound equipment through which we can play any accompanying music or sound effects
  12. We will provide backline for any bands wishing to perform e.g., drumkit, bass & guitar amps
  13. Please ensure you have permission to perform your piece – for instance you may need to check the rights to perform a song.
  14. Each separate performance will be part of a larger event involving several different groups and individuals that may last 1 – 2 hours in length. Depending on how many groups or individuals apply, we may present several of these longer events over the week
  15. Friends and families will be able to buy tickets from The Fire Station’s ticket office or online closer to the performance dates
  16. The tickets will be for the entire performance in which you are taking part and we ask that audience members remain for the entire performance

To apply

There are 3 different ways you can submit your application – please choose one of the following:

⦁ You can complete the online application form below.


⦁ You can submit an audio file (maximum 5 minutes long) answering the application form questions to [email protected] (Please state in the subject line “Open House Application”)


⦁ You can submit a video file (maximum 5 minutes long) answering the application form questions to ⦁ [email protected] (Please state in the subject line “Open House Application”)

Deadline for Applications is Monday 31st January 2022

We will do our best to accommodate as many community artists and groups as we can, but slots may be limited so hurry and apply now!

Open House is part of Firestarters, The Fire Station’s opening programme. It is commissioned by Sunderland Music Arts and Culture Trust and supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Open House Application Form

Please fill out this form if you would like to register your interest in Open House.
e.g., Dance, Music, Theatre, etc
For instance, it could be a young people’s dance group, a choir for older people, a rock band, a mixed age theatre group, etc
e.g., name of song, dance, or theatre piece
You are welcome to send us any video of your group, but this is not essential