Summer of Music to thrill Wearside

A SUMMER Of Music is set to sweep Sunderland.

The city will reaffirm its musical credentials as venues across Wearside host a vast array of bands, groups, musicians and singers from a range of musical genres.

Venues from the Stadium of Light to pubs, clubs, parks and theatres have come together to promote Summer of Music – three months of brilliant gigs and performances.

Huge arena shows from the likes of Ed Sheeran (Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4) and Elton John (Sunday, June 19) at the Stadium will bring an estimated 150,000 people into the city, while other venues such as Independent, The Point, Pop Recs and The Fire Station will host smaller, more intimate performances.

Meanwhile, music fans can also enjoy FIVE outdoor festivals, with the free Summer Streets Festival at Cliff Park, Roker, featuring the usual eclectic mix of musical genres, and the Kubix Pop and Dance Day at Herrington Country Park both being held on the same day – Saturday, July 9.

Earlier, the Let’s Rock Retro Festival will be staged at Herrington Country on Saturday, June 11. Billy Ocean, Wet, Wet, Wet, Level 42, Tony Hadley, Nick Heyward and Tom Bailey from The Thompson Twins are among the stars performing.

Herrington Country Park also hosts the Kubix Festival on Friday, July 15 and Saturday, July 16. The line-up over the two days includes UB40, Happy Mondays, Lightning Seeds Little Fingers, Altered Images and Glasvegas.

The last of the outdoor music festivals, the Lamplight Festival, will be held from Friday, August 5 to Sunday, August 7. Jack Savoretti, The Kaiser Chiefs and Deacon Blue are the headliners, but Sunderland’s own indie-pop singer/songwriter Faye Fantarrow is also performing.

As you can tell from Faye’s presence on the Lamplight bill, the Summer of Music is not all about big, established names performing on massive stages. Sunderland is a city known to nurture its talent, and the Summer of Music is as much about developing local and regional talent as it is about showcasing international megastars.

For instance, Plastic Glass are a Sunderland-based indie rock four piece who’ve featured on BBC Introducing, similarly, Docksuns are a four-piece indie rock band from Wearside – both play Independent during the Summer of Music.

As you’d expect, Sunderland Empire has several musical performances over the three months of Summer of Music. These include musical shows such as Mamma Mia, Footloose, The Simon & Garfunkel Story, That’ll Be The Day and The Johnny Cash Story as well as The Community Chorus Choir, The Drifters and a Rod Stewart tribute night.

Tamsin Austin, Director at The Fire Station, said: “Sunderland has long had a brilliant reputation for producing, appreciating and hosting live music and when you look through the programme for Summer of Music you can see why.

“What’s on offer is truly outstanding; whatever genre of music you enjoy there is something for you – rock, pop, jazz, soul, country and everything in between. It’s also great to see so many venues and organisations pull together in a one-city approach. We have the critical mass of venues and talent to do this and let’s hope this is the first of what will become an annual, not-to-be-missed date in Sunderland’s calendar.

“It’s impressive that organisations like Sunderland Culture and Sunderland City Council are working so closely with independent venues on the Summer of Music programme. Music lovers living in the city are in for an absolute treat, and there’s no doubt Summer of Music will draw in people from across the region and beyond, reinforcing our credentials as a musical city.”

Tamsin’s venue plays host to several Summer of Music gigs, including iconic Saint Etienne (Friday, June 10), The Futureheads (Saturday, June 11) and The Damned (Thursday, June 16) and the venue also co-hosts a new and exciting music and arts festival – Boundaries -that aims to champion and support ‘adventurous sounds and performers.’ The festival will be co-hosted by The Peacock and The Fire Station on Friday, June 17 and Saturday, June 18.

Just around the corner from The Peacock, Keel Square and the former Vaux site will host a Soul Food and Music Festival from Friday, June 10 to Sunday, June 12. Organised by Sunderland City Council and Sunderland BID in partnership with Hairy Biker Si King, the festival will combine food with the smooth sounds of Smoove & Turrell, Groove Train, the Voices of Virtue choir and The King Cush Band.

Other more unusual venues for Summer of Music include The Stack, Seaburn’s popular food village, and new arts and culture hub Seventeen Nineteen, which recently reopened following a £4.3m restoration in Sunderland’s Holy Trinity Church and hosts Old Time Sailors, a ‘flashmob musical show,’ on Thursday, June 9.

Steve Davison, Chief Operating Officer at SAFC, said: “The Summer of Music is a hugely exciting initiative, one which we see as an encouraging step forward for the city of Sunderland. We are delighted to be welcoming Elton John and Ed Sheeran to the Stadium of Light for the venue’s first concerts since 2019. We are proud to be part of a fantastic calendar of live music across Sunderland, and we will work hard to build on the programme each year, engaging communities in Sunderland and the whole of the North East.”

Ben Wall, Manager at Independent, added: “Independent will celebrate its 16th birthday this year and Sunderland’s never had it so good when it comes to live music. With so much on this Summer, across multiple venues, it just shows how far we’ve come as a city.”

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June 2 – Spiers and Boden at The Fire Station

June 3 and 4 – Ed Sheeran at the Stadium of Light

June 4 – Ginger Wildheart at Pop Recs

June 4 – Bernie Christie at The Ship Isis

June 5 – Rob Lamberti – A Celebration of the Songs & Music of George Michael at STACK Seaburn

June 5 – Martin Stephenson and The Daintees at The Peacock

June 8 – Ronnie Scott’s All Stars at The Fire Station

June 9 – Old Time Sailors at Seventeen Nineteen

June 10 – Plastic Glass at Independent

June 10 – Saint Etienne at The Fire Station

June 10 – 12 – Soul Food and Music Festival at Keel Square & former Vaux Site

June 11 – Docksuns at Independent

June 11 – Let’s Rock at Herrington Country Park

June 11 – The Futureheads at The Fire Station

June 14 – The Simon and Garfunkel Story at Sunderland Empire

June 16 – The Damned at The Fire Station

June 17 and 18 – Boundaries Festival at The Fire Station & The Peacock

June 17 – Firelight Opera at Live Lounge

June 17 – Labyrinthine Oceans at Independent

June 18 – War and Treaty at The Fire Station

June 18 – Big Country at The Point

June 19 – Elton John at the Stadium of Light

June 19 – The Johnny Cash Roadshow at Sunderland Empire

June 25 – The Skids at The Peacock

July 1 – Thieves of Liberty at Independent

July 2 – Songs and Stories with Nev Clay at The Ship Isis

July 3 – Rob Brydon – A Night of Songs and Laughter at Sunderland Empire

July 7 – Summer Streets presents Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs, Pigs at Pop Recs

July 8 – Rock Against Racism: Slalom D, Loaded 44 at The Peacock

July 9 – Summer Streets presents Kenneth Ishak, Weekend Faithful at Pop Recs

July 9 – Summer Streets Festival at Cliff Park

July 9 – Kubix Pop & Dance Day at Herrington Country Park

July 15 – Dave Burdon at The Ship Isis

July 15 and 16 – Kubix Festival at Herrington Country Park

July 21 – The Drifters at Sunderland Empire

July 28 – Subalternos at The Peacock

July 29 – Lull at Independent

July 30 – Hivemind at Independent

August 5-7 – Lamplight Festival at Mowbray Park

August 6 – Songs and Stories with Nev Clay at The Ship Isis

August 9 – John Francis Flynn, Tom Hawick, Sarah Hayes at Pop Recs

August 12 – Ibiza Legends: Judge Jules, Danny Rampling, K-Klass at The Point

August 19 – Noyou at Independent

Aug 20 – The Bowie Experience at Independent

Aug 25 – Fresh, Fortitude Valley at Pop Recs

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