A SUCCESSFUL North East music festival is to return for the second time, headed up by a leading international jazz funk band.
Sunniside Live, Sunderland’s only city centre live music festival, is to take place on July 16 with headliners The Brand New Heavies, who will be journeying to Wearside ahead of a USA tour.
The band will be joined by a host of other acts, including North East groups Smoove & Turrell and Dennis, along with special guests Alison Limerick and Shola Ama.
The event is organised by Helen Davies and Sean Maddison who run both Bar Justice and newly opened Gin & Bear it Bar at West Sunniside and is being supported by Sunderland BID.
“We were over the moon with the response to last year’s event,” said Sean.
“And it’s that response that’s made us stage it again. We believe, as a business, that it helped to raise the profile of the area and we want to put the focus on Sunderland city centre and use it to showcase what we have here.”
The event, which will run from 12pm until 10pm, will include a number of food stalls, a pop-up café by The Place Café. There will also be a licenced bar run by Bar Justice and Gin & Bear It bar, a retro Pimm’s van and a bottle and spirits stall.
Ken Dunbar, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID said he was delighted to see Sunniside Live return.
“This was an extremely successful event last year that attracted thousands of people to the city centre,” he said.
“And that success lasts beyond the event itself as it turns a spotlight on this area of the city and shows what fantastic bars and restaurants are situated there.”
During the run up to the festival, Bar Justice will also be holding a Battle of the Bands competition, with the winner opening Sunniside Live and performing alongside some of the music festival’s big names.
The plan for this year is to increase the event capacity from 2500 to 4000, with wristbands to attend on sale now at £10 from www.sunnisidelive.co.uk or by visiting Bar Justice or Gin & Bear It bar.