North East Connected

Tumble into The Bunker for a Week of Song Writing

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 14.20.15SUNDERLAND’s aspiring songwriters are being invited to be part of a musical adventure, exploring the world of lyric writing.

The Bunker, a community interest company (CIC) based on the outskirts of the city centre, is running a week-long song-writing workshop – Write Me, Play Me – that will adopt an Alice in Wonderland theme, to celebrate 150 years since the classic novel was first published.

The week, which will begin on Monday [August 24], will see would-be songwriters from across the city supported to write their own music, themed around the Lewis Carroll classic that is said to have been inspired by the writer’s love of Sunderland.  The week will be made up of daily two-hour sessions at The Bunker, where musicians will turn their hand to writing a song; they will eventually compose it and perform in front of The Red Queen of herself.

Liam Huitson, project manager at The Bunker, said: “This workshop is an opportunity for people to learn more about the skills it takes to write and create a song.

“We want people to learn and develop throughout the week and hopefully, the programme will unlock a passion for music that we can continue to support through our work at The Bunker.  It is intended to be an engaging, inviting introduction to music for people who are keen to try their hand at songwriting, with the support of our team.”

The Bunker’s Write Me, Play Me workshop is open to lyricists aged eight and upwards, and is suitable for writers of all abilities.  It is one of a number of Alice in Wonderland themed events that is running across the city to mark the Alice’s 150th birthday.  The theme has been supported by the city’s 3,6,9 Vision, and some of the biggest businesses in the city have adopted it as part of their own events programme.

Ken Dunbar, chief executive of Sunderland BID – one of the organisations that has led on Alice themed events – said: “The Bunker is an organisation that adds so much vibrancy and colour to the city centre, and has been driving the development of the city’s music scene for 35 years.

“Its fantastic to see them getting behind a full city programme of Alice themed events, which celebrate the special links Sunderland has with Lewis Carroll and his Alice in Wonderland novels.  Music is a really important part of the city’s cultural identity, and to have The Bunker offering such a fantastic opportunity to aspiring songwriters and musicians in the city, using a story that may well have been inspired by Sunderland, is really great.”

The weeklong workshop costs £40 and will take place between 10am and 12pm each day.  It will culminate – on theSaturday and Sunday – with the group performing the songs they have created at a Giant Tea Party event, taking place in the city centre.

The Bunker, is a community interest company (CIC) and its work is funded by a combination of income from professional bands who rent their studios, individuals who pay a low cost to use the space, and funding to cover the projects it delivers with schools, community groups and old people.  Anyone who would like to book onto the workshop should visit The Bunker to find out more, or call 0191 567 1777 or email

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