BID to bring music to Sunderland is a success

03 August 2015

A SUCCESSFUL first year for a new North East festival is music to the ears of organisers.

And now the hope is to turn Sunnside Live into an annual event in Sunderland.

The one day event, created by Sunderland’s Business Improvement District company and one of the city’s popular venues Bar Justice, was held at the city’s Sunniside Gardens in July.

The sell-out event, which was designed to attract visitors and showcase what the area has to offer, gave guests the chance to enjoy an afternoon of free entertainment from some of the region’s top talents.

And the success of the first year means the festival is on track to take place annually.

“It was fantastic to see an event which brought so many people to Sunniside and was warmly received,” said Ken Dunbar, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID.

“The fact that the first Sunniside Live was such a success has paved the way for making it an annual event on the North East calendar.”

The festival, which brought more than 2500 people to Sunniside, included performances from a number of North East stars such as headliner, Frankie and the Heartstrings, Olivia Lawson, finalist from the hit BBC One show The Voice, Yellowstone, The Source Unplugged and DJ Craig Hope.

They were joined by Hyde & Beast – made up of Dave Hyde, from the Futureheads, and Neil Bassett from the Golden Virgins – and soul and motown legend, Joe Harriett. 

The show was opened by Social Room, who won the Battle of the Bands competition, held by Bar Justice in the run up to the event

 “The festival couldn’t have gone any better, it went really smoothly and was more popular than we anticipated,” said Helen Davies, owner of Bar Justice.

“It was great to see so many people in and around Sunniside and so many businesses getting involved in an event that could really benefit the area.

“We’re so grateful to Sunderland BID for all of their help, a lot of hard work went into organising Sunniside Live and we couldn’t be happier with the result.”

Throughout the day there were stalls from several of Sunniside’s businesses including Sweet Home Alabama, Station Taxis, Place Café and Relish.

For more information about the event visit