Cast, Reverend and the Makers and The Bluetones to play Sunderland’s Sunniside Live

26 January 2018

Sunderland’s longest standing, live outdoor music festival returns for a fourth year from Friday 6 - Saturday 7 July 2018 and promises to be the best yet.

Music legends Soul II Soul who became household names with hits like “Keep on Movin” and “Back to Life” will headline the Friday line up which kicks off at 4pm.

Band members including Jazzie B OBE and Caron Wheeler rose to fame in the mid 1980’s at the now legendary Africa Centre in London's Covent Garden.

To date Soul II Soul have sold over 10 million albums in over 35 territories worldwide and have product on over 200 compilation CDs while Jazzie has accreditation on over 35 million albums in over 100 territories. They’ve performed in over 20 countries, and appeared at some of the most famous venues in the world including Wembley and New York's Universal Ample Theatre.

The festival fun continues from noon the next day with a line-up of classic Indie bands including Reverend and the Makers, CAST and The Bluetones.

Reverend and the Makers have achieved five UK Top 20 Albums and five Top Five Indie chart singles: debut album ‘The State of Things’ (2007) included the UK Top Five single ‘Heavyweight Champion Of the World.’ Second album ‘A French Kiss In The Chaos’ followed in 2009 and saw the band supporting Oasis on their final tour at stadiums across the UK and also a UK tour with fellow Sheffielders Arctic Monkeys. ‘@Reverend Makers’ was released in 2012, ‘Thirty Two’ was unleashed in 2014 and the critically applauded ‘Mirrors’ was released in 2015.

CAST originally formed in 1992 from the ashes of two of the most legendary and lauded guitar bands of all time, The La’s and Shack, Cast released four albums, the second ‘Mother Nature Calls’ also went platinum (three of them top 10), and had ten top 10 singles, before disbanding in 2001. A decade later in 2012, the bands original line-up reunited with original producer John Leckie (Stone Roses, Radiohead, The Fall) for ‘Troubled Times’. The reinvigorated band produced an album full of the anthemic, melodic and beautifully written songs for which they have always been loved by their fervent fanbase.

The Bluetones who were formed in Greater Manchester in 1993 and are well known for singles such as 'Bluetonic' and 'Slight Return’, The band has scored thirteen Top 40 singles and three Top 10 albums in the UK charts. They have remained consistently popular since the Britpop era, they have continued to tour and release new records. Their most recent album A New Athens was released in May 2010.

The event is organised by Sean Maddison and Helen Davies who run both Bar Justice and Gin & Bear it Bar at West Sunniside and is being supported by Sunderland BID and media partners SunFM.

Sean said: “Each year we build on the strengths and weaknesses of the year before to make the festival even better. We are so excited for this year’s Sunniside Live and have worked hard to secure an amazing line up. “

“Soul II Soul is amazing live and we are thrilled to have them headline the opening night of the festival. Rather than have one main headliner on the Saturday we decided to have several established bands making it even better value for money. “

“There are many more acts that have been secured but contractually have to be announced at a slightly later date. Tickets are limited so we urge people to buy them early to avoid disappointment as once they are gone they are gone.”

Gemma Dishman, Marketing and Communications Manager at Sunderland BID, added:

“Sunniside Live is a fantastic event for the city of Sunderland and we are delighted to see it return for a fourth year. The BID have been involved in the event since its conception and are proud to see it go from strength to strength. It’s great to have a live outdoor music event in the city centre that attracts a friendly crowd, who we know go on to spend in other businesses across the city during the weekend event.

It's now staple in many peoples calendar, giving them something to look forward to in the summer months. However if you haven’t been before, then it’s definitely something worth booking in with family and friends, you’re  guaranteed a fun day out that will literally have you dancing in the streets.”

The Battle of the Band competition will open again soon allowing up and coming acts to compete for a place at this year’s Sunniside Live.

The capacity for Sunniside LIVE is 4,500 on both days and tickets are on sale now at, for more information email [email protected]

Tickets are £50 for a weekend pass, £27.50 for a Friday night ticket and £34.50 for a Saturday ticket. Limited Early Bird tickets are on Sale. Sponsorship VIP packages are available on request.