City Centre streets abuzz with live music and Carnival Spirit

25 June 2014

NEVER mind the price tag as Jessie J would say, because the streets of Sunderland were buzzing on Saturday as the city prepared for the blinkbox music North East Live concert and the upcoming ¡VAMOS! Festival with a programme of free entertainment.

Karen Tomlinson – aka ‘Just Jessie’ – brought her own tribute act to the city streets as she performed all of the star’s hits to get fans in the mood ahead of Sunday’s concert at Sunderland AFC’s Stadium of Light.

In addition to Just Jesse, visitors to Sunderland’s city centre on Saturday (21 June) enjoyed live music from The Glitter Dolls, a range of dazzling street performers, hip-hop dance group, Dance Jam, and Northumbria University student and singer-songwriter, Kyle Jackson. All of which provided a mix of original tunes and some interesting covers in keeping with the themes of the North East Live line-up.

Sunderland shoppers also caught a glimpse of the ¡VAMOS! Festival, as dancers and musicians showcased their forthcoming Brazilian street party set for Saturday, 5 July 2014.

Although England are out of the world cup, it doesn’t mean the party has to end too. The ¡VAMOS! Festival, which will be centred around a specially commissioned pavilion in Market Square featuring Brazilian artwork, will bring colour, dance and great sounds to the heart of Sunderland with live music from ‘Burundanga Brazilia’, Brazilian dancing and the chance to try genuine Latin street food from Pica Pica.

The fabulous Rio carnival queens from Element Dance Company, children’s mask painting workshops and a photo booth to capture the best bits of the day will also keep visitors entertained.

Saturday’s programme of live entertainment and the upcoming ¡VAMOS! Brazilian street party both form part of a series of summer music events to be delivered in the city by Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID) working in partnership with Sunderland Live.

Ken Dunbar, chief executive of BID Sunderland, said: “In Sunderland it isn’t all about the money, money, money, and we’ve been encouraging all families to come into the city centre this summer to experience the festival atmosphere. Each event has offered an exciting variety of free entertainment and the upcoming ¡VAMOS! Festival is sure to bring the feel-good factor to the streets of Sunderland.

“People should certainly come, join in the fun and enjoy all that the events have to offer as well as Sunderland’s fantastic range of cafés, restaurants and shops.”