06 June 2023

VISITORS to Sunderland this month will be able to enjoy music from some of the North East’s rising stars as the city takes part in a major national event.

Wednesday 21 June is Make Music Day, when musicians from across the country shine a spotlight on all musical genres with a variety of online and live performances.

And Sunderland is giving a platform to homegrown talent with busking stations at Fawcett Street, Blandford Street, Market Square, High Street West and Park Lane, where around 20 of the region’s upcoming artists will perform everything from country to R&B.

Musicians at each site will play a selection of cover songs and original pieces and among those taking part are singer-songwriter Sara Leilah, who has already performed alongside The Lake Poets’ Marty Longstaff and played at Sage Gateshead.

Ian Campbell, from Seaham, has been performing around the region for the past 12 years and plays a wide range of songs to suit various audiences from rock to pop to folk, while fans of country may well be familiar with Sunderland’s very own Kimmi.

A regular at both Sunderland Pride and Northern Pride as well as festivals across the North East, Kimmi performs and also writes her own songs, with the first single from her debut EP, Reaching Out My Hand, soon to be released.

Beccy Young has been performing as This Little Bird for over 10 years, singing her stories of love, loss and growing up in a coastal town and Indie-rock, alt-pop solo performer Darren Mitchell, from Ashington, will bring a mix of original songs and covers.

Others taking part include Durham solo guitarist and singer-songwriter Holly Clare,

Ozzy and Frankie from the new band The Creeches, Ruby Kelly who left her home town in Wales to join the Wearside music scene and artists Jenali, Didi and Layla.

Brass Monkey, who has reached the Top 10 in radio charts from Germany and Australia to Canada and the US, will be wowing the crowds with his grunge-inspired bluesy rock while festival favourite Daniel Maple will be bringing the blues.

The city’s involvement in Make Music Day has been organised by Sunderland BID in conjunction with Sunderland City Council and We Make Culture and Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID, said she was “blown away by the musical talent in Wearside and the wider region.”

Make Music Day first came to the UK in 2012 and the number of gigs taking place has grown year on year with 1000 live and online performances involving 12,000 performers, playing to around 76,000 people and reached 2.8m via #MakeMusicDayUK in the UK last year.

This is the first year Sunderland has taken part and Sharon said: “We can’t wait to introduce these fantastic musicians to a wide audience.”

Cllr John Price, Cabinet Member for Vibrant City at Sunderland City Council, said “There’s going to be an amazing atmosphere in the city centre and I hope as many people as possible will come along on the day and support our musicians.”

For more information about this and other events at Sunderland city centre visit