21 June 2023

THE COUNTDOWN is now on for a weekend of fun, food and entertainment as Sunderland’s Food and Drink Festival prepares to return.

From 23 – 25 June the city will welcome cuisines from across the globe, homegrown food heroes and a tasty menu packed with activities for children and live music – creating the perfect recipe for everyone.

Over the weekend Keel Square, High Street West and Market Square will host a galaxy of stalls and pop-ups featuring familiar food favourites including Greek and Chinese, as well as less well known but equally delicious offerings from places such as the Caribbean and Singapore.

More than 50 traders are taking part, along with local producers who will be offering a range of delicious items for sale.

And all the food – and drink – will be washed down with a packed programme of live music, including performances from renowned Take That cover group, Re-Take That and former X-Factor star turned Capital Drive Time DJ, Sam Lavery. Ibiza Soul Duo and a whole host of local talent including This Little Bird and Sunderland College indie rock band, Swindled.

Arts and crafts sessions will be on offer, while colourful characters will be out and about to keep children entertained, as well as unique acts including stilt walking chefs and cupcakes and comedy dinner ladies.

Keel Square will be offering a range of giant games, with face painters also operating throughout the weekend.

The star of the show will undoubtedly be the exciting food offering, with Spanish, French and Indian cuisine among the many on show.                                

Drinks will include cocktails from Cocktail Bay and a Polish beer garden will serve a range of ales, along with a Pimm’s Tuk-tuk, Black Beetle Drinks and Dipple Tipple.

There will also be the option for some retail therapy, with a range of handicrafts, jewellery and ornaments on offer.

The festival has been created by Sunderland BID and Sunderland City Council, and

Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive at Sunderland BID, believes there is something for everyone.

“We’re delighted that we’ve been able to build all kinds of elements into the mix for this year’s event,” said Sharon.

“Along with some really exciting and unusual food stalls, we’ve also got an amazing programme of entertainment for youngsters and some exciting live music performances.

“It’s a great way to get our summer programme off to a really positive start.”

Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Member for Vibrant City, Councillor John Price echoed Sharon’s words.

“The Food and Drink Festival is an experience that everyone can enjoy and which really has catered for all tastes,” he said.

“It’s going to be a brilliant weekend and we are delighted to have worked with the BID to bring the event back again, even bigger and better than before.”

For more information about the Food and Drink Festival with all the timings for the weekend activities, visit