Sunniside Festival goes live for the third year

26 January 2017

This July the streets of Sunniside will come alive to the nostalgic sound of two of the UK’s most successful nineties artists.

Crowds in their thousands will take to the city centre for Sunniside LIVE, welcoming indie rock band The Happy Mondays, and soul legend Heather Small to the open-air summer gig.

A jam-packed line-up will fill the air with music over the two-day event, from Friday July 7 to Saturday July 8 – each day offering a different live atmosphere for lovers of all music styles.

Friday’s line up kicks off from 4pm, as K Klass and DJ Allister Whitehead get the party started with a collection of electronic and house music hits. Allister Whitehead, one of the UK’s most prolific House DJs and fresh from working in some of the finest clubs in the world, will be sure to get pulses racing and feet moving throughout the evening.

Heather Small, voice of M People will complete the Friday line-up, taking to the stage to belt out her feel-good classics as part of her 25th anniversary tour. Heather will perform a mixture of band hits and solo anthems – including Search for the Hero and the uplifting track, Proud – until 10pm.

When asked about playing in Sunderland, Heather sad: “I’m really excited about performing at Sunniside LIVE. I’m delighted to be making a special stop in Sunderland as part of my Anniversary Tour, celebrating 25 years of the hits of M People.”

Music fans of all ages will be waiting eagerly to see Saturday’s headline act, the band that helped define Manchester’s music scene – The Happy Mondays, fronted by Sean Ryder. The band takes to the stage on Saturday night, closing the two-day festival with hits: Step On, Loose Fit and Kinky Afro. They will be supported by The Farm, Social Room, Lord Swans and Chris Helme (The Seahorses), who will warm up the crowds from 12pm onwards.

Organisers Helen Davies and Sean Maddison – who run both Bar Justice and Gin & Bear it – have made some improvements to the set-up of this year’s event, securing food stalls, more bars, a stall selling bottled drinks/spirits and the option to buy a VIP package ticket.

VIP ticket holders will have access to exclusive facilities, a VIP bar, buffet and the chance to relax in the VIP seating area.

Sunniside LIVE is supported by Sunderland BID and media partner Sun FM.

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

“Sunniside LIVE has continued to increase in strength and numbers over the past three years. The decision to expand the event over two days proves that Sunderland is a prime location for outdoor music events.”

“We are very confident that this year will see record numbers of attendance, and look forward to seeing how the event will grow in the future.”

The capacity for Sunniside LIVE is 4,000 on both days and tickets are on sale now at, for more information email [email protected]

Tickets are £35 for a weekend pass, £17.50 for a Friday night ticket and £22.50 for a Saturday ticket. Limited VIP tickets are available.