08 March 2016

ONE of the UK’s most exciting pop rock bands will be heading to Sunderland to appear at a major awards event.

Lawson, whose hits include Taking Over Me, Juliet and When She Was Mine, are to headline at the city’s Retail and Style Awards, which will take place at the Bridges shopping centre on April 23.

The event, organised by Sun FM and the Bridges and supported by Sunderland BID, will celebrate the city’s top businesses and individuals across 16 categories.

The appearance by the band is part of a full evening of entertainment which includes a three course dinner, fashion show and the awards ceremonies.

And there is still time for nominations for the awards to be made before the closing date on February 29.

“It’s a massive coup for us to get a band the status of Lawson to Sunderland at our awards and shows what progress the city is making,” said Julian Carter, MD of Sun FM.

“It will make what already promises to be a fantastic night even more spectacular.”

Other acts are already lined up to appear at the event, with further announcements to be made in the near future.

Tickets are already on sale for the night at £39 and are available from customer service at the Bridges, from the reception at Sun FM and via Eventbrite at

Andy Brown, lead singer of Lawson, said he was delighted to be back in the city.

"It was one of those gigs you never forget when we played the Stadium of Light a couple of summers ago, and we can't wait to come back to Sunderland to perform at the Retail and Style Awards," he said.

Ken Dunbar, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID and the main sponsors for the awards said attracting a top band to appear showed the calibre of these awards.

“The appearance by Lawson won’t just add another dimension to the night but it will also turn the spotlight on Sunderland to a national audience and showcase what an exciting and dynamic city it is,” he said.

This the first year the city’s Retail and Style Awards have joined forces, with businesses and individuals able to enter in a range of categories.

Nominations are still being accepted via the Sun FM website at

Categories in the retail section include awards for large, medium and small retailers, best customer service, employee of the year, manager of the year, up and coming business and the Experience It Here award for the best city centre experience.

In the style section nominations are being sought for the Most Stylish Mackem along with sections for top bars, restaurants, salons and individual awards for top bloggers and the city’s most glamorous mam.

“We’ve already seen a fantastic number of entries for the awards, which is what we would expect given the excellent year 2015 was for the retail sector,” said Andy Bradley, Centre Director at the Bridges.

“And now with an amazing band providing the entertainment on the night, it will be a memorable evening for a whole host of reasons.”