City’s music festival will be streets ahead

Ross Millard takes part in the parade at a previous Summer Streets festival.
Ross Millard takes part in the parade at a previous Summer Streets festival.
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The word on the street is a celebration of culture will make its return to Sunderland.

A recruitment drive is under way as the Summer Streets Music Festival is looking to add to its chorus of talented performers.

We have more exciting names up our sleeve and there’ll be further announcements in due course about the rest of the line-up.

Ross Millard

This year’s event will be held on the weekend of July 16 and 17, in Southwick’s Thompson Park, and will be led by Futureheads and Frankie & the Heartstrings star Ross Millard, on behalf of the Cultural Spring.

Ross said: “The event is building up a momentum and has become a popular date in the musical calendar.

“Summer Streets is a celebration of all of the great music being made in our communities, on our doorsteps.”

The festival will feature three stages and a series of teepees.

It will be launched with a parade from Southwick Primary School to the park at noon, passing the Green and along Thompson Road.

The Saturday programme will then run from 1pm to 7pm, and on Sunday from noon until 4.30pm.

Ross added: “We have a good amount of the programme booked in already, including what will be a truly-memorable performance from the Royal Northern Sinfonia.

“We also have local indie sensations Martha, The Heavenly Thrillbillies, who are a fantastic bluegrass band from South Shields, and Dennis, who were a big hit at the festival last year. 

“We have more exciting names up our sleeve.

“There’ll be further announcements in due course about the rest of the line-up.

“Sunday will feature a performance from Putting the Band Back Together, a project that has been working in local communities for a year.

“Local musicians have been building up to this performance of original compositions and the theatre-style show will explore people’s relationships with their instruments.”

Ross still has slots available for performers and is looking for unusual acts to add to the bill.

The festival will be hosted and acts introduced by BBC Look North’s Jeff Brown and Ray Spencer, director of the Customs House in South Shields.

Stalls selling food from around the world will serve up to the crowd.

Anyone interested in performing can email Ross via rgtmillard@hotmail.com.

More information about the Arts Council-funded project can be found at www.theculturalspring.co.uk.