WEARSIDE is set for a rocking good samba summer.
Sunderland Business Improvement District has joined forces with Sunderland Live to organise a series of events in the coming weeks to tie in with the Stadium of Light concerts and the Fifa World Cup.
Best-selling boyband One Direction hit the Stadium on Wednesday and the city centre will be hosting a free programme of family entertainment on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Tribute act The Wanted Direction will be performing in the market square and there will also be entertainment in Blandford Street, High Street, The Bridges and Park Lane between 12 and 4.30pm both days, with street musicians and dancers and Sun FM’s Mark Black broadcasting live.
Then on June 22, as the stadium hosts North East Live, tribute act Just Jessie will perform in the city centre to get everyone in the mood for headliner Jessie J.
And the city centre will bounce to the sound of Brazilian musicians and dancers as Sunderland hosts its first Vamos festival on July 5, to celebrate the Fifa World Cup.
“Businesses told us they want to reinvent the city as a vibrant and thriving destination, and our events programme is our first step towards this,” said BID chief executive Ken Dunbar.
“This is Sunderland’s 21st year as a city and to create an economically sustainable city for the next 21 years and beyond, we need to offer a vibrant city centre experience. These events are one element of a wider £3.4million investment in the city centre which will take place over the next five years.”
Andy Bradley, chairman of the BID Board and centre director of the Bridges, said: “Through an exciting street entertainment programme we are creating a compelling argument for people to have a complete city experience around the concert dates.
“We hope to see an uplift of visitors to the city centre with these street events working to increase overall dwell time and, in-turn, spend with local businesses.”
For a full timetable of events taking place, visit www.experiencesunderland.co.uk.