I never thought I’d see the day when religion and rave came together to create a church of dance.
Friday night’s Fire and Ice Ball, though it felt a little surreal to be throwing shapes in Sunderland Minster, ended up being a feast for the eyes and ears.
The hallowed venue looked spectacular lit up in red and white and the hundreds who’d flocked to the event had dressed to the nines in the same colour scheme.
The event was the brainchild of Sun FM and Lola’s bar who had joined forces to create something unique in the city.
It’s not the first time the church’s acoustics have been used to show off nonreligious music. Music acts The Futureheads, Chased by Wolves and Natasha Haws have all belted out tracks around its rafters, but the Fire and Ice Ball took it to a new level.
Specially constructed bars whipped up tipples and cocktails by Lola’s while strobe lighting bounced around the church.
Tunes were churned out by 90s group K Class, who are behind club hits Rhythm is a Mystery and Let Me Show You The Way; MOD enthusiast and TV chef Stacie Stewart; The Futureheads’ Barry Hyde; Matt and Nick Peverell, who are fresh from a season in Ibiza; Chris Bungoni and Andrew Atkinson from Lola’s bar.
Stacie Stewart, from Roker, who will soon be hitting screens with Simon Cowell’s new show Food, Glorious Food, said: “I was privileged to have been asked to DJ and it was a fantastic night. My original R’n’B tracks got everyone dancing which I was happy about.”
As a convent school-educated girl, it did feel odd to be quaffing back non-communal wine in a church, but I soon got into the swing of things and most of our fellow clubbers seemed to strike the right balance between letting their hair down and giving the venue the respect it deserved.
Once the clock struck 1am the action moved to Lola’s, one of the city’s few bars which guarantees a good night out.
Fingers crossed this will be the first of many events in the city which dare to think outside the box. Bravo for pulling off a blinder.
Pictures: Filippos Konstantinidis from I AM VIP