MOWBRAY Park is ready to receive thousands of music fans this weekend thanks to scores of volunteers.
Organisers of Split Festival turned the city centre park into a music venue in a matter of days after enlisting an extra 15 pairs of hands.
Three stages, seven marquees, a bar, toilets and more were all set up ahead of schedule after preparations for the two-day music extravaganza began on Wednesday.
Split Festival director, Rob Deverson, said care had also been taken to protect the natural beauty of the park amidst the hubbub of the festivities.
“There have been an awful lot of challenges with the venue, but everyone seems to be happy now,” he said.
“We had inspections while everything has been going on in the park, but everyone is happy.
“The park’s assets have been a big part of our focus and they are all protected by barriers.
“We have made a big effort to keep everyone happy.”
The festival site, which is expected to draw about 4,000 people into Sunderland City Centre over the weekend, was due for completion last night.
Musicians are expected to arrive at the park from this morning to set up their equipment.
Rob said a big challenge had been negotiation how to get large equipment into the park.
He added: “We have had to do a lot of manual handling and carrying to get everything organised. But again with that, people have been brilliant getting involved. It has been interesting planning this one – we started planning nine months ago.”
The doors will open to the public at noon today.
Hip hop artist Dizzee Rascal, pictured below, who performed at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, will headline the bill tonight. North-East band Maximo Park will headline tomorrow.
A host of bands from Sunderland are also on the line-up including alternative folk band Lilliput, Cohesion, Hyde and Beast, Frankie & the Heartstrings, and The Lake Poets.
The Makers Market will also be at the festival over the weekend, with local artists and craft makers selling their goods in Mowbray Park.