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Sunderland’s Split festival expected to attract 5,000 fans

Officially launching the Split Festival 2014 which will take place in Mowbray Park, Sunderland. Left to right; Barry Hyde, Coun John Kelly and Ross Millard.

Officially launching the Split Festival 2014 which will take place in Mowbray Park, Sunderland. Left to right; Barry Hyde, Coun John Kelly and Ross Millard.

FIVE thousand people could descend on Mowbray Park this summer to see up to 60 music acts perform across three stages.

Yesterday, the Echo revealed that Dizzee Rascal, The Cribs and Maximo Park would be headlining August’s Split Festival, which returns after a fallow year in 2013.

Speaking at the official launch at the festival’s new home, organisers say they’ve come back with a bang in a bid to make Split, which used to be based at Ashbrooke Sports Ground, even bigger and better.

More acts will be announced in the coming weeks, which will cover a broad spectrum of music including dance, electronic, indie and folk.

New funding received in the past year from the like of the Arts Council has allowed Split to book bigger names.

Ross Millard, who programmes the festival’s music, said: “You can’t create a significant cultural event if it doesn’t appeal to a large amount of people. What’s great about Dizzee is that he has the potential to bring a new audience to Split, while also appealing to previous Split crowds.

“People have complained about Split in the past because there wasn’t any electronic or dance, but you can’t have things like sub woofers in Ashbrooke. Now we’ve moved to the city centre, we can do that.”

He added: “You can’t just expect to sell a shed-load of tickets from a headliner, but the headliners are a good indication of the standard of acts we’ll have.

“We have always been about local artists and we will still have North-East acts, but it’s great to have interesting acts from elsewhere.”

One of the festival founders, Futureheads frontman Barry Hyde, said: “I think people thought because we didn’t have a festival last year that we’d disappeared, but we wanted to launch again with a very different experience.

“We have got funding now, which has really changed the game and we’ve moved to the wonderfully opulent Mowbray Park. We’ve made friends with the booking agents now, thanks to Ross, and that’s allowed us to move forward and unlock these great artists. We really wanted a city centre location, we never thought Mowbray Park would be possible, but the council has been really supportive.”

•Tickets cost £30 for a day pass and £50 for a weekend pass. They are available from www.splitfestival.com and www.ticketweb.co.uk

 

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