IT’S not all about Take That this weekend.
Home-grown Wearside bands are gearing up to showcase their sounds as the Sunderland Live Fringe Festival kicks off.
The free, three-week bonanza will see the city’s streets play host to live music and entertainment as a celebration of local talent surrounding the Take That and Kings of Leon concerts at the Stadium of Light.
More than 250,000 visitors are expected to descend upon the city during the sold-out series of concerts and Sunderland City Council has organised the music event to keep visitors and residents entertained while highlighting some of the brightest emerging bands in the city’s burgeoning music scene.
Coun John Kelly, Sunderland City Council portfolio holder for safer city and culture, said: “It’s an exciting time for Sunderland’s music scene. The first Take That concert takes place tomorrow and to coincide with the influx of visitors to the city, we have organised the Sunderland Live Fringe Festival.
“It will be a great way to keep people entertained with a whole variety of different events taking place across the city.
“It all kicks off this weekend and I’m sure guests to Sunderland will be blown away by the bands and performers who will be showcasing their talents.”
The festival has been organised by the council in partnership with promoters from the Bunker, Independent, Spark FM and the Bridges Shopping Centre.
Coun Harry Trueman, Deputy Leader of the City Council, added: “The Take That and Kings of Leon concerts are fantastic news for Sunderland and SAFC deserve great credit for attracting them to the Stadium of Light.
“Hopefully, the Sunderland Live Fringe Festival will be a great way to keep visitors to Sunderland entertained and in the mood to enjoy everything the city has to offer while they are here.”
Richard Smith, lead singer of Chased by Wolves, who will be performing as part of Sunderland Live, added: “The Sunderland Live Fringe Festival is a brilliant idea. Sunderland and the North East have some amazing bands and the music scene in the region is really on the up.
“Holding the festival during the Take That and Kings of Leon concerts is perfect timing to keep people entertained, and help expose local bands to new audiences.”