BRITISH rapper Professor Green will kick off a new chapter in the history of a Sunderland nightspot – making it the biggest music venue in the city centre.
The MOBO Award-winner, whose tracks include Read All About It, Remedy and Monster, will take to the stage at Passion next month on the night it re-brands itself as Illusions.
The Holmeside-based nightclub has undergone a huge refurbishment, including the installation of a 32,000watt sound and light system, so that it can become an events venue.
With a capacity of 1,300, it’s hoping to attract a number of big names to the city as its biggest dedicated city centre music venue.
“We’ve been working on this for weeks and have spent a hell of a lot of money on becoming Illusions,” said owner Mike Downey.
“We think Sunderland deserves to have this type of venue and we want to be more than just a nightclub. We decided to launch with someone really high profile to show what we can do here.
“He’s England’s answer to Eminem.”
As well as staging gigs with bands and acts that Mike says will appeal to a wide range of people, young and old, he’s also planning to organise comedy nights on Sunday evenings.
Mike said: “We’ve been staying open while the revamp goes on as we have too many strong nights in Sunderland to close and Sunderland doesn’t need another club to close.
“As well as being a nightclub, we want to be an events venue that brings all kinds of acts and events to the city. Professor Green is just one example. I’ve also been talking to acts such as Marti Pellow. “In the past we’ve had PAs from people like Peter Andre and Verne Troyer (Mini Me in the Austin Powers films), but we want to do more than personal appearances now, to create a proper event.
“But we don’t want to be too big. Having 1,300 people in for Professor Green is still intimate so everyone will get a good view, better than they would at a 5,000-capacity gig.”
On the night of the gig, March 29, Professor Green will be supported by acts including promising London performer Joel Culpepper.
Tickets are priced £20 and are available from Seetickets.com, Passion Sunderland’s facebook Page or a limited amount are available from the venue itself.