A POP extravaganza is set to shake the Stadium of Light this summer when some of the UK’s biggest chart stars arrive in Sunderland.
North East Live, a five-hour family-friendly concert, will be headlined by boy band JLS and features The Wanted, Rita Ora, Little Mix, Lawson, Conor Maynard, Stooshe, Union J, Amelia Lily and more.
The show promises to be the hottest ticket in town and will cap off a month of music that also sees Bon Jovi and Rihanna perform in the city.
Following concerts by music heavyweights including Bruce Springsteen and Red Hot Chili Peppers, today’s announcement shows a shift by bosses at the Stadium of Light towards attracting the younger pop market audience.
The line-up for the gig, on Saturday, June 22, features five acts currently in the Official UK top 40 and some of the country’s biggest selling pop artists. It is also a chance for the North East fans to welcome home local girls, Little Mix and Amelia Lily.
Concert promoters are hoping the event could become part of the city’s annual calendar.
Today’s announcement is yet another coup for the stadium, which has fast established itself as an essential stop-off for some of the world’s biggest touring acts.
Gary Hutchinson, SAFC’s commercial director, said: “This is a change from the type of music event the Stadium of Light has staged previously and it’s a really exciting development for us. It’s a brilliant line up and one that I’m sure will appeal to a wide audience.
“We’ve already seen that there is a huge demand for live music here in the region and this multi-artist event has something for everyone, at an affordable price for a great day’s entertainment.”
Each concert staged at the stadium helps plough an estimated £3.5million into the Wearside and the wider North East economy, so it won’t be just music lovers celebrating this summer. The city’s bars, restaurants, hotels and shops should all feel the benefit. The average concert-goer is claimed to spend more than £50, with that figure rocketing to £122 for each person staying over.
Emily Martin, 13, from Houghton, has already geared up mum, Michelle, 37, for the concert.
She said: “I can’t wait to see Lawson and The Wanted, they’re my favourites and I hope Conor Maynard sings Vegas Girl.
“I’ve asked my mum to phone up for tickets on Friday. I would buy them but I’m at school.”
Ellie Morrison, 11, from Great Lumley, is hoping big brother Michael, 17, will take her along to the show.
She said: “Little Mix are the best, I love that Jade and Perrie come from up here. I only wish One Direction were coming.”
North East Live is expected to attract some of the biggest crowds the Stadium of Light has seen. Coldplay brought 56,000 fans into the venue last year but bosses are predicting Rihanna’s Diamonds tour stop-off on Thursday, June 20, will top that with 57,000.
Families attending are being urged to make it a day of fun, with doors opening at the stadium from 1pm. There will also be a funfair, family-friendly activities and music.
The main show kicks off at 2.30pm.
Rob Hallet, President of Touring at AEG Live, organisers of the gig, said: “We hope North East Live will become a permanent fixture in the Stadium of Light calendar.”
•Tickets for North East Live are priced from £25 and will go on sale from 9am on Friday.