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Huge food and music festival heading to Sunderland featuring Smoove & Turrell, Scream for Pizza, Si King from The Hairy Bikers and more

A huge food and music festival is set to take over Sunderland city centre this summer.

Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 12:56 pm

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The Soul Food and Music Festival will take place across the weekend of June 10-12, 2022, and will feature a street food market in Keel Square with stalls from Scream For Pizza, who’ve proved a big hit in Newcastle; Dosa Kitchen who sell South Indian food; burger specialists One Dining and Nan Bei, who sell Chinese dumplings, with more operators soon to be confirmed.

Over the road, the music element of the festival, called Souled Out, will feature performances from The King Cush Band, Voices of Virtue, Groove Train and Smoove & Turrell, which will be a special gig for Sunderland-born Smoove, at a new events space called Plot 12, which will feature a stage built on the former Vaux site.

One half of The Hairy Bikers, Si King, who went to school in Washington, has curated the event.

The Soul Food and Music Festival takes place this June

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He said: “I’m absolutely chuffed to bits to be involved in the Souled Out Festival Sunderland. It’s going to be an amazing event where artists, food producers, amazing musicians will come together and showcase Sunderland’s warmth and hospitality.

“It has been my privilege to curate some of the food offerings and music, things that speak to the soul like nothing else. We’ve brought together an incredible programme which anyone who loves food and music won’t want to miss.”

The Souled Out Festival will be a ticketed event for the music performances, with more details to be announced in the coming weeks.

However, there will be a range of free events at Keel Square including family entertainment, local buskers and the street food market offering a whole host of international cuisines.

Scream for Pizza, who've proved a big hit with their restaurants in Newcastle, and pop ups, will be trading in the food market

Emphasis will also be on health and wellbeing, with the food stalls including vegan and vegetarian offerings and organic produce.

There will also be a silent Zumba and exercise session – a new take on a silent disco – cooking demonstrations, a kids’ club and sporting activities, along with a range of walkabout characters.

The events have been organised by Sunderland City Council and Sunderland BID, and will be part of a year-long programme.

Sharon Appleby, chief executive of Sunderland BID, said it would be a great event for people of all ages.

Smoove & Turrell will perform for the music element of the festival. Picture by Luca Prospero

“We are delighted that Si King is bringing Souled Out to Sunderland and that he has put so much time and love into bringing this event together,” she said.

“At the same time we’re also creating an exciting free programme of food and drink related events so there really will be something for everyone to enjoy.”

Peter McIntyre, executive director of City Development at Sunderland City Council, said: “The strong partnership between the council and the BID means that we can work together to bring a really strong and exciting programme of events to the city this year and the Soul Food and Music Festival is a great example of this.

“It has something for people of all ages and it’s a great opportunity for the city to showcase what it has to offer and attract more visitors into Sunderland.”

A previous food festival in Sunderland
Si King, left, of The Hairy Bikers, has helped curate the event