Music fans enjoy return of Summer Streets to Sunderland as free festival makes a comeback for 2022

A much-loved family friendly music festival returned to Sunderland as the city’s cultural calendar continues to bounce back from the pandemic.

By Ross Robertson
Sunday, 10th July 2022, 9:46 am

Crowds turned out to catch free performances by popular bands including Martin Stephenson & the Daintees, The Lovely Eggs, Smoove & Turrell, The Ladies of Midnight Blue and Beth Macari.

A big part of the festival’s ethos is showcasing new talent from the region, as well as introducing audiences to new types of music.

The BBC Music Introducing NE Stage featured an amazing range of budding performers, including Me Lost Me, Faye Fantarrow, Shakk, Kate Bond, Labyrinthine Oceans, Young Musicians Project, Right Track, Sunderland Youth Choir & Orchestra and Gub Club.

Sunderland's Summer Streets Festival returned to Cliffe Park.

Covid did not wipe out Summer Streets entirely. The festival went online in 2020 in the form of a virtual event, and although there were some live performances in 2021, it was a much scaled-back affair.

But the festival was certainly back in full swing on Saturday, July 9, as a packed events programme played out to buzzing crowds, bathed in warm summer sunshine.

As well as musical performances, there was also a busy performing arts programme taking place, including Patrick Ziza and Dandyism Dance troupe, Uncaged Aerial the all-women aerial theatre company, a Time Machine Disco from Glass House Disco and Space Camp, a “brilliant immersive experience that takes audiences into space”.

Crowds enjoying the afternoon's entertainment at Summer Streets in Sunderland.

Children’s activities were on the bill for younger ones, including Tiny Tweeties, Mini Pride presented by Curious Arts and kids craft workshops with Chalk and Infinite Arts.

There were also free workshops all day, street food vendors keeping music fans well fed, and the Vaux Brewery was on hand to quench thirsts.

BBC Look North presenter Jeff Brown hosted the day, joined by his BBC Introducing colleague Nick Roberts.

Ross Millard from The Futureheads, who curates the event, said after two years of the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions, it was great to be back.

People and pets alike enjoy the sunshine at Summer Streets.

He said: "Summer Streets is the perfect way to dip your toe into a new genre of music, and it’s a great way to introduce live music to young people.”