Free kids Waves Festival in Sunderland to bring the party to Pop Recs

A free family festival is set to raise the roof at Pop Recs as part of Waves Festival.

On Saturday, November 5, six city centre bars and venues, including The Peacock and The Fire Station, are playing host to Waves Festival which showcases emerging musical talent from Sunderland, as well as national acts.

Now, as part of the event, it’s been announced that a free family festival will take place on the same day at Pop Recs, at the bottom of High Street West.

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Festival organisers have teamed up with We Make Culture CIC, a social enterprise who deliver music-making activities across communities in Sunderland, to programme their first free festival day for children aged 0-9.

A family festival will take place at Pop Recs as part of Waves Festival

The day will include:

::At 10am and 1pm: performances from Front Street Songs, an interactive gig featuring familiar pop songs, Disney favourites and family-friendly classics. Performances are fully participatory with bubbles, instrument and ribbons provided for children.

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::At 11am: a Little Pops session for children aged 0-5 years, in partnership with Sunderland Music Hub.

::At 12pm: music-based craft activities at 12pm, where children can make musical instrument and their own festival merchandise.

There will be a host of fun activities on the day. Photo by Jo Howell.

The inclusive family theme continues when the Waves Festival programme begins at 2pm at Live Lounge stage in Park Lane where all acts have been programmed by members of We Make Culture’s Young Musicians Project.

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Laura Brewis, director of We Make Culture CIC, said: “For the last few months, members of Young Musicians Project have been working with the Waves Festival team and musician Eddie Scott to learn about everything that goes on behind the scenes at a gig.

"They have selected the acts, liaised with artists and the young people will be managing the stage on the day.

Pop Recs, High Street West
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“It’s been a fantastic opportunity for the young people to develop skills and really play a part in shaping the festival line-up. We hope that a child who attends the family-friendly programme this year might be programming a stage or performing on one in 5 years’ time.”

Ben Richardson from Independent, who is managing the festival, said: “We know that if people experience live music at an early age, they are more likely to keep participating in music and attending music events throughout their lives, so it’s been really important to make the festival accessible to families and to young people who might be seeing their first gig.

"It’s all part of creating an exciting music culture in Sunderland that everyone can take part in.”

Across the festival, which takes place at Fire Station, The Peacock, Independent, Live Lounge, The Ship Isis and The Bunker, under 14s are free to attend the festival when accompanied by a ticket-holding adult.

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We Make Culture host events across Sunderland

Acts include acclaimed international bands such as headliners The Pale White and Pip Blom, playing alongside local talent, such as Tom A Smith and Eve Cole. The event will also include a BBC Introducing stage.

Family-friendly activities at Pop Recs are free to attend and no booking is required.

For the rest of the festival tickets, which include a wristband to go between venues, are available: