The Lake Poets fly flag for Sunderland at Evolution Festival

The Lake Poets
The Lake Poets
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THE Lake Poets will be flying the flag for the sound of Sunderland at this year’s Evolution Festival.

Folk indie act Martin Longstaff, who plays as a soloist and as a band in The Lake Poets, writes many of his haunting lyrics about his beloved hometown, its shipyards and history.

The 24-year-old, from East Herrington, who shot his last video for single Rain in Seaburn’s Victorian bus shelter, will rub shoulders with the likes of Paloma Faith, The Vaccines, Jake Bugg, Ellie Goulding, Rudimental and more at the North East’s biggest music festival.

Held across the May Bank Holiday weekend on May 26 and May 27, the event will see dozens of musical acts perform along Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside.

Evolution Festival, which has grown from a free festival to one that attracts tens of thousands of music lovers, is often seen as a snapshot of what’s hot in the contemporary music scene.

The former Farringdon School pupil, who juggles supply teaching with gigging, said: “It’s a privilege to play such a big festival. I’ll be playing with the band and we have a couple of new tracks so it will be great to debut them in front of a massive crowd.”

Martin’s distinctive sound has made him a firm favourite with bosses at Evolution Festival and he has risen from playing its smaller stages to its main Spillers Wharf Stage on May 26 which will be headlined by Paloma Faith.

“I first played Evolution Emerging in 2011 which was a really good experience. They must have liked what they heard because they keep asking me back,” he said.

Singer-songwriter Martin began performing in 2010 with his first gig at Sunderland’s Independent in Holmeside.

He quickly garnered high praise from critics, sharing the stage with international music stars such as Willy Mason, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, this year’s Brit darling Ben Howard, Withered Hand and The Futureheads.

Martin and the band already have gigs at Glastonbury Festival, Kendal Calling, Split Festival and more under their belts as well as national radio airplay.

He said: “I would love to play Sunderland soon but it’s gutting because there’s no venue. Once Independent re-opens I’m hoping to play there.”

In the meantime, Martin is gearing up to release new single April which will have a launch at Newcastle’s Mining Institute on April 6.

Tickets for this year’s Evolution Festival are priced £29.50 for a day tickets or £39.50 for the weekend. For more information visit

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