Musical nostalgia and fireworks to launch Sunderland Airshow

The 30th anniversary of the Sunderland Airshow will be launched by an evening of musical nostalgia.

Thursday, 24th May 2018, 10:57 am
Updated Thursday, 24th May 2018, 12:56 pm
An explosion of fireworks.
An explosion of fireworks.

There will also be spectacular night flying and breath-taking fireworks.

This year’s Friday evening event will take place on Friday, July 27, and will once again welcomes a showcase musical spectacular from last year’s headline performers, the Sunderland based i-Stage group.

Crowds enjoy the Sunderland Airshow entertainment.

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After the success of last year’s City Life production, i-Stage Group have been invited to produce the opening night musical extravaganza.

To mark 30 years of the North East’s landmark event, the set list promises something for everyone as visitors will be treated to some of the greatest hits from the past three decades.

Musicians will open the high energy show by transporting the crowds back to the late eighties, before taking them on a musical journey through the decades, right up to present day chart toppers.

Director at i-Stage, Paul Waite, said: "We are absolutely delighted to have been given this very important role again.

"It was an honour to put on the opening show last year and to be asked to do it again proves that it was a huge success.

"We deliver productions across the country but as a Sunderland-based business it is so special to be entertaining our home crowd. The opening night sets the tone for the whole weekend so we want people to enjoy every moment and I’m sure they will.

"Rehearsals are already in full flow and we can’t wait to wow everyone.”

In between the hits there will be plenty to draw eyes to the sky as a range of pyrotechnic flying teams light up the coastal skyline with their incredible glittering displays.

Returning favourites Fireflies and Twister Duo will perform together before handing over to a thrilling pyrotechnic display from Otto the Helicopter, a first time performance for Sunderland Airshow.

Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Communities and Culture, Coun John Kelly, said: "Although Sunderland Airshow began as a one day event in 1989, it has grown dramaticallythroughout the past 30 years.

"The first Friday evening launch event took place in 2009 as part of the celebration of the 21st show and has proven to be one of the best loved parts of the weekend’s programme.

“It is therefore a wonderful feeling to be able to celebrate the 30th show with a similar evening of fantastic live music and incredible air displays.”

The free family event gets underway at 4pm as a wealth of local performers take to the stage to showcase their talents before handing over to the colour and excitement of an Indian Bollywood-style dance extravaganza.

For full details of the events visit