Sunderland bands to showcase talent at City of Culture 2021 bid

The Houghton Area Youth band entertaining the crowds a the official launch of Keel Square, Sunderland, yesterday.
The Houghton Area Youth band entertaining the crowds a the official launch of Keel Square, Sunderland, yesterday.
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Music performed exclusively by Wearsiders will be centre stage this weekend as Sunderland’s bid to become the UK’s City of Culture for 2021 is launched.

The city has announced plans for a two-day programme, from this Friday to Sunday, to officially mark the city’s campaign.

Soundscape will have a wide variety of musical genres – there really will be something for everyone.

Paul Callaghan of the MAC Trust

The launch event on Friday evening, based around Keel Square, will include music from Shrek The Musical, ahead of its much-anticipated visit to the Sunderland Empire this November.

Other entertainment includes a performance from Sunderland University students from Sage Gateshead; a newly-commissioned piece from Theatre Space NE; a circus street performer; bands including Frankie & the Heartstrings and a City of Culture Film that shows community groups and everyday people talking about what Sunderland means to them.

Organisers have now revealed the launch weekend will also include the Sunderland Soundscape music festival, on Saturday.

A wide variety of musical acts will perform in eight different locations – from Keel Square to the more intimate surroundings of the Indigo Rooms and the Dun Cow pub.

Paul Callaghan, of the MAC Trust, which has been behind the planning for the launch bid, said: “The city has long been known for its dynamic and vibrant independent music scene, and I’m sure music will play an important part in our bid.

“So it’s right that Soundscape will showcase the city’s musical talent as a reminder of just how good we are. Soundscape will have a wide variety of musical genres – there really will be something for everyone.”