Thousands soak up sights and sounds of Summer Streets festival as Sunderland says good bye to Tall Ships
This year's Summer Streets festival dropped anchor in Seaburn to coincide with the Tall Ships Races.
Now in its fifth year, the community family festival is usually held in Southwick’s Thompson Park, but for one year only was moved to Seaburn Recreation Ground so that people could enjoy a host of top music while watching the Tall Ships start their race in the Parade of Sail along the coast.
Thousands of people attended the festival, which was compered by BBC Look North’s Jeff Brown, to enjoy music over three stages, as well as arts and crafts workshops.
The headline performance is Little Comets who joined other North East acts on the bill such as Smoove & Turrell, Royal Northern Sinfornia, Martha and Inspire Stage School from Castle View Academy.
Meanwhile, North East radio station Spice FM, who teamed up with Sunderland’s Funky Indian for a Bollywood set, got everyone in the spirit with some Bhangra beats.
To reflect the international flavour of the Tall Ships Races, performers also travelled from across Europe, including jazz performer Gunhild Carling, from Sweden, who wowed with her ability to play three trumpets at the same time, and indie rockers Beeswax who travelled all the way from Norway to perform.
Musician Ross Millard, who curates the festival, said: “This has always been a family event and it’s great to see so many people here today with their family and friends, seeing some bands they know and discovering new acts.
“It made sense in our fifth year to bring the festival here to Seaburn to coincide with the Parade of Sail. The Tall Ships is such a huge thing for the city so it’s important for us to be able to plug into that. The community in Southwick have been very understanding and have acknowledged why we moved it for this year.”
Speaking about the cultural programme centred around the Tall Ships Races, which featured 200 different performances across the four event zones, he said: “I think the activity programme has been really cool and interesting. In the aftermath of the City of Culture bid we need to make sure there are more events like this, to keep that energy in the city.”
Among those enjoying the music was Fulwell family Laura Turvey, 35, husband John, 36, and their three children Harry, four, Rose, two and Pearl, nine months.
Laura said: “We’ve been to Summer Streets for the past two years and this year, as always, there’s been a great line-up and atmosphere.
“It’s great that it’s aimed at families as, otherwise, we probably wouldn’t have been able to come.”
Speaking about seeing the Tall Ships in her home city, she said: “We went down a couple of days and the kids loved going on a ship. It’s brilliant for the city and makes you proud to be a Mackem.”