North East music festival guide: What's on and where across Sunderland and beyond for Summer 2022

Summer may feel like a world away from the cold evenings we are currently experiencing, but it won’t be too long before the days are longer and music festivals are on the horizon.
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Following two summers of uncertainty, cancellations and Covid, there is no better time to support local festivals.

The North East is set to host a wide variety of events over the summer of 2022, with top acts expected to join local artists for a stellar season of music.

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Sunderland is in line for a wild summer schedule after a successful 2021, which saw Waves Festival make an impressive start at venues across the city centre. While there has not yet been confirmation of the event continuing for a second year, the festival’s social media have teased at another day of live music.

Kaiser Chiefs are set to play Sunderland's Lamplight festival this summer. (Photo by Paul Thomas/Getty Images for Jaguar Land Rover)Kaiser Chiefs are set to play Sunderland's Lamplight festival this summer. (Photo by Paul Thomas/Getty Images for Jaguar Land Rover)
Kaiser Chiefs are set to play Sunderland's Lamplight festival this summer. (Photo by Paul Thomas/Getty Images for Jaguar Land Rover)

Mowbray Park will also play host to a festival this summer, with Lamplight finally due to arrive in Sunderland this year. The new festival was initially scheduled for 2020, before being pushed back to the summer of 2021, when it was also postponed.

Kaiser Chiefs were set to play the first incarnation of the festival and are still slated to head to Wearside this summer on the second day of the festival on August, with Jack Savoretti and Deacon Blue set to headline the Friday and Sunday respectively.

Sunderland will also welcome Steps, Aqua, the Vengaboys, Shed Seven, the Happy Mondays and more over two weekends in July. Kubix festival is bigger than ever this year, with one day of pop music on July 9 and two afternoons of guitar and indie music across July 15-16.Midlands reggae group UB40 are the most recent addition to the lineup and they will be headlining the main stage on Friday July 15, the opening night of the indie rock weekend.

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Heading slightly further south, Hardwick Live is set to make a return this year on August 20 and 21. Previous years have seen Manic Street Preachers,James, Rag n Bone Man and The Zutons play the Durham event, although no lineup announcements have been made yet for 2022.

Elsewhere in Durham, Northern Kin Festival is making a return this summer with live music across two stages over three days from April 29 to May 1. The main lineup for the event has already been announced with Newton Faulkner, Del Amitri and Squeeze headlining the main stage each night and other top names coming in the form of New Model Army, Dr Feelgood and Ferocious Dog.

The largest festival in the North East - This Is Tomorrow - is set to return to Exhibition Park in Newcastle this summer after the 2021 event was postponed until September due to Covid restrictions.

This year, the festival returns to its regular early June slot, with no acts yet announced for the festival, which has previously seen headline slots from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Sam Fender and Stereophonics.

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Having played at This Is Tomorrow in the past, Noel Gallagher is scheduled to return to the North East this summer, as he and his band headline the new Rock N’ Roll Circus event on the Town Moor on June 9.

The Charlatans and local indie wonderkid Andrew Cushin are booked to play on the same night, with the event organisers promising top talent alongside “the weird and wonderful world of the circus.”

A similar event is sceduled for May Bank Holiday weekend when James return to Newcastle following their headline set at This Is For The NHS in September 2021. The Manchester band are the main act at the new Leazes Live festival, which will also see The Pale White and The Futureheads play to pull a local audience to Leazes Park. Merseyside based indie group The K’s will also be performing with more acts set to be announced in the build up to the festival.

Elsewhere in Newcastle, a new festival named Generator Live is coming to the city on June 25. Set to celebrate the top up and coming acts across the North East, the event is being set up by Generator North East, one of the premier talent development agencies in the UK and is set to be a safe, inclusive and accessible option for live music fans who want to see the next big thing from the region.

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Closer to the coast, Mouth Of The Tyne Festival is set to return this summer as crowds will flock to Tynemouth Priory and Castle. Alt rock outfit Keane are set to bring hits such as ‘Everybody’s Changing’ and Somewhere Only We Know’ to North Tyneside on Friday July 8 while local duo Lighthouse Family take the stage on July 9.

Further north, Lindisfarne festival is set to make a return this year, with the Northumberland event scheduled for the weekend of September 1-4. The Full lineup was released at the end of January and sees Madness and Rudimental take up two of the headliner slots with Elvana – a UK festival favourite which sees an Elvis Presley impersonator take the role of Kurt Cobain in a Nirvana tribute band.

Acts such as North East natives Smoove and Turrell and Andrew Cushin will also head to the Northumberland coast over the first weekend of September.

The team behind Lindisfarne festival are also hosting a child centred festival over a month before the main event. Little Lindi, as it will be called, is preparing for its first year in 2022 after years of planning.

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Based on Lambton Estate in County Durham, the organisers are promising a fully immersive event filled with live music, art and culture for kids to be fully immersed in the festival experience. With acts such as a DJ set from Huey Morgan as well as live music from local band Holy Moly and the Crackers aand festival circuit mainstay Beans On Toast, the event which runs from July 22 – 25 isn’t to be missed for those with kids.