Sound of success at Sunderland's new Fire Station Auditorium as venue celebrates opening night
Sunderland’s newest music and performing arts venue was filled with the sweet sound of applause as it welcomed guests for the first time.
The Fire Station Auditorium, on High Street West, held its official opening night on Friday, December 10 with Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening performing the first headline set, plus support from The Lake Poets.
It was a milestone evening for all those involved in bringing the vision of the £11million state-of-the-art auditorium – built onto the side of the existing Fire Station arts venue – to life.
Friday's performances marked the start of a packed opening programme for the venue, called Firestarters, which is running until June 2022.
The Fire Station’s opening season features dates from the Royal Northern Sinfonia, The Firestarters Revue presented by Field Music, Smoove & Turrell, Emeli Sandé, The Futureheads and more.
Ahead of Friday’s official opening, the Echo was given an exclusive first-look inside the premises, which holds 800 people standing and 550 seated.
Work is also underway at the rear of the building on a 600-capacity site with its own stage to host a variety of performances, from mini festivals to outdoor summer theatre.
Speaking earlier this week, Paul Callaghan, chair of the Sunderland Music, Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust spoke of his pride in the venue’s creation and launch.
He said: "What we’ve created for Sunderland is a place for not only them, but future generations.
"We hope young people will come here, be inspired by what they see, maybe change their direction in life, and hopefully stay in Sunderland.”