Sunderland festival announces second day including DJ sets from stars of Republica, Toploader and TV's Gok Wan

A Sunderland music festival set up to reward NHS staff for their service has announced plans for a second day.

Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 12:58 pm
Gok Wan

Rocking In the Free World was planned by friends Andrew Kennedy and Ben Potts as a thank you for frontline staff with a free concert at Herrington Park.

And now the organisers have announced that the rescheduled event, taking place on Saturday, September 18, will be extending, with an additional line up for Sunday, September 19.

Award-winning singer Emeli Sandé will be headlining the Saturday which will include artistes Karen Harding and Sons of Eden, along with top DJs Fat Tony, Carly Wilford, Richard Tulip, Tony Hutchinson and James Haskell.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Sunday has been named One Love and will see performers including Republica, Toploader and Horsemeat Disco joining Gok Wan on the Esh Construction Monument Stage.

The event is aiming to also celebrate Pride around the UK and has teamed up with Pride Radio and will also be supporting the Albert Kennedy Trust, which supports LGBT young people who are facing homeless or are living in a hostile environment.

Tickets for One Love cost £10 each, while the Saturday remains a free event and are available at

Organiser Andrew Kennedy hopes that people will come along and support the whole weekend.

“We have had an unbelievable response to the Saturday, with thousands of NHS Staff and key workers getting tickets which is just what we wanted when we thought this event up,” said Andrew.

“We felt that there was a real opportunity to do a second day and celebrate inclusion and diversity which is what the line-up reflects.

“We’re hoping for some really exciting further announcements in the near future so we are looking forward to a fantastic weekend.”

Freelance recruitment consultant Andrew came up with the idea for the festival because he saw at first hand the challenges facing the NHS through his wife Jan, a sister who heads up the emergency admissions unit at South Tyneside Hospital during the worst of the pandemic.

He enlisted the support of Ben, whose band, North East rock tribute group, The Sons of Eden, played at his wedding and will also now be performing at the festival.

Songwriter and vocalist Karen Harding has also added her name to the line-up, as has South Shields-based Christian Yu, a nurse from the Philippines who is also a singer songwriter.

Read More

Read More
First look around Sunderland's newest roof terrace Victoria's Loft

Support your Echo and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest on SAFC and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.