SUNDERLAND-BORN DJ Lauren Laverne says audiences can expect a rich array of local artists when the BBC’s biggest alternative music festival heads to the region.
The BBC broadcaster returned to the North East to announce that the 6Music Festival will take place in Tyneside next month.
“I think it’s fantastic for the region as a whole that the festival will be staged here,” said the former St Anthony’s School girl.
“And it’s not just musicians, there will be lots of local artists and arts groups who’ll be getting involved and I think they’ll have a great time,” she said.
Acts announced for the festival, which will take place at venues including O2 Academy and Sage Gateshead from February 20 to 22, include Maximo Park, Neneh Cherry, Ghost Poet, The Charlatans, Royal Blood and more.
Emerging artists from the area will also be provided with a platform to showcase their sound at the festival.
Lauren, who regularly returns home to visit family on Wearside, has always been a strong supporter of Sunderland musicians.
“I am incredibly proud of where I’m from and I think there’s some fantastic music in the North East, such as the Brewis brothers (of Field Music fame) and Lulu James,” she said. “But when I play music on the show I play music that I love, it’s not a conscious thing of playing North East artists. They are played on their own merit.”
Last year, Frankie & the Heartstrings were invited to run a pop up version of their Pop Recs shop in Fawcett Street at the inaugural festival in Salford.
Lauren said: “I’ve been talking with the Pop Rec boys and I really hope they can be involved again this year as what they do is great. I think they’ve been asked to represent the shop again.”
Talking about how North East music has changed since she emerged with band Kenickie in the 1990s, she said: “The music scene is so much more diverse now. When we were about we were very much the odd ones out on the scene. We had great support from friends, but a lot of people didn’t think it was cool to be a girl with a guitar and they would ask ‘but who writes your songs?’ I don’t think that would happen now.”
Tickets go on sale from Friday at 10am. Visit www.bbc.co.uk/6music.