Split Festival organisers announce bigger event for 2012

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SUNDERLAND’S most successful home-grown festival is set to be even bigger this year.

An extra day has been added to Split Festival 2012 which will keep Wearsiders entertained from September 21-23.

Now in its fourth year, it will take place at Ashbrooke Sports Ground and will feature new additions, including a Free Film Friday in which a classic movie will be shown on a giant outdoor screen.

Music-wise, the event is promising a mix of big-name headline acts and local talent as well as comedy acts.

An announcement on the musical line-up, which in the past has featured Maximo Park, The Charlatans and Frankie & the Heartstrings, is expected soon.

This year will also incorporate Sunderland Folk Festival in an additional third tent and a food tent serving treats from around the globe.

The festival will also be part of Sunderland University fresher’s programme and new students purchasing a full freshers’ fortnight wristband will also gain entry to Split.

Split organiser and Futureheads’ front man, Barry Hyde, said: “We are expanding in many ways. We are showing an open-air movie on the Friday night, which we hope will kick off the weekend with a bang.

“We are also delighted to welcome Sunderland University’s Freshers’ Week and the Sunderland Folk Festival to Split. We will also extend our food tent that will be a divinely-scented belly-bursting treat for all.

“We are elated about Split 2012. Come and dance, drink, eat and be merry in the serenity of The Ashbrooke Sports Club.”

Though the festival started as an independent event, organisers have now teamed up with Sunderland City Council.

Coun John Kelly, portfolio holder for safer city and culture, said: “We are delighted to support this year’s Split Festival, which adds to the ever-growing list of popular annual events held here in our city and we hope people will turn up in great numbers to enjoy themselves.”

Split music programmer, Ross Millard, added: “I’m looking forward to getting the programming together for Split Festival 2012. It’s good for me to be on the other side of the fence once a year, approaching agents and exciting new artists, spreading the word about Split Festival and the city of Sunderland.”

“We brought some really exciting music to the city last year and I expect even more from the line-up of this year’s event.

“I’ll be looking to curate a blend of regional and international artists over the several stages.”

Tickets bought in advance are £25 per day or £40 for a standard weekend ticket and are available from www.splitfestival.com

Twitter: @sunechokaty