What to expect from the new Sounds of Sunderland festival this weekend

A new music festival is heading to Sunderland this weekend and local bands are hoping it becomes a permanent fixture on the gig calendar.
Social Room will play Sounds of SunderlandSocial Room will play Sounds of Sunderland
Social Room will play Sounds of Sunderland

With Split Festival long gone and Sunniside Live not taking place this year, the city has been missing a music festival, but Sounds of Sunderland aims to provide a platform for emerging bands while celebrating homegrown talent.

It makes its debut this weekend, on Saturday, September 28, at Sunniside Gardens with a day of live music taking place from 2pm until 10pm.

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Festival-goers can enjoy live sets from Social Room, Vandebilt, Plastic Glass, Docksuns, Picnic, Kickin' Lilies, Post Rome, The Loa's, The Midnight Drive and Jarpsy.

Matty Smith, lead singer with Social Room, a six-piece who hail from Sunderland and Seaham, said: “I think it’s going to be a great day. It’s great for local bands to have a platform where they can come together and play a big stage. Hopefully it will take off and be something that’s held every year.”

Following the release of their debut EP in 2018, which was produced by Sunderland music legend Dave Stewart, 2019 has been a big year for Social Room.

The band, which also includes Adam Potts on guitar, Simon Bewick on guitar, Alex Gunn on bass, Christopher Leonard on keyboard and Tim Harker on drums, have had a busy year of gigs including a headline slot in Madrid and a set at Isle of Wight Festival.

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Matty said: “2019 has probably been our biggest year so far. We’ll be focusing on getting back in the studio towards the end of this year and knuckling down so that we have new singles ready for next year. We’re signing with a management company so that will be a big boost too.”

*Sounds of Sunderland takes place at Sunniside Gardens on Saturday, September 28 from 2pm to 10pm. Tickets will cost £10 plus booking fee and £12 on the day. Student rate £8 plus booking fee. Tickets are available in advance here.

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