Jazz and funk band The Brand New Heavies will headline Sunniside Live, the only live music festival in Sunderland City Centre.
Following on from the huge success last year, the festival aims to be bigger and better when it returns to Sunniside Gardens on Saturday July 16.
Ahead of a US tour, the Brand New Heavies will be joined by a host of other acts, including band Smooth and Turrell and chart toping stars Alison Limerick and Shola Ama.
The new event, organised by Helen Davies and Sean Maddison, who run both Bar Justice and newly opened Gin & Bear it Bar at West Sunniside, is designed to attract visitors and showcase what the area has to offer.
“We were over the moon with the response to last year’s event,” explained Mr Maddison.
“And it’s that response that’s made us stage it again. We believe, as a business, that it helped to raise the profile of the area. Since last year, we’ve opened Gin & Bear It and new businesses such as Papadoms and Thai Bay have opened.
“On the day of the festival, places likes Bar Justice and Angelo’s did a great trade. It’s a great way of reminding people we’re here.”
The event, which will run from 12pm until 10pm, will also offer visitors the chance to browse a number of food stalls and enjoy a pop-up café by The Place Café. There will also be a bar run by Bar Justice, a retro Pimm’s van and bottle and spirits store.
During the run up to the festival, Bar Justice will be also holding a Battle of the Bands competition. The winner will open the festival and perform alongside some of the music festival’s big names.
Last year’s free event sold out of wristbands as thousands flocked to see Sunderland’s own Frankie & the Heartstrings, Hyde & Beast and The Voice finalist Olivia Lawson.
This year, organisers have been able to increase the capacity from 2,500 to 4,000 and have added a wristband charge of £10.
Tickets to the event are on sale NOW at www.sunnisidelive.co.uk or by visiting Bar Justice or Gin & Bear it bar.
The event is sponsored by a number of notable businesses including headline sponsor – Bar Justice, Gin & Bear It Bar, Sunderland’s Business Improvement District – Experience It
Here!, Heineken, Angelos Italian Restaurant, O’Brien Demolition, Smirnoff, Sunderland Grosvenor Casino, Hacketts, SunFM and SAFC.
For more information about the event visit www.sunnisidelive.co.uk or contact Bar Justice on 0191 565 2050.