Split Festival is back and bigger than ever

Dizzee Rascal will headline Split Festival.
Dizzee Rascal will headline the Saturday night at Split Festival.

Sunderland’s Split Festival is back and promises to be bigger than ever, with a new location, a new date and three newly-announced headliners.

Dizzee Rascal will be headlining the event on Saturday night, while Sunday night will be headlined by The Cribs and the North East’s very own Maximo Park.

Barry Hyde, The Futureheads frontman, said: “One of the rumours I heard last year when we decided not to do it was that it would never happen again, but the fans of the festival will be pleased to know that it is. With the new location and the headliners we’re putting on, we’re hoping to increase the fan base.

“We always wanted to have the festival in the middle of summer but obviously with the place we were holding it we had to be aware of not clashing with sporting events.

“By bringing split into the summertime and changing the site as well we’re looking at it as a fresh start. We are extremely excited about bringing the festival to the city centre, Mowbray Park is one of the icons of Sunderland, and it will be a beautiful venue.”

In previous years, Split Festival was held in September at Ashbrooke Sports Club, but now it will be undergoing a change of date and location, and will be held in August in Mowbray Park.

With the absence of Newcastle’s Evolution Festival this year, it looks like Split Festival will be one of the biggest music events in the North East this summer.

Barry added: “One thing we find hard is to get people from Tyneside to come to Wearside, but I think Dizzee Rascal will bring people who would have gone to Evolution to our festival.

“I love Dizzee Rascal, he’s an amazing performer and he really knows how to get the crowd going – I still can’t believe he’s coming.”

Ross Millard, who programmes the music at Split, said: “It’s fantastic to have Maximo Park, a North East based band, as a main stage Sunday headliner.

“We’ve been courting The Cribs for quite a few years now and we’re made up to get them to Sunderland. They are raw, exciting and unpredictable, and they have a lot of releases to draw a festival set list from.”

Split Festival will be about more than just music – food stalls, pop up workshops and performance art will also be coming to Mowbray Park this August.

Barry Hyde has already been thinking about ways he can develop the festival in future, he said: “I’m taking each year as it comes but I like the idea of making it both a music festival and an arts festival, so it is just one massive living, breathing experience of people’s creativity.”

This year’s headliners are already creating a buzz, and the rest of the acts are to be announced over the next few weeks.

Split Festival will be held on August 9 and 10 at Mowbray park. Tickets will be priced at £30 for a day ticket and £50 for a weekend.

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