Whether it be new stores to explore, delicious menus to try or unmissable things to do in Sunderland with the family, we’ve rounded up 10 things we’re looking forward to in Sunderland…  

Here are 10 things to look forward to in Sunderland this October… 



4 – 8 October



Sunderland is launching its first-ever business festival, a celebration of the dynamic companies based in the city and the opportunities they create for local people.

City of Sunderland Business Festival will take place between October 4 – 8 and will shine a spotlight on the innovative businesses based in the city, as well as the transforming skyline that is attracting many more to Sunderland.

The festival will also connect local people to job opportunities, inspire business people with thought-provoking speeches and sessions from world-class speakers and showcase the industries that are driving the economic regeneration of the city.

A series of themed panel discussions will explore how Sunderland’s business landscape is growing and changing. 

Events aimed at residents – including Bridges Means Business, a week-long event in the Bridges shopping centre, and a Recruitment Fair at the Stadium of Light on October 6 – will support residents to land their dream job or take the leap into self-employment.

For more information on the full line-up and events, visit sbfestival.co.uk 






Hadrian’s Tipi will be open at Stack Seaburn from 1 October 2021! 

Hadrian’s Tipi is the perfect place to cosy up by the open fire pit and sip on an aromatic glass of mulled wine whilst listening to unreal live music. 

This year, the team are doubling up on the festivities, which means Hadrian’s Tipi will provide even more festive treats such as Santa in the Tipi, a Mini Elves’ Party (hello!), and a raft of special deals from all your favourite Stack Seaburn traders. 

Expect roaring log fires, live entertainment, snug seating areas, and a vibrant bar stocking a wide variety of hot and cold tipples to help you spread festive cheer this winter! 

We’ll see you there! 



22 – 31 OCTOBER 



Celebrating the spookiest time of year, Lights Out festival returns with a vengeance for 2021 as Sunderland BID celebrate Halloween in style from 22 to 31 October. 

10 days of inflatable creatures, larger-than-life monsters, spooky stories and a petrifying parade will be emerging and taking over the streets of Wearside shortly, as Sunderland BID’s beloved Lights Out Festival gears up for an emphatic return to the streets of Sunderland city centre!

In what’s shaping up to be a carnival of special spooks and surprises this autumn, the city will soon welcome six inflatable Mackem Monsters to various iconic buildings around the city centre.

The BID’s highly popular Sunderland Experience app will make a welcome return and allow families to find augmented reality creatures at various ghoulish points. 

As a reward for those who use the app, visitors will get exclusive access to a range of discounts and offers for businesses across the city.

Sunderland BID is ensuring 2021’s celebrations are bigger and better than ever this year and boy, have they pulled out the bag with the inaugural Halloween Community Parade! 

Lights Out will culminate in a spectacular Halloween parade, created by carnival experts, Creative Seed along with Sunderland College, the University of Sunderland and community groups.

This first-of-its-kind parade will take place on 29 October and travel through the city in what’s shaping up to be a week-long carnival of unmissable events. 





International music sensation Emeli Sandé will headline Foundation of Light’s 20th birthday Gala Awards Dinner, at the charity’s home the Beacon of Light later this year.

Taking place on Friday 8 October, the Foundation of Light’s 20th birthday Gala Awards Dinner will celebrate and showcase the work of Sunderland AFC’s official charity and the impact it has made on thousands of lives across the North East over the last 20 years. 

Furthermore, organisers hope to raise thousands to support community sport, education, employability and wellbeing projects.

The Gala Awards Dinner will feature a range of very special guests including Sir Bob Murray CBE, Steve Cram CBE, Kate Adie CBE and Sir Tim Rice CBE.

For more information on the event and how to get tickets, visit foundationoflight.co.uk. 






The guys and girls at The Peacock are knocking it out of the park with their unbelievably good list of music events coming to the city this autumn! 

We’re buzzing to learn that North Shields starlet Aaron Duff and his band, Hector Gannet will be playing an exclusive gig in the city this October to showcase their brilliant latest album ‘Big Harcar’. 

Fans have been eagerly awaiting recorded material to emerge since 2017 when Hector Gannet wrote an outstanding piece of original music to be performed alongside vintage archive film footage of North East England for the North East Film Archive. 

Rich in melody, lyrics rooted in local heritage and an embracing sound that’s guaranteed to leave a lasting impression, this is a mega music date in the city you really don’t want to miss out on. 

Tickets are cheap, a local band is headlining and it’s inside one of the independent venues around – what more could you ask for? 







Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash-hit West End and Broadway musical, School of Rock, is set to embark on a major UK tour and it’s making a stop at Sunderland Empire in 2021!

Based on the hilarious hit film, the new musical follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star, who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school.

There, he turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band – sensationally performed live by the production’s young actors every night with roof-raising energy!

While teaching these pint-sized prodigies what it means to truly rock, Dewey falls for the school’s beautiful, yet uptight, headmistress, helping her rediscover the wild child within.

The show is set to feature 14 new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber and all of the beloved original songs from the film, resulting in a high-octane smash delivering face-melting guitar riffs and touching romance in equally brilliant doses.

After enjoying huge success in London, winning five-star reviews and the Oliver Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music, now, the rest of the UK can experience the magic – and we cannot wait to get among the action!






Kubix Festival has a special line-up of world-class tunes arriving over Herrington Country park as tons of legendary bands and iconic DJs take to the stage across two separate days. 

Lovers of rock, indie, punk (and more) were well catered for, as a raft of legends such as the Levellers, Stiff Little Fingers, New Model Army, Cast, Futureheads, The Selecter, Sleeper, The Farm, The Wedding Present, Wilko Johnson and Primitives arrived in the city on 2 October. 

8th Friday is a cool celebration of the finest names in dance-pop; expect to see the likes of the Vengaboys, 2 Unlimited, N-Trance, East 17 and Ultra Naté. 

Final tickets remain via this link: kubixfestival.com



16 October



Sunderland will be welcoming The Comedy Club to The Points Performing Arts & Events venue in Sunderland. 

A brand new event for people to enjoy, The Points will transform into a stunning Comedy Club with three professional stand up comedians taking to the stage. 

Taking to the stage on 16 October, The Comedy Club will welcome Karen Bayley and her devastating one-liners, BBC New Comedy Awards semifinalist Matt Reed and Britain’s Got Talent Finalist Micky P Kerr this autumn. 

A brand new night that promises a fantastic lineup of entertainment, a delicious pre-show food menu and great music all under one roof, book your tickets for The Comedy Club at The Points now via the link below.







 A “North East Supergroup” is headlining a very special evening of local music at Sunderland’s beloved after-hours institution, Independent. 

Motel Carnation bring sleazy, off-kilter electronic indie from the grubby club floors of Newcastle Upon-Tyne. 

In the 2 years of playing together, the trio has received airplay on BBC 6 Music & BBC Tees as well as airplay and a live session for BBC Introducing In The North East. 

The band were selected as one of 10 artists to be BBCintroducing In The North East’s Tips for 2021 and have quickly gathered a reputation as one of the region’s most exciting, forward-thinking live acts around. 

Tickets start from just £7 and are flying out the door at a rate of knots – bag yours now via the link below.




22 – 23 October



One of the UK’s biggest comedy stars is whistling into Sunderland Empire with his new show, Regional Trinket.

From the exhilarating high of his star-studded wedding day, to the low of lockdown stuck on a farm, a lot has changed since Alan’s last tour four years ago, including Alan. 

A new Sunderland Empire show, Alan’s unique style of humour and effortless stage presence has made him one of Britain’s most successful and treasured comedians, and his date in Wearside is shaping up to be a sell-out show. 

Tickets available via the link: atgtickets.com/venues/sunderland-empire


Which event are you most looking forward to in Sunderland this October? Get in touch online. Twitter: @SunderlandVibe, Instagram: @SunderlandVibe, Facebook: @SunderlandVibe.

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