Popular free music festival Summer Streets is back – but in a new home for 2019.
This year’s festival will be held on Saturday, July 13, and is once again being organised by Ross Millard, from both The Futureheads and Frankie and the Heartstrings.
Summer Streets started life in Southwick, but moved to Recreation Park, Seaburn, last year as part of the Tall Ships festivities.
Now in its sixth year, the festival will remain in Seaburn, but will be held on Cliffe Park.
“The festival was such a success in Seaburn last year, the turnout was huge and feedback was very positive so we have decided to stay on the coast.
“However, we’re really keen to retain our strong links with Southwick and we’re delighted that once again Southwick Neighbourhood Youth Project will be part of the day.
“We’re also putting on shuttle buses from Southwick so people won’t miss out,” explained Ross.
As always, the festival aims to showcase talent from around region, but there are some performers from further afield involved – one of them being Aristas del Gremio, a Spanish brass/funk band.
“There’s the usual eclectic mix, so we have the Royal Northern Sinfonia performing, but also Paul Smith from Maximo Park and Roxy Girls.
“Other local talent includes hip hop artist Kay Greyson; soul band Vandebilt; Gateshead singer songwriter Morris Ford; party band Hip Hop Hooray and Summer Streets favourites Picnic, who are a six-piece Sunderland-based funk pop band,” added Ross.
Young people from We Make Culture’s Young Songwriters’ group will also be performing.
Summer Streets has always been a family occasion and this year will be no exception.
Treats for younger festival goers will include Tiny Tweeties singing classes; a junkyard orchestra workshop from early-years arts group Chalk; kite making from Pauline Taylor and theatre-for-one shadow puppetry from Lyn Killeen.
This year’s festival will also feature dance, circus and street theatre performances.
Sunderland Culture’s Head of Performance Helen Green has been working with Ross to develop a Summer Streets performance programme.
The programme features aerial artist Emma Bloomfield; the Bicycle Ballet group; street theatre performers The Fairly Famous Family and a silent disco with theatre group Wet Picnic.
“We were inspired by the success of the performance programme from last year’s Tall Ships to develop a programme for this year’s Summer Streets and I’m sure people will love the mix of performers we’ve brought together,” said Helen.
“Emma Bloomfield is a brilliant Sunderland-based aerial artist who performed at the Tall Ships; Bicycle Ballet are an amazing group of cyclists who deliver highly-choreographed, formation cycling routines; The Fairly Famous Family are street performers who will interact with the Summer Streets audience, while Wet Picnic’s Club Shed will be a big hit,” explained Helen.
“I’m sure Helen’s imaginative programming will enhance Summer Streets and add an extra element of surprise and enjoyment,” said Ross.
There will be three stages delivering musical performances, and the festival will start at noon on July 13, finishing at 7pm.
The BBC’s Jeff Brown will compere the event and there will be food and drinks stalls and concessions.
Further performers will be announced closer to July 13.
Funding for Summer Streets has come from Arts Council England, Sunderland Music and Education Hub and Sunderland Culture, with in-kind support from The Cultural Spring.