City partnership keeping Sunderland on song

by Kate Smith

Trio of shows is great boost for city.

Sunderland AFC and Sunderland City Council are proving that teamwork is as important off the pitch as on it with the announcement of the Stadium of Light’s third concert for 2013, ‘North East Live’.

The multi-artist extravaganza, set to be the North East biggest ever popshow, caps off a massive summer of music events, with Rihanna and Bon Jovi  also set the grace the Sunderland stage.

Sunderland AFC and Sunderland City Council have continued to forge a hugely successful partnership in the run-up to this summer’s blockbuster Stadium of Light concerts, ensuring that the city and the wider region maximise the benefits of the shows.  The two organisations have combined to position Sunderland as a firm destination for the music industry’s elite, after Take That first set the ball rolling back in the summer of 2009.

The anticipated boost to the local economy from this year’s concerts is predicted to be somewhere in the region of a staggering £10 million. Around 150,000 music lovers will descend on Sunderland in June for the three shows, with city hotels and businesses such as restaurants, bars and taxi firms all set to benefit from the influx of visitors.

Councillor Paul Watson, Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We’ve seen each year just how successful the Stadium of Light concerts programme can be, so, given the opportunity to support a third concert for 2013, we were only too happy to do what was needed to make it happen.

“The Stadium of Light concerts are now a cornerstone of Sunderland’s impressive events calendar, so to secure a third event is fantastic news for the city.

“We are delighted to have been able to work with SAFC to make this possible and we’re looking forward to playing host to some of the UK’s biggest and best loved pop acts as well as the thousands of people we expect to see at the event.

 “Securing a third concert of this size for 2013 is testament to Sunderland’s growing reputation as a world-class music venue. Our strong and successful partnership with the football club is what makes events like this one possible and we’ll continue to work closely with SAFC to ensure the event is the best it can be for the gig-goers, the city and its businesses.”

Gary Hutchinson, Sunderland AFC’s Commercial Director, added: “Sunderland City Council has been unwavering in its support of concerts at the Stadium of Light since we launched our first bid to attract major music events here back in 2009.

“Our work together has proved to be a resounding success, so much so that we have positioned the Stadium of Light and the city well and truly on the map of the major concert promoters in this country and beyond. Sunderland has established itself as a leading destination on the music circuit and the city is reaping the rewards of that.”