Bring your event to Sunderland
If you're an event organiser looking to for the perfect city for your next event, you're in the right place.
We are a vibrant, dynamic, future-forward city which holds hundreds of events each year. We boast a range of fantastic venues for theatres, gigs, concerts, performances, exhibitions, festivals and more. Our team works with hundreds of businesses each year to create memorable experiences. Whether it's a small community day or a large scale event, our events team can help you book your event in Sunderland with ease.
Explore What's On to discover up and coming events in Sunderland.
Please be aware of the restrictions on events due to COVID-19. Further details on this can be found below.
Bring Your Event to Sunderland
If Sunderland is the right place for your event, you can apply here to complete an initial booking.
Once your application has been reviewed by our team, we will get in touch to request any further information required. We ask that event organisers contact us at least 12 weeks in advance of your event taking place to provide sufficient time for reviewing, planning and confirmation.
For information on booking events during COVID, please see our section on this below.
Choosing An Event Space
There are countless venues and hired spaces across the city that are suitable for events. Whether you're looking to host an event in the city centre, at the seafront or in an open space, many of the below venues will accommodate events, though will vary in capacity, size and pricing.
Sunderland's Seafront is ideal for relaxed events overlooking the beautiful North East coast.
Book your event at Cliffe Park- which boasts nearby bars, cafes and restaurants or Recreation Park, which are integral to our annual Sunderland Airshow and Armed Forces weekend.
Sunderland City Centre
Book your event in Sunderland's bustling central hub, where there are numerous indoor and outdoor venues. Keel Square is a public space and boulevard which is home to two of the city's most treasured art features, and is also the site of our annual Christmas lights switch-on, festive ice rinks, Christmas markets and more.
Meanwhile, Market Square is one of the city's most popular spaces for events due to its central location. It annually hosts Sunderland's Pride Parade as well as festive markets, commercial activity and public performances.
The historic Mowbray Parkalso provides a picturesque setting. Here Sunderland has hosted festivals, community events, open air cinema screenings and the annual Remembrance Sunday Commemoration.
Or, choose from Park Lane and Sunniside Gardens. Park Lane is known for hosting sports festivals, outdoor movies and commercial activity, while Sunniside is home to contemporary restaurants, bars and specialist boutiques, making it the perfect location for small exhibitions and art attractions.
Princess Anne Park is a significantly sized public park that's ideal for events, community sports, festivals and more. It's also within walking distance of public transport, making it easily accessible.
Houghton and Hetton
Outside of the city centre, there are indoor and outdoor venues that are within close enough range to be accessible, while sizeable to accommodate large and small events. Herrington Country Park regularly accommodates large open air concerts and has been used for Radio 1's Big Weekend and Let's Rock The North East
Hetton Lyons Country Park on the other hand is perfect for outdoor sporting events such as running, cycling and more.
Rectory Park is one of the oldest gardens in the UK and is used for large scale events including the annual Houghton Feast Funfair
For events in spaces which have not been listed, please contact our team for more information.
Event Charges and Hire Fees
Some Sunderland events and spaces will be subject to a hire fee and/or a legal fee. You will be advised of any fees applicable to your event once your initial application has been reviewed, therefore it is important that you include as much information as possible within your application.
Health and Safety
Sunderland Council works with a number of partner agencies to ensure events in the city are safe for production and attendance. Partners include Northumbria Police, Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service and North East Ambulance Service.
Depending on your event, you may be asked to complete an Event Management Plan and attend a Safety Advisory Group (SAG) meeting to provide an overview of your event. A template Event Management Plan is available to download, along with some guidance for organisers, which may be useful.
Once your initial application has been received, you will be advised of any further information you are required to submit and whether you will be required to attend a SAG.
Please note, if you submit information to the council, it will be shared with partner agencies for the purposes of reviewing the application.
Applications for Council Owned Spaces
All applications for events/activities on Council land will need to be raised at a Safety Advisory Group meeting (SAG) for consideration. SAG meetings are held once per month and you will be required to attend at least 3 months ahead of your event date, with your Event Management Plan (EMP) and supporting documents. This must include Covid risk assessments, and will need to be received no later than 21 days ahead of your agreed SAG date. If this deadline is not adhered to your event/activity date may be at risk.
Required Application Details in line with Government Steps
You will need to include within your EMP details on how your event or activity will operate under the 4-steps that the UK government have outlined - dependent on when the event or activity is scheduled. For example, if your event/activity is scheduled during Step 4 i.e. no earlier than 21st June 2021, your Event Management Plan will need to detail how you plan to deliver your event within both Step 4 and Step 3, in case of any delays.
We understand that some organisers may not be able to deliver their event or activity within the previous step and this should be clearly identified with the EMP.
It is important for organisers to understand that local infection rates and the impact on local NHS services will continue to be a determining factor on whether events/activities can go ahead.
Public Health colleagues are now part of the SAG process and will be advising in accordance with the intelligence at the time. Organisers should acknowledge that even with the UK Government's Four-Step Plan, there will be an element of risk attached to delivering events within these timescales and that approval to proceed could be withdrawn at any time, should the situation change.
We very much want to see the return of events/activities to the city, but that can only happen when it is deemed safe to do so, and without impacting on the work being undertaken to reduce the spread of COVID infections.
We appreciate that each organiser will be impacted differently by the most recent announcements, and continuing updates from the Government, World Health Organisation (WHO) and the local authorities so please do get in touch if you wish to discuss further.
We will always try to support parades, and in some cases the ability to parade is covered by laws or acts of parliament. If you are organising a parade or procession, it is essential to inform Sunderland City Council and Northumbria Police for the safety of everyone involved.
Once we are informed of your plans, we can consider the need for road closures (whether static or rolling - where the road reopens after you have safely passed through), if there is a need for Police support or if you need to consider additional security measures.
You should allow 3 months' notice when telling us about your parade. If you are already within this timescale, we cannot guarantee that arrangements can be made but please notify us at your earliest convenience.
Please contact us at email@example.com in the first instance, ideally with a simple description or map of your intended route, and we will contact you to discuss your proposal further.
Bring Your Event to Sunderland
If you'd like to book your event in Sunderland, you can get in touch with our Events team directly by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will endeavour to respond to you as quickly as possible, and review your application.
You can also contact us to ask any further questions if the required information is not listed. Browse our detailed downloadable guides including information on Event Management Plans and Guidance for Organisers.
We will then provide details of how you can book your event.