Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

21 Reasons for Success; as Hull Prepares for Its UK City of Culture Status in 2017, Sunderland Has Its Eyes on the Title for 2021. Sam Wonfor Takes a Look at Just Some of the Reasons Why It Should Be in with a Massive Shout

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

21 Reasons for Success; as Hull Prepares for Its UK City of Culture Status in 2017, Sunderland Has Its Eyes on the Title for 2021. Sam Wonfor Takes a Look at Just Some of the Reasons Why It Should Be in with a Massive Shout

Article excerpt

AS Sunderland's ambitious bid to become UK City of Culture in 2021 continues, we thought it would be a good idea to pull together a run down of reasons why the Wearside city deserves to bag the title.

From follies and former Futureheads to stadium gigs and award-winning brass bands; and from internationally renowned cultural spaces and pop-up record shops to top drawer glass making and a learning legacy which stretches back 1,400 years, there are many things Sunderland clocks up big scores for on the culture scale.

Here are the first 21 we've compiled with The Cultural Spring in Sunderland. If you'd like to add your suggestions to the mix, email them to sam.wonfor@ncjmedia.co.uk 1. First Class Glass Not only was England's first stained glass window made in Sunderland in 674 AD, the city is now home to the National Glass Centre, one of the country's leading galleries for glass exhibitions and the largest centre for glass and ceramics teaching and learning in Europe.

2. Sunderland Empire Often called The West End of the North East, this beautiful Edwardian theatre attracts huge crowds to its programme of famous hit shows.

3. One of the best independent music scenes in the country The city has a booming independent music scene with its current crop of musicians including Field Music, Frankie and the Heartstrings, Lilliput, Hyde and Beast and The Lake Poets - following hot on the heels of the older states-people of indie rock and pop punk such as the Futureheads and Kenickie.

4. Music trend-setters The city is of course also the birth place of Radio 6 DJ, musical pundit and trendsetter Lauren Laverne, (who used to front the aforementioned Kenickie, of course), meanwhile the innovative team behind Pop Recs - the pop-up record shop which has stuck around - continue to infuse the city centre community with cultural loveliness.

5. Super Gigs But it is not just about the alternative or the independent scene - The Stadium of Light has been flexing its super gig muscles in recent years bringing some massive acts such as Bruce Springsteen, Kings of Leon, Take That, P!nk and the Foo Fighters to the region.

6. Bold as Brass Rock and pop's not the only sound of the city, Sunderland is also home to the awardwinning Houghton Brass - the reigning National Brass Band Champions of Great Britain (Third Section).

7. Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art This small but critically acclaimed gallery was the first to commission renowned contemporary artists like Sam Taylor Wood and Adam Chodzko - giving the city some serious contemporary art credentials.

8. Inventors From Joseph Swan's lightbulb to Dominic Wilcox's GPS shoes - yes, that's correct, GPS shoes and cathedral cars, the city definitely has more than its fair share of very inventive folk.

9. The Illuminations The city the invented the lightbulb also hosts the annual Sunderland Illuminations - which lights up the seafront every year from September to November. …

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