Book your event in Sunderland

Retro Festival

If you are looking for somewhere to hold your event, Sunderland could be the perfect place.  We are a vibrant city with hundreds of events held here each year.  From small community fun days to major music festivals, historical re-enactments to national sporting events, the city is alive with something for people to see and do every week of the year.

We have a great range of outdoor spaces that have been tried and tested, fantastic transport links to move people around the city and bring in visitors from the wider region, and a dedicated events team that will work with you every step of the way to ensure your event is a success.

Covid information for Event Organisers

Following the most recent government announcement on the recovery from lockdown and the return of events, we would like to update organisers looking to hold their events or activities in Sunderland.

All applications for events/activities on Council land will need to come to 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, which must include covid risk assessments, 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.

You will need to include within your EMP details on how your event/activity will operate under the 4 steps the government have outlined, dependent on when it is scheduled.  For example, if your event/activity is scheduled during Step 4 – no earlier than 21 June, 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/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 therefore that even with the government’s step plan, there will be an element of risk attached to delivering events and that at any time approval to proceed could be withdrawn.

We, like you, 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 infection. 

We appreciate that each organiser will be impacted differently by this latest announcement so please do get in touch if you wish to discuss further.


If you think that Sunderland is the right place for you and your event, please click on the link below and complete an initial event application.

Once we’ve reviewed your application, we will be in touch advise of any further information we require. We ask therefore that you contact us at least 12 weeks in advance of your event taking place to provide sufficient time for information to be shared.



There are a range of spaces across the city that are suitable for events.  More information about the spaces can be found below. If you would like to hold an event in a space not shown, please contact us to discuss

Seafront: Cliffe Park , Recreation Park

City Centre: Keel Square, Market Square, Mowbray Park, Park Lane, Sunniside Gardens

Washington: Princess Anne Park

Houghton and Hetton: Herrington Country Park, Hetton Lyons Country Park, Rectory Park



Some 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.



The council works with a number of partner agencies to ensure events in the city are safe.  They 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 below, 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.


If you have any questions about holding an event in Sunderland, please contact the Events Team at  / 0191 5614600.


We look forward to working with you to deliver a great event!

Book your event 


Did you know?

St Peter's Church in Monkwearmouth formed part of the Anglo-Saxon monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow, which was home to the author of the first history of England, the Venerable Bede.

Sunderland Top Ten's

Looking for a great family day out in a friendly, exciting city by the sea? Looking for fascinating museums, cute wildlife and plenty of space for your little ones to run off their excess energy? Look no more because Sunderland ticks all those boxes and more. Here are our ten best things for all of the family to do in Sunderland.


Don't miss 👉 Branching Out: Local History for Family Historians on Thursday 13 May, 10am and 6pm £5 per person This… 1 day 13 hours ago
As part of Local History Month and National Walking Month 🚶🏼‍♂️ , why not download the Sunderland Riverside Heritag… 1 day 17 hours ago
In May 1826, the first colliery in Sunderland – the Pemberton Main, was sunk and by 1834 the main coal seam had bee… 4 days 16 hours ago


Download the See it Do it app

Sign up to our newsletter

2 + 9 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.