This year’s Sunderland Airshow will be launched with a spectacular evening of musical nostalgia.

There will also be breath-taking displays of night flying and amazing fireworks.

The event – produced by the Sunderland-based i-Stage group, who were also responsible for last year’s opening night – will take place on Friday 27th July.

As the Sunderland Airshow will be marking its 30th anniversary this year, the first night’s setlist will take the audience on a musical journey from the late 1980s to the present day.

i-Stage director, Paul Waite, said, “We are absolutely delighted to have been given this important role again. It was an honour to put on the opening show last year and to be asked to do it again proves that it was a huge success.”

“We deliver productions across the country, but as a Sunderland-based business it is so special to be entertaining our home crowd.”

“The opening night sets the tone for the whole weekend so we want people to enjoy every moment and I’m sure they will. Rehearsals are already in full flow and we can’t wait to wow everyone!”

In between the songs, pyrotechnic flying teams will be lighting up the night sky with some incredible displays. Fireflies and Twister Duo will deliver a joint performance before handing over to Otto the Helicopter for a fireworks extravaganza.

It will be the first time that Otto has performed at the Sunderland Airshow.

John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for communities and culture, said, “Although Sunderland Airshow began as a one-day event in 1989, it has grown dramatically throughout the past 30 years.”

 “The first Friday evening launch event took place in 2009 as part of the celebration of the 21st show and has proven to be one of the best-loved parts of the weekend’s programme.”

“It is therefore a wonderful feeling to be able to celebrate the 30th show with a similar evening of live music and incredible air displays.”

The free, family event will begin at 4.00 pm. A number of local performers will have the chance to showcase their talents before the audience will be wowed with a Bollywood-style Indian dance extravaganza.

Though the opening-night event is free, those who wish to do so can upgrade. Tickets can be purchased for the Take Off Enclosure, where visitors can enjoy a range of benefits including indoor and outdoor seating, excellent views of the flying displays and a buffet-style supper.

To learn more about the Take Off Enclosure package or to book tickets, please visit and click on ‘upgrade your experience’.  

Get Sunderland Magazine in your inbox.

* indicates required


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here