As well as enjoying amazing flying displays, visitors to the 2018 Sunderland Airshow will be able to rock all over the world before getting down to some classic disco hits.

The Sunderland International Airshow (Friday 27th to Sunday 29th July) will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and this fact will be reflected in the music on the opening Friday night.

The audience will be taken on a musical journey across the three decades the airshow has been running. There will be plenty of hit tunes from the late eighties, nineties and noughties and up to the present day.

The Friday night will also see a Bollywood-style Indian dance performance and some flying fireworks courtesy of Otto the Helicopter.

The Saturday night’s entertainment will kick off – right after the Red Arrows’ display – with Status Quo tribute act The Quo Experience.

After wowing the audience with their no-nonsense boogie-rock, The Quo Experience will hand over to soulful disco hitmakers The Real Thing.

The Real Thing had a string of UK and international hits in the 1970s, with their standout song You to Me Are Everything reaching the top of the British charts.

It will be the first time that musical entertainment has been provided on the Saturday night of the airshow.

Can You Feel The Force of The Real Thing at Rewind Scotland 2017
The Real Thing 

Cllr John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s cabinet member for communities and culture, said, “This is the 30th year of the Sunderland Airshow and we want to make it an occasion for everyone to remember. Music will play a big part in the celebrations.”

“Our Friday launch night has become increasingly popular over the years and we have extended the music programme over the weekend to reflect that and offer our visitors even more.”

“While as always there will be some of the world’s finest pilots, aircraft and display teams taking to the skies above Sunderland’s award-winning seafront, there is also a full programme of ground attractions, events and family activities stretching from Seaburn along to Bede’s Cross and Roker Park for visitors to enjoy.”

“There really is something for everyone to enjoy, from a new arena in Recreation Park hosting performances and displays to a full military village along the seafront and a larger selection of food and entertainment, including The Summer Village, over the three-day event.”

Some of the main highlights are:

  • Cliffe Park: live music on the main stage, now also including Saturday evening
  • Recreation Park: an arena featuring circus skills and magic acts, and The Royal Marines Demonstration Team
  • Bede’s Cross: A military village, featuring exhibitions from the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Airforce

For further information about the flying displays and the full music and events programme, please visit

With the Sunderland International Airshow set to attract thousands of visitors, Wearside’s local businesses, shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs are gearing up to cater to their needs.

Victoria French, Sunderland City Council’s head of events, said, “We’re doing everything we can again to encourage local traders to play an even bigger role in this year’s event and add to the range of goods and services they already provide to their more regular customers.”

“The airshow weekend is a fantastic opportunity to showcase what they have to offer and hopefully attract more people back into their businesses and back to the seafront.”

“The three-day event at our award-winning seafront will complement the excellent range of existing attractions which are there all year round, with great places to shop, eat, drink and relax with a fantastic range of restaurants, cafes, bars and shops for visitors to enjoy.”

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