Opinion: Bruce Springsteen, And The Sunderland Stadium Dilemma
By Hannah D'Arcy on June 26, 2012 in Music
For the past three years, Sunderland’s Stadium of Light has been a staple of the stadium tour diet, hosting the likes of Take That, Oasis and, er… P!nk (I’m sure she put on a very good show). This year has been a strong one for Sunderland council, booking Coldplay, Bruce and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, who’s tickets seem to be selling as though they come with a free ebola virus.
The gigs this year have been so exciting that Nexus felt the need to strike, though thankfully delayed action for the Springsteen gig. On Thursday at least, the metros were born to run. What? 80s music, 80s joke.
The buzz around the superstars who’ve set foot in our grey, industrial town has been so loud that earlier in the year, it reached the ears of The Guardian, who decided to tell us all that the stadium was the “jewel in Sunderland’s crown”, prompting a fantastic response from Field Music’s Dave Brewis on this very site. In fact, that article absolutely incensed pretty much everyone who associates themselves in any way with the music scene in Sunderland and our little community proved how wonderful we can be again.
As far as Sunderland Council are concerned, we have a music venue. We don’t. It’s a football stadium.
The stadium gigs are always going to get mixed reactions in Sunderland. The positives speak for themselves – the gigs bring in revenue to a town that sorely needs it, they put us on the map, even if only for a couple of weeks and, let’s not beat around the bush here: Bruce Springsteen, THE Boss, was in SUNDERLAND. It’s still unbelievable.
The worry is, however, that as long as the stadium can attract artists of this magnitude, crowds of that size and media coverage of that amount, as far as Sunderland Council are concerned, we have a music venue. We don’t. It’s a football stadium. The council are knocking down our only venue, Independent. We have no means of attracting out-of-town bands anymore, unless they’re multi-platinum selling and just happen to want to gig outside of the football season. The jewel in our musical crown should not be a place where, from August ‘til May, the most musical thing going on in it is 50,000 people singing “The referee’s a wanker”.
Still… Bruce Springsteen was in Sunderland. That’s mega.
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