New venue for Geordie showcase in a bid to meet demand

Ray Laidlaw at Newcastle Metro Radio Arena, the new home of the 'Sunday for Sammy' event.
Ray Laidlaw at Newcastle Metro Radio Arena, the new home of the 'Sunday for Sammy' event.

A performance showcase has found a new home in a bid to meet demand for tickets.

Sunday for Sammy – which started in 2000 as a tribute to Geordie actor Sammy Johnson – had been held at Newcastle City Hall since its launch.

But the 2018 performance – set for Sunday, February 18 – will take place at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena after sell-out shows left thousands of fans unable to get tickets.

A total of 5,000 tickets will now be available for the two theatre style performances – more than double the available tickets in previous years.

Sunday for Sammy is a celebration of North Eastern culture and many of the region’s most popular and successful performers have taken part in the extravaganza of comedy and music, staged to raise funds to support the next generation of North Eastern performers with training, expenses and equipment.

Tim Healy, Denise Welch, Mark Knopfler, Kevin Whately, Charlie Hardwick, Jimmy Nail, Jill Halfpenny, Timothy Spall, AC/DC’s Brian Johnson, Stephen Tomkinson, Jason Cook, Lindisfarne, Joe McElderry, Brendan Healy, Donna Air, Ant and Dec, Chelsea Halfpenny, Billy Mitchell, Brendan Foster, and many more have given up their time to take part in the show.

Chairman of the Sunday for Sammy Trust Tim Healy said: “I spend a lot of time in the North East and people constantly ask me how to get tickets for Sunday for Sammy.

“The show has become so hugely popular that all available tickets are snapped up as soon as they go on sale.

“By moving the show to a larger venue we can give loads more people the opportunity to see the show while ensuring our continued support for the talented young performers from our area that need a helping hand.”

Since the first Sunday for Sammy in 2000, young local performers have benefitted from over £400,000 in grants to help with their professional development.

Ailsa Oliver, general manager of the Metro Radio Arena, said: “Sunday for Sammy is such a wonderful event and we are very excited to be part of its continued growth.

“The event generates such excellent support for the local community and we are sure the two performances will once again be a success in it’s new home at the Metro Radio Arena”

The show’s producer, Ray Laidlaw said: “Sunday for Sammy is unique; no other part of the country has an event that celebrates its regional popular culture on such a scale while supporting the next generation of performers.

“It’s an amazingly popular show and in recent years every performance has sold out within hours of the tickets going on sale.

“We get a huge number of messages from people telling us that they’ve tried to buy tickets but have been unsuccessful.

“That’s why we’ve doubled the capacity by moving the show to the Metro Radio Arena.”

Tickets costing £35 plus 55p facility fee and bookings fees, go on general sale from 10am on Wednesday, March 22, and are available online at www.metroradioarena.co.uk, 0844 493 6666 or in person from the Metro Radio Arena Box Office.

Tickets will also be available from Newcastle Theatre Royal.