A CITY’S top bands are to play a virtual festival next week to highlight its excellent music scene and to raise funds for a city foodbank.

Sunderland's premier recording producers Motorhouse and the city's top music venue, Independent, will host the festival - a free, live-streamed event - on Thursday, October 29, that will feature internationally acclaimed recording stars like Barry Hyde, The Lake Poets and Vandebilt as well as Bigfatbig, Noyou and stars from the city's Young Musicians Project.

Organiser Jordan Miller, joint owner of Motorhouse and songwriter, said: "This year has been tough for everyone, especially those in the arts. With venues being closed for the past seven months, people can't attend shows and hear what tremendous music we are producing here on Wearside; that's why we're hosting a one-off celebration of Sunderland's thriving music scene.”

Jack Wade, Motorhouse co-owner, added: "While raising awareness of the musicians and industry personnel involved, another aim of this festival is to raise funds for Sunderland Foodbank, a charity that provides the necessities to people who need them most."

The festival will run from 6pm to 10pm on Thursday, October 29, and can be accessed via Independent’s Facebook page. There will be a link live on the night to donate to Sunderland Foodbank.