Take That concerts in Sunderland attract 250,000 people

image captionTake That last played the Stadium of Light in 2009

Almost 250,000 people from across the North East and beyond will flock to Sunderland this weekend to see one of the most anticipated tours in British music history.

Take That are scheduled to play four dates across the bank holiday weekend, kicking off their 36-date Progress Live tour that fans may never forget.

Robbie Williams, who will re-join the band live on tour after 15 years, has reportedly been doing yoga to help his stage fright and anxiety.

Wearside is already buzzing with excitement with fans flooding into Sunderland and some even having the patience to camp out at the stadium to get the best view.

Before the five-piece have even picked up a microphone the local economy has already benefited, with hotels filling up across the North East and the spotlight has also been turned on the local music scene.

Live music

The Sunderland Fringe Festival will keep the spirit of live music alive with music events across the city each weekend in between Take That's gigs and Kings of Leon's date at the Stadium of Light on Friday, 17 June.

Throughout the weekend Mowbray Park, Park Lane Interchange, Roker Park Bandstand and the University of Sunderland's St Peter's Campus will host many local bands and talent.

image captionFans have camped out overnight to get a good spot

John Kelly, from Sunderland City Council, said: "[We have] excellent up and coming bands from the North East, but it's an opportunity for everybody to get involved in the atmosphere of the concerts and to really feel part of it.

"The average concert is worth about £3.5m to the city and that includes bar takings, restaurants, taxis, the whole range of it is immense. It's hard to get your head around to be honest."

Kenny Sangar, from Sunderland's The Bunker rehearsal studios, is hopeful that the gigs at the Stadium of Light will boost the local music scene.

He said: "Big gigs do inspire more people into music and that will hopefully filter down and people will start going to other gigs.

"That will give other local performers to play in front of all of these hundreds of people walking around the city centre."

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