Emile Sandé will be headlining a free concert taking place at Herrington Park, Sunderland, to thank frontline staff for their work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The concert is being organised by Andrew Kenney and Ben Potts, two friend that were ‘so touched by the job being done by NHS and other essential staff’ during the pandemic that they wanted to express their thanks in a ‘really special way’.

Rocking In The Free World will be a one-day festival taking place on 22 May 2021, headlined by Emile Sandé, and will feature many more artists including songwriter and vocalist Karen Harding, and singer/songwriter Christian Yu.

Kenney came up with the idea for the festival after seeing first-hand the pressure on those in the NHS through his wife Jan, who is a sister who heads up the emergency admissions unit at South Tyneside Hospital. Kenney enlisted the help of Potts, whose North East rock tribute band, The Sons of Eden, will be performing at the festival.

Kenney said: “We’re just two ordinary blokes who wanted to put on something extra ordinary. We’ve been overwhelmed by the response so far and we’ve had so many people say it’s a great idea and also offering to help.

“We’ll be adding more acts as time goes on and we’re hoping this will be a really amazing and memorable event for everyone.”

The organisers have set up a Just Giving page to help raise £20,000 towards financing the event. More information and tickets for the event can be found here.