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Further information about Festival of Light

Sunderland Illuminations and Festival of Light Frequently Asked Questions 


General Questions 

What is the location of the Festival of Light?  

The 2021 event will be held in Roker Park.  


What are the dates of Sunderland Illuminations and the Festival of Light?  

The Festival of Light will run from 14 October to 13 November and will be open Thursday - Sunday and every day of the school half term, week commencing Monday 25 October.    

Sunderland Illuminations will run along Roker and Seaburn Seafront and the activity on Cliffe Park will be open seven days a week from 4.00pm - 9.00pm.   


What time is the Festival of Light open and what time is the last admission?  

The Festival of Light is open from 5pm and will close at 9pm.  The last admission is 7.45pm.   

During half term, week commencing 25th October, there is a quiet hour from 4pm - 5pm for families wanting a quieter experience. 

Will the event have any Covid-19 measures?  

Yes. To help maintain social distancing and ensure a COVID safe event, entry time slots will be in place to help manage capacities and to ensure all visitors have a comfortable experience.  

Visitors are reminded to consider Covid-19 guidance, and to not attend if they or anyone in their party is displaying any symptoms.  

Visitors are welcome to wear face coverings and hand sanitiser will be available for use around the park and at the catering outlets.  


Will there be new lighting features?  

Yes. There will be brand new lighting features combined with some classic favourites.  


Do I need to buy a ticket to visit the Festival of Light and how much are they?  

Tickets have now sold out for Festival of Light. No tickets will be available at the event site.



Can I change the date of my tickets or request a refund after purchasing them?  

No. Festival of Light tickets are strictly non-transferable and therefore cannot be moved to an alternative date.  They are also non-refundable.  We are therefore unable to make any changes to tickets after they have been purchased.  


Can I pay on the gate to gain entry to the Festival of Light?  

No. There will be no tickets for sale from the event site.   

There are reduced capacities in place and visitors must have a pre-purchased ticket to gain entry to the Festival of Light.   

Please do not travel to the event without a ticket.  


Can I leave the Festival of Light and return the same evening with the same ticket?  

No. Your ticket is only valid for the entry time stated on the ticket. If you leave the park you will be unable to return at a later time that evening. There is no limit to the amount of time you spend within the Festival of Light once you have entered. 


Is the Festival of Light accessible to pushchairs and wheelchairs? 

Yes. The Festival of Light is fully accessible to pushchair and wheelchair users.  


Will there be food and drinks available on site?  

Yes.  There will be food and drinks available in Roker Park and on Cliffe Park.  


Can I bring my own food and drinks?  

Yes.  Visitors are welcome to bring their own food and drinks to the event however alcohol is strictly prohibited.  Visitors are reminded to use the waste and recycling bins at the event site.  

Will there be toilets and baby changing facilities available at the event?  

Yes. Toilets and baby changing facilities will be available at the Festival of Light.  Public toilets will also be available along the seafront. 

Will Roker Park be free to access during the day?  

Yes.  When the Festival of Light is open, there will be public access to Roker Park until approximately 4pm, at which point the park will be closed in preparation for the event.  During Half Term, week commencing 25 October, the park will close at approximately 3pm.  

Will Park and Ride be available?  

No. Due to reduced capacity for the event, Park and Ride will not be available.   


Can I bring my dog to the event?  

Yes.  We welcome friendly dogs into the Festival of Light, but they must be kept on a lead at all times. 

Where can I find out more about the event?  

Please visit www.mysunderland.co.uk/fol .This page will be updated with any new information and you can also follow My Sunderland or Sunderland UK on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.     


Who can I contact if I have a question or comment?  

Please email events@sunderland.gov.uk  


Parking and Travel Questions  

Why is there a Resident Vehicle Access Permit scheme in place for the Festival of Light dates?  

In order to alleviate traffic congestion for residents local to the event site, a road closure is implemented in the surrounding streets. An access permit is required to gain access through, or park within, the road closure area.  


Who receives a Resident Vehicle Access Permit?  

Resident Vehicle Access Permits are issued to all properties within the road closure. The permits allow residents access through the road closure and the ability to park within the road closure area.  


Do the Resident Vehicle Access Permits guarantee residents a parking place outside of their property?  

No. The passes allow residents to gain access through the road closure to enable them to park within the restricted area. We are unable to guarantee a parking place outside of any given property.  


Which streets will be closed and when?  

The following streets will be closed from approximately 3.30pm- 8.00pm every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the event, Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 October and during the half term week (week commencing 25 October).  

Ashdale Court Glen Thorpe Avenue East Back Park Parade 
Appley Terrace Grantham Road Park Parade South Back 
Bede Street Hartington Street Peareth Grove 
Bede Street North Back Hartington Street East Back Peareth Road 
Bede Street South Back Horatio Street Ravine Terrace 
Benedict Road East Back Horatio Street North Back Roker Terrace  
Brandling Street Kelvin Grove Roker Avenue North Back - from Ripon Street to its north eastern extent 
Brandling Street East Back Kelvin Grove East Back Promotion Close 
Calderbourne Avenue Lonsdale Road Ripon Street East back 
Cardwell Street - from Ripon Street to its eastern extent Lonsdale Road South Back Rock Lodge Gardens 
Claremont Avenue Malvern Gardens Rock Lodge Road 
Claremont Road Mansfield Crescent Roker Baths Road - from Ashdale Court to its north eastern extent 
Cliffe Court Marine Walk- from the Marine Walk Car Park Access to its northern extent Roker Park Close 
Clifton Road Melrose Gardens Roker Park Road 
Cliftonbourne Avenue Melvyn Gardens Roker Park Road West Back 
Clockstand Close Mere Knolls Road - from Side Cliff Road to its southern extent Roker Park Terrace East Back - from Saint Georges Terrace North back to its southern extent 
Cooper Street Merryfield Gardens Roker Terrace West Back 
Cooper Street East Back Midfield Drive Saint Andrews Terrace 
Cressbourne Avenue Moine Gardens Saint Andrews Terrace South Back 
David Gardens North Grove Saint Georges Terrace 
Dinsdale Road North Grove North Back Sea View Gardens - from Mere Knolls Road to its eastern extent 
Featherstone Street North Grove South Back Seaview Gardens North Back 
Featherstone Street East Back Park Avenue Selbourne Street - from Ripon Street to its eastern extent 
Gillside Grove Park Gate Side Cliff Road - from Mere Knolls Road to its eastern extent 
Givens Street Park Gate North Back Stanhope Road 
Glen Thorpe Avenue Park Lea Road Talbot Road 
Glenthorne Road Park Lea Road East Back Turnstile Mews 
  Westcliffe Road 


Side Cliff Road  

Whitburn Road Junction - will be closed 24/7 throughout the event, to accommodate a temporary signalised crossing. 

Roker Park Road Junction - will be closed from 9.00am - 9.30pm on days when the Festival of Light is open, except to residents living along that street who have a Resident Vehicle Access Permit, to manage vehicle congestion and visitor safety.  


Can I request additional Resident Vehicle Access Permits if I live within the road closure area?  

Yes. Limited additional permits are available. Please email events@sunderland.gov.uk  and provide your full name, postal address, contact telephone number and the number of passes that are being requested.  


Where can visitors to the event park?  

Car parking is extremely limited at the seafront limited and we would encourage visitors coming to the event to use public transport. The car parks listed operate on a first come first served basis. 

We would ask all visitors to park responsibly. Civil Enforcement Officers will patrol to enforce any illegal parking.  

Car Park 


Disabled Parking 

Electric Points 

Peak Times Tariffs (per hour or part thereof) 

Pay and display 

Pay on foot 

RingGo location number 

Dykelands Road car park 



70p per hour / £4 all day 


Marine Walk car park 



60p per hour / £3 all day 


Harbour View car park 



60p per hour / £3 all day 



I have a Blue Badge, where can I park?  

There is limited Blue Badge parking at the Seafront including Marine Walk, Marine Walk Car Park, Harbour View Car Park, Whitburn Road opposite Queens Parade and Dykelands Road Car Park. These spaces operate on a first come first served basis.   


Can I use public transport to get to the event?  

Yes.  Visitors can get to the site using both bus and Metro services.  Please visit https://www.nexus.org.uk/bus/timetables for the latest information.  


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