It’s tonight! A fun and fabulous neon playground at Independent


Tonight, Independent, in Holmeside, will host Club Six Twenty, a one-off art club night aimed at people who enjoy festivals, going to gigs and cabaret nights, which have been hit hard by Covid-19 restrictions.

Club Six Twenty is being produced and delivered by theatre company The Six Twenty as part of Sunderland Culture’s Unlocking the Doors initiative to help the city take a small step closer to normality after months of Covid restrictions.

Tonight, Thursday, 26 August, will feature music from bands such as PICNIC and MXYM, as well as a DJ set from Gladys Duffy. There will be pop up theatre happenings from The Six Twenty Clubbers, opportunities to create your own artwork with Sunderland artist Jo Howell, circus, drag performances, DJ sets, glitter and much more!

A night to remember at Independent

Melanie Rashbrooke, Artistic Director, of The Six Twenty, explained:

“It’s going to be a night people won’t forget – an arts club night, an immersive experience where people can get involved or just enjoy some great music.

“It’ll be a celebration of the nights we’ve missed for so long because of Covid, but also a celebration of local artists who’ve not been able to do what they do best during the pandemic. 

“You’ll be able to leave your troubles at the door, crack your glow sticks and immerse yourself in the unique and wonderful world of Club Six Twenty. There’ll be plenty of chill out spaces as well as a brilliant digital installation from artist Ronan Devlin.”

In Flow (installation by Ronan Devlin

The Six Twenty

The Six Twenty is a Newcastle based theatre company specialising in creating unexpected theatre in non-traditional settings. The company trialled a similar evening at Alphabetti Theatre on Tyneside in 2019 and the night was well received.

“It went really well, our clubbers had such a great time, but was also lovely to see was how our artists connected and collaborated. We planned to do more, but Covid got in the way,” said Melanie.

The company has worked in Sunderland before, presenting their popular cult, comedy, music quiz show Mixtape at venues such as The Dun Cow and The Peacock, as well as working on a commission for last year’s (virtual) Summer Streets.

Melanie said:

“We’ve really enjoyed working in Sunderland again, particularly at Independent. It has so many great spaces, it’s perfect for Club Six Twenty where there will be so much going on.”

 A Covid safe event

The Six Twenty and Sunderland Culture are committed to making the event as Covid safe as possible.

Helen Green, Head of Performance at Sunderland Culture, said:

“We will provide a safe environment for everyone visiting Club Six Twenty, and have put in place robust Covid compliance measures. We respectfully request audiences show kindness and consideration to others by wearing a mask and maintaining social distance wherever possible.

“Club Six Twenty is going to be something different for the city – a place to explore, get creative and have a good time. The number of tickets available will be restricted because of our Covid measures, so I urge folks to get their tickets now – they’ll go quickly.”

MXYM is a singer, songwriter and musician who’s work is a blend of rock and ’emo glamour’ while headliner PICNIC are an upbeat, sax-driven funk-pop band from Sunderland. Digital artist Ronan Devlin works across print, screen and multi-sensory installations which encourage viewers to interact and alter the artwork in real time. His immersive digital installation In Flow will take over the whole of the upstairs at Independent to create a truly immersive digital installation.

Gladys Duffy

Drag artist and Dj Gladys Duffy will be bringing some fun and a banging DJ set to dance the night away.

Gladys said:

“Sunderland is my hometown and I have yet to perform there so it will be a real moment to be a part of this and bring some glamour to proceedings.”

Jo Howell interactive
Merlin Mee by Emma Biggins

To find out the full line up of artists and performers that you can expect to see at Club Six Twenty go to The Six Twenty website at

Doors for Club Six Twenty will open at 7.45pm on August 26 and tickets, costing £10, are available now through the Sunderland Culture website

The event will include loud music, flashing lights, strobe, haze, smoke, and sensory elements – and is for over 18s only.

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