Our History

The Bunker, Borough RoadThe original Bunker was born as a youth project in Borough Road in 1980 before moving to Green Terrace in 1982 and finally settling in it’s current home in 1983. Housed in the same building which once hosted gigs by The Clash and Billy Bragg, 29 Stockton Rd has a history synonymous with the creation of music in the North East…

The Bunker, Green TerraceThe huge structure morphed from a bakery into a music factory, when the regions disenfranchised punk rockers flocked to the ramshackle building to see their idols playing secret gigs, whilst laying the groundwork that would lead to the formation of the next generation of post-punk bands.

It was from The Bunker that Frankie Stubbs and Leatherface led their earth shattering assault on the alternative charts in the late 1980s / early 90s, unwittingly sealing their fate as the grand masters of the Sunderland music scene, with their DIY approach to music making and an uncompromising attiude influencing a city full of kids who had been used to seeing and hearing records and bands who had no semblance to their own living circumstances.

The Bunker ProtestThe late nineties almost saw the end of The Bunker, after local government officials decided that the only place in the city that had constantly supported grass-roots music and art was not worth funding any longer. Protest from the local community was phenomenal, and was joined by the late John Peel, who had taken a personal interest in the Sunderland music scene and donated a large sum of money in an attempt to keep The Bunker open. Despite this, funding was withdrawn in 1998, leaving the city void of a creative nucleus and leading to the end of the line for many local bands and the folding of Bunker Magazine prototype, Pulse Magazine.

Adrian and KennyEnter two lads who’d misspent their youth playing in countless bands within The Bunker walls. Buying the building outright just before it was turned into an apartment block, The Bunker was re-opened in 2000. Within a year or so the local scene was again flourishing, and with the emergence of bands like The Futureheads and The Golden Virgins, The Bunker Magazine began in an effort to support and promote what was obviously the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in the musical life of the city.

Now 8 years on, 25 years since it originally started, The Bunker is back in the hands of a Community business, ready for another 25 years.

For more on the history of The Bunker you can visit http://bunkerarchive.wordpress.com.

Testimonials

Barry Hyde, The Futureheads

"The Bunker is a superb place to have in Sunderland, it is a breeding ground for talent and without it I doubt I would have ever become a professional musician. I have been going there for 15 years and it's better than ever. It's soulful, ethical and affordable and the city would be screwed without it. I love it."
2013-08-12T23:38:07+00:00
"The Bunker is a superb place to have in Sunderland, it is a breeding ground for talent and without it I doubt I would have ever become a professional musician. I have been going there for 15 years and it's better than ever. It's soulful, ethical and affordable and the city would be screwed without it. I love it."

Peter Brewis, Field Music

"Sunderland owes a great deal to the Bunker. Not just because of the bands it has helped to nurture. Well known bands reveal only a fraction of the important work that the bunker does. The work the bunker does is truly invaluable and our City cannot do without it!
2013-08-12T23:38:48+00:00
"Sunderland owes a great deal to the Bunker. Not just because of the bands it has helped to nurture. Well known bands reveal only a fraction of the important work that the bunker does. The work the bunker does is truly invaluable and our City cannot do without it!

Sandhill View School

"We are sincerely grateful for The Bunker's contribution and support to the Work Experience Programme. Their work is always very much appreciated"
2013-08-12T23:39:06+00:00
"We are sincerely grateful for The Bunker's contribution and support to the Work Experience Programme. Their work is always very much appreciated"

Jim Mawdsley (CEO at Generator)

"Generator has partnered with The Bunker since 2004 to bring a number of live events and unique training opportunities for emerging artists and businesses involved in the music industry. This valuable relationship enables both of our organisations to continue to develop music in Sunderland and throughout the North East."
2013-08-12T23:39:41+00:00
"Generator has partnered with The Bunker since 2004 to bring a number of live events and unique training opportunities for emerging artists and businesses involved in the music industry. This valuable relationship enables both of our organisations to continue to develop music in Sunderland and throughout the North East."

Ben Wall, Independent

"The Bunker is such an important player in the Sunderland music scene and are always there when we need them. Their experience is invaluable and the quality of their work is second to none."
2013-08-12T23:39:56+00:00
"The Bunker is such an important player in the Sunderland music scene and are always there when we need them. Their experience is invaluable and the quality of their work is second to none."