Irish punk legends Stiff Little Fingers have today been announced as very special guests for the Main Stage at Kubix Festival 2020 in Sunderland.

Stiff Little Fingers will play at Kubix Festival 2020 in Sunderland. Pic: Bernie McAllister.

SLF, who have been ‘putting the fast in Belfast’ since 1977, are one of the most in-demand punk acts around, even though they have been touring for more than 40 years.

They are best known for classic songs like Alternative Ulster, Suspect Device, Wasted Life and Nobody’s Hero, though their most recent album, 2014’s No Going Back, was hailed as one of the best of their career.

SLF are an incendiary live act, and demand to see them remains phenomenal, with their twice-a-year UK tours usually selling out. They are also a popular draw at punk and mainstream festivals around the world.

Jake Burns of Stiff Little Fingers during their March 2019 UK tour. Pic: Gary Welford.

Last year they supported heavy metal legends Metallica at a huge open-air show in front of 75,000 people at Slane Castle in County Meath, Ireland, while this year, in addition to their traditional March UK tour, they are embarking on jaunts to Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

For SLF frontman Jake Burns the Kubix Festival appearance will be a special one, as he spent many years living in the North East, while guitarist Ian McCallum is from County Durham. The band’s line-up is completed by original bassist Ali McMordie, and drummer Steve Grantley, who joined in 1996.

The organisers of Kubix Festival hope the announcement of such a big-name band will sway any music fans who were undecided about buying a ticket for the 2020 event as it returns to Herrington Country Park on the outskirts of Sunderland for the third successive year.

The Levellers are headlining Kubix Festival 2020 in Sunderland.

As ever, Kubix Festival is spread over two days. The first, Friday, July 10, will celebrate the best of ‘80s and ‘90s pop, with confirmed acts including Vengaboys, N-Trance, East 17, Ultra Nate, Blow Monkeys, D:ream, Smoove & Turrell, Urban Cookie Collective, Culture Beat, Livin’ Joy and Vandebilt. Leading UK house DJ Allister Whitehead (Ministry of Sound and Gatecrasher) will be playing a set, with more DJs to be announced.

Saturday, July 11 sees the attention switch to alternative and indie acts, and with today’s announcement the line-up is complete. The Main Stage headliners areThe Levellers, with SLF, New Model Army, Ash, Cast, The Selecter, The Wedding Present, and Wilko Johnson preceding them.

The Marquee Stage, which will be much bigger than previous years, will be headlined by resurgent Sunderland post-punk band The Futureheads, which is sure to go down a storm with their hometown audience. It will also showcase appearances by Gang of Four, Dreadzone, The Farm, Holy Moly & The Crackers, Death of Guitar Pop, Duncan Reid & The Big Heads and Crashed Out.

The Futureheads will headline the Marquee Stage at Kubix Festival 2020.

A very limited number of early bird tickets for both days, priced just £22 per day (plus booking fee), are available now from, along with weekend tickets.

This year, for the first time, weekend camping tickets are available for fans wanting to enjoy both days of music at the family-friendly festival, which is held within sight of the famous Penshaw Monument.

Kubix Festival began in 2018 as an effort by a group of local promoters to delivery top-quality entertainment at a price that won’t hurt the pocket. 

The first year included performances by Ronan Keating, B*Witched, Peter Andre, Right Said Fred, East 17, Adam Ant, Boomtown Rats, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Peter Hook & The Light, and Buzzcocks, among others.

Buzzcocks were among the bands who played at the first Kubix Festival in 2018. Pic: Gary Welford.

Kubix 2019’s line-up included Outhere Brothers, Five, Snap!, S Club and Technotronic on the Friday, and The Stranglers, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Farm, Peter Hook & The Light, Cast, Black Grape and The Alarm on the Saturday.

For 2020 the organisers are planning to double the number of bars, and on-site parking will remain free, with cheap shuttle buses running from a number of locations for those who prefer to leave the car at home.

Shuttle buses are available from Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Newcastle, Gateshead, Durham Sunderland, Darlington and Leeds (Saturday only).

Gary Welford owner