BRITAIN’S biggest boy band One Direction are heading to Sunderland.
The five piece, who shot to global fame after appearing on the X Factor, have today announced they will open the UK leg of their world tour at the Stadium of Light next May.
For the past week, the chart-topping band have teased fans with a count-down to a “big announcement” before unveiling the Where We Are tour at a packed press conference at Wembley Stadium.
The band, who have sold more than 14million singles and eight million albums, will take to the stage at the home of the Black Cats on May 28 – the first of just four UK venues which will host their first global stadium tour.
It’s the latest coup for SAFC’s stadium who next month host Rihanna, Bon Jovi and pop extravaganza North East Live.
SAFC commercial director, Gary Hutchinson, said: “This is set to be the biggest concert the stadium has played host to.
“One Direction really are the band of the moment, with a massive international profile and fanbase, so to secure one of only four UK stadium gigs that they will be performing is fantastic for the club, the city of Sunderland and the wider North East.
“Playing host to the opening night of the tour will also ensure a world-wide profile for the Stadium of Light and further cements our credentials as one of the country’s top venues for major music shows.”
It will be the biggest tour to date for Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan, whose hits include What Makes You Beautiful and One Way Or Another.
Speculation has been rife for the past seven days as to what the big announcement was going to be with frenzied fans trying to guess the news – but no one suspected it would involve Sunderland – until now.
The other three UK dates in the world tour are Manchester’s Etihad Stadium, Murrayfield in Edinburgh and Wembley Stadium, London.
One Direction were formed on the 2010 series of X Factor, where they came third behind Rebecca Ferguson and Matt Cardle, and went on to be signed by Syco Records, owned by pop svengali Simon Cowell.
They are hailed as forming part of a new British invasion of music in the States after selling millions of copies of their two albums Up All Night and Take Me Home.
Their last album debuted at number one in the Billboard 200, making them the first boyband in US chart history to land two number one albums in a calendar year.
The Brit Award-winning band were last in the North East six weeks ago when they sold out three nights at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena.
l Tickets, priced from £42.50, go on sale from 10am on Saturday, May 25.
Tickets will only be available through official ticketing websites and phonelines, there will be no ticket sales from the Stadium of Light box office.
They are available online from gigsandtours.com, ticketmaster.co.uk, ticketline.co.uk and theticketfactory.com or from the following telephone numbers 0844 811 0051, 0844 826 2826, 0844 338 8000.