TWO enterprising Sunderland men have come up with an ambitious way of saying thank you to frontline staff – by organising a free concert at Herrington Park.

Friends Andrew Kennedy and Ben Potts were so touched by the job being done by NHS and other essential staff during the Covid-19 crisis that they wanted to express their thanks in a special way.

Rocking In The Free World – a special one day festival – is now planned for Saturday May 22 2021 – headlined by multi award winning singer Emeli Sandé, along with a whole host of other artistes.

A freelance recruitment consultant, Mr Kennedy came up with the idea because he saw at first hand the challenges facing the NHS through his wife Jan, who heads up the emergency admissions unit at South Tyneside Hospital.

He enlisted the support of Mr Potts, whose band, North East rock tribute group, The Sons of Eden, played at his wedding and will now be performing at the festival.

The organisers have also set up a Just Giving page to help raise £20,000 towards financing the event.