Summer Sundae (also called the Summer Sundae Weekender) is an annual music festival held in Leicester, England which focuses on indie, alternative, and local music. The festival began as a one-dayer in 2001 and has grown year on year since then, adding first one and then two campsites, and now involves five stages.
It is hosted by the city's De Montfort Hall, both in the hall itself, and over four outdoor stages in the hall's grounds, and including part of Victoria Park. A section of the park is fenced off for camping during the weekend of the festival. The festival was formerly sponsored in part by the digital radio station BBC 6 Music, which in return had exclusive broadcasting rights. The festival usually takes place in August and has grown from two stages to five over the course of six years. In 2005 the festival welcomed over 70 artists, both well-known and established bands, and local bands from around the East Midlands. This extended to over 100 bands, and the first ever sold-out festival in 2006.
The festival is run over five stages: The Outside Stage is by far the largest and hosts the bigger bands, in conjunction with the Indoor Stage, the main auditorium of the De Montfort Hall. In addition, The Musician Stage is a tent featuring mainly acoustic and roots music at times when the Outside stage is quiet, and The Rising Stage features new and local talent. In 2006 the eFESTIVALS Cabaret Stage was added, and these were added to in 2008 by the Phrased & Confused/Bathysphere tent, offering spoken word performances during the day and electronica artists later on. In 2012, the Musician Stage and the Rising Stage were replaced by two new performance spaces in The Village, named the Into the Wild stage and the Watering Hole following the festival's safari theme.
Since 2006 the festival has been preceded the night before it begins by an official warm up party, hosted by Pineapster to provide entertainment to those campers arriving in the City on the Thursday night and raise money for LOROS, a local hospice. Since 2007 it has become a full Fringe festival event in the week or fortnight up to the festival curated by local arts bodies across Leicester and Leicestershire, culminating in a series of warm-up parties. In March 2008 the festival put on a Taste of Summer Sundae gig to provide a flavour of the bands expected to play the main festival.