Former Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Lydon will headline this year’s Split Festival in Sunderland with his seminal band Public Image Ltd.

John Lydon, formally Johnny Rotten, will fly his band in from Los Angeles to close Split’s Saturday programme. PiL will be preceded by Pulled Apart by Horses, who stormed last weekend’s Leeds Festival.

Split’s Barry Hyde said: “Finalising the line up for Split this year has been a challenge to say the least, we’ve had some dead ends and red herrings, long shots and near misses, but finally we’ve managed to get a band we would never have even dreamed of. Split is bringing a Sex Pistol to Sunderland, THE Sex Pistol! It’s a punk rock miracle and we are very excited.”

Lydon formed in Public Image Ltd in 1978 after the break up of the Sex Pistols. The band have a string of hits in their armoury such as This Is Not A Love Song and Rise and their Metal Box album is listed in Rolling Stone Magazine’s Greatest Albums of all Time. PiL were on hiatus from 1992 until recently, but after returning to the scene this summer with a successful UK tour and string of European festivals, they will appear at Sunderland’s Split on September 22, before embarking on a 20 date North American tour.

Split Music Programmer, Ross Millard, said: “It’s exciting for us to be bringing one of punk rock’s and in fact Britain’s biggest icons in Johnny Rotten to Split Festival. Having Public Image Ltd at Split Festival is a huge coup for us because the band are iconic and hugely influential, have integrity and a huge fan base. This year Split Festival can boast not only a great frontman, but also a genuine superstar. Pulled Apart By Horses are a great addition for us as they are one of the most exciting new rock bands in Britain. They’re capping a hugely busy summer with their performance at Split and the amount of radio play they get will mean that there are sure to be some mass singalongs in the Main Tent!”

The Futureheads will close the festival on the Sunday, preceded by St Etienne, but this year’s Split will begin with a Free Film Friday, showing Shrek and School of Rock on the big screen, with all bar and food concessions open throughout the evening.

As well as making Friday’s film night free to enter, Split is even more affordable this year, with standard ticket prices being frozen and Teen Ticket and Student discount introduced. To encourage families to attend under 11s are allowed to enter the festival free of charge.

Standard Tickets
£25 Saturday

£25 Sunday

£40 Weekend ticket


Under 18 & Student Tickets
£17.50 Saturday

£17.50 Sunday

£30 Weekend ticket

Ticket link:

Food Tent
After the phenomenal success of last year’s Food Tent, which saw local companies serve up tasty treats from all over the globe, we will be doubling the size of the food marquee and adding a bar, so you can sit down at a table, relax, eat, drink and be merry.

Fresher’s Week

Split 2012 will also be the highlight event of Sunderland University Fresher’s Programme and new intake students purchasing a full fresher’s fortnight wristband will also gain entry to Split.