Anniversary festival set to rock town

THOUSANDS of music lovers are set to flock to Alexandra Park in Ipswich this weekend to enjoy the 30th Ipswich May Day Festival.A line-up of artists, bands and DJs will take to the stages in the park for the popular annual event organised by the Ipswich and District Trades Union Council.

THOUSANDS of music lovers are set to flock to Alexandra Park in Ipswich this weekend to enjoy the 30th Ipswich May Day Festival.

A line-up of artists, bands and DJs will take to the stages in the park for the popular annual event organised by the Ipswich and District Trades Union Council.

The fun will kick off at noon on Sunday and about 10,000 people are expected to pass through the park's gates throughout the afternoon. Last year 11,330 people attended the festival.

The organisers are celebrating 30 years of the event, which has grown to be one of Ipswich's most popular music festivals since it was first held in 1978.

Ipswich five-piece SleeperCell will appear on the rock stage alongside Nova Souls, Suspect Device, Hokie Joint and Picturehouse.

A host of DJs will play from the urban stage and there will also be an open mic contest.

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Tony Shevlin, a festival committee member who organises the line-up for the rock stage, said: “The May Day Festival just gets bigger and bigger.

“I always try to get a young up-and-coming band and this year it's SleeperCell who are a great band.

“We always also try to bring something for everyone so there will be cover bands but also bands with original material.”

Roger MacKay, the president of the Ipswich and District TUC, has been to almost all the May Day fun days and has been the organiser since the 1980s. He said it had grown to be a favourite in the town.

“It kicks off the summer, it's the first festival on the circuit,” he said. “We really do get a good turnout - weather permitting.”

The free event marks International Worker's Day, which was held yesterday, and is the TUC movement's gift to the people of Ipswich.

“We mark International Worker's Day by having a good time at the festival,” Mr MacKay said.

“We offer some good quality local music and five or six years ago the popularity of the urban stage really took off. I think we've got a good line-up on all the stages.”

There will also be a beer tent, a community tent with local acts, children's rides, stalls and a martial arts exhibition.

And for those wondering - Sunday's weather outlook for Ipswich is warm with sunny spells but with a chance of showers later. Maximum temperature 21C.

Are you organising a community event? Call The Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk

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