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Competition offers unsigned bands the chance to support Ed Sheeran at Ipswich show

PUBLISHED: 06:00 14 June 2019

Ed Sheeran plays four homecoming gigs in Ipswich this summer - and an unsigned band will be joining him. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images

Ed Sheeran plays four homecoming gigs in Ipswich this summer - and an unsigned band will be joining him. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images

PA Wire/PA Images

Suffolk superstar Ed Sheeran is giving unsigned artists or bands a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - the chance to support him on the last night of his record-breaking Divide world tour in Ipswich.

Local company HOAX are staging a 'Battle of the Bands' where the winner will get to perform on the last night of Ed Sheeran's  tour in Ipswich  L-R Jason Carter, Archie Carter and Ricardo Markin   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNLocal company HOAX are staging a 'Battle of the Bands' where the winner will get to perform on the last night of Ed Sheeran's tour in Ipswich L-R Jason Carter, Archie Carter and Ricardo Markin Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Clothing company HOAX, based in Suffolk and of which Ed is a brand ambassador, is organising the competition to find the support act as part of their Live Sessions music nights.

Five heats will take place across the UK, beginning in Birmingham on July 11, before coming to Cult Bar in Ipswich the following day.

The following three will take place in Bristol, London and Manchester, before the top five artists will battle it out in front of a panel of industry experts at Epic Studios in Norwich on August 16.

The winner will perform before Ed on the final night of his tour at Chantry Park on Monday, August 26.

Archie Carter, from Hoax, said: "We are really proud to offer such an amazing opportunity to up and coming artists in Ipswich and the UK.

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"It is such a unique opportunity for emerging talents to play at a record-breaking tour. We'd encourage anyone to get involved."

MORE: Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk exhibition to open in Ipswich August 2019

The judging panel includes producer and engineer Cenzo Townshend, who has worked with Ed and the likes of U2, producer Talvin Singh OBE, who has worked with Madonna and Bjork, and producer/engineer Joe Rubel, who has previously worked alongside Ed and Tom Grennan.

Also joining them is Keane bassist and Suffolk-based musician Jesse Quin, who runs the Old Jet music hub in Bentwaters Park.

Ed first started sporting the skate and surf-style HOAX clothing after a chance meeting, later agreeing to become a brand ambassador. Since then, he has regularly been seen wearing the company's T-shirts and shirts while performing at sell-out gigs across the world.

Entry to the band competition events is free, with bands, singers and duos invited to apply from today before submissions close on Friday, June 28.

Information on how to apply and attend is available on their website from 4pm today.

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