Eager fans queue from 5am for front row at Chantry Park

Erin Grace Cooke was one of the first people in queue at the Ed Sheeran show at Chantry Park on Frid

Erin Grace Cooke was one of the first people in queue at the Ed Sheeran show at Chantry Park on Friday, August 23 Picture: JAKE FOXFORD - Credit: Archant

As the sun rose over Ipswich this morning, Ed Sheeran fans were already lining up to secure a spot in the front row at the first of the superstar’s homecoming gigs.

Among the early birds was superfan Lewis Kelly, 17, and his friends.

MORE: See here for live updates from Chantry Park

"We got here at 5am this morning, we were walking through the park in the dark, looking around thinking 'where is everybody?'

"We were at the Hadleigh Road entrance to start with but then they told us they were going to open the London Road one 15 minutes earlier than the one we were at so we headed over."

MORE: Fans urged to arrive early for Ed Sheeran gigs

The teenager added: "We were at the pop-up shop yesterday as well, we queued for quite a while there too."

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He has high hopes for the gig but would like to see Ed vary the song choices from last weekend's Roundhay Park gigs - both of which the group attended.

"I hope Ed mixes the setlist up a bit for this, maybe plays songs like Homeless or even the songs about Suffolk like Hearts Don't Break Around here, things like that because this is a special show."

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Lewis added: "We're doing the whole UK leg of this tour, we did the two nights in Leeds and have tickets for all four nights here."

Some fans have travelled across borders, with fans flying in from as far away as New Zealand and Australia just for the shows.

Lisa Buder, 20, who is at the show with a friend she met over Twitter, had come all the way from Germany for all four shows.

"This year I've been to Hockenheim and Hannover and now we're here for all four nights in Ipswich.

"I've lost count of how much we've spent, I've been going to his tours since 2017 and I've spent a lot of money but it was worth it.

"We've been here since 5.30am and we saw the sunrise, it was really lovely.

Miss Buder added: "I'd love to see him bring on some special guests, someone like Stormzy - I saw some pictures on Instagram of Ed and him so I guess he might be near."

Chloe, Emily and Beth travelled from different spots across the country, the trio met at an Ed Sheeran show at the O2 in London in 2018.

When asked what they wanted to hear, the three girls said: "Homeless, and we'd really like to hear him play All of the Stars.

"We've been to a few Divide shows already - Cardiff, London, Nottingham, Leeds last weekend - we're aiming to be at the centre barrier.

"We'll be here for all four nights, we're in a lodge on a caravan site, there's six of us all coming to the Ed Sheeran gigs."

Gemma Smith, from Lowestoft, and was glad to get to the front of a queue when she arrived at 7am.

Ms Smith said: "There's a couple of people here that have been here since 2am, I got here about 7.30am, but as long as I get to the front in the middle that's OK.

"I'm kind of hoping he plays some of his old songs even though it's his Divide tour.

"I was thinking of buying another ticket for Monday, just because Lewis Capaldi is there for that one."

After a pause, Ms Smith added: "There's quite a good chance I'll get one."

Erin Grace Cooke travelled from Hertfordshire and was in queue by 9am.

"I'm going for three of the shows in Ipswich - I saw him in Dublin in 2017 and I've seen him for two nights in Wembley.

"I just love everything he's done so I don't really mind what he plays. I want to be right at the front of the barriers in the middle."

Jason Peachment, who came to the gig from Norwich with his wife, is making an occasion of the trip to Ipswich.

"I bought the two tickets in November as part of the wife's 40th birthday present.

"We're hoping to get to the front, a mad dash to the front we think.

"We got here about 10am but we arrived in Suffolk yesterday at a bed and breakfast in Hadleigh, a really nice place.

"We took the bus in and we've got the cab booked for the way home already."

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