Ed Sheeran exhibition will attract thousands of new faces to Christchurch Mansion
PUBLISHED: 13:07 09 June 2019 | UPDATED: 13:07 09 June 2019
The Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk exhibition, which opens in Ipswich this summer, will be a huge event for the town, writes borough council leader David Ellesmere.
Why do people go - or not go - to museums? There has to be something which attracts each person individually, which makes them think: "I would love to see that."
Getting that chemistry right has been a challenge ever since the first museums opened their doors, and it has become progressively harder as we have more and more attractions competing for our attention - television, cinema, online entertainment - the list goes on.
So, it is great the news that a new exhibition is coming to Christchurch Mansion in August called Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk. It coincides with Ed's concerts in Chantry Park - when 160,000 people will descend on Ipswich over four days to see Ed play the last four concerts of his world tour.
The exhibition, organised by Ipswich Borough Council and curated by Ed's father John, opens at Christchurch Mansion on August 20.
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It not only has wonderful paintings and drawings by Colin Davidson and shots by Mark Surridge, Ed's in-house photographer, but items and memorabilia important to the family - including, rumour has it, his school report!
Brad Jones, editor of the East Anglian Daily Times and the Ipswich Star, has trawled through the papers' archives for a wonderful digital history of Ed in Suffolk from the very early days.
Aspall, another iconic 'Made in Suffolk' brand, are sponsoring the exhibition.
Ed is a huge star with his feet firmly on the ground in Suffolk.
He promoted the exhibition on his Instagram page, describing Ipswich as his "home town", and encouraging people to visit the exhibition. In hours the page had over 800,000 "likes". This is really getting Ipswich noticed.
We want to attract a whole new audience who may have never been to Ipswich or into our museums. To do that we need a range of different attractions.
Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk will attract huge numbers of people - to Ipswich, to Christchurch Park and into the Mansion (surely one of the finest Tudor buildings in the country).
Ed will be the key that unlocks our town and our museums to thousands of new faces. Let's make them welcome and encourage them to come back!