Ed Sheeran's economic boost for Ipswich as fans stay on for short breaks
PUBLISHED: 05:29 26 August 2019 | UPDATED: 18:48 26 August 2019
Perfect weather and plenty of entertainment should help to have given Ipswich a real economic boost over the bank holiday weekend in the wake of Ed Sheeran's Chantry Park concerts.
Borough council leader David Ellesmere said there had been a clear strategy to try to persuade people to spend more than a few hours at the concert in the town - there had been a great deal of work to try to persuade visitors to stay a bit longer and spend money exploring Ipswich.
He said: "It is wonderful that we have the Ed Sheeran exhibition in Christchurch Mansion, that is proving incredibly popular. And the stage on the Cornhill is also attracting a lot of visitors.
"Right from the start we wanted to make sure that not everyone who came from outside the town would just come to the concert, park their car, and then leave again without seeing what Ipswich has to offer.
"I think we're doing that. There are people who are coming to Ipswich early for the concert to look at the town - or they're staying the night and visiting the exhibition the day after seeing Ed.
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"It is great that he is pointing his audience towards the exhibition. We hope some of them will come back to the town afterwards to see it - and what else we have to offer here."
The Lynch family from Hertfordshire were one group of such visitors - they visited Ed Sheeran: Made in Suffolk after staying the night in Ipswich after Saturday evening's show. They were just one of many families who had turned the concert into a mini-break in the town.
The Music: Made in Suffolk festival on the Cornhill showcased a number of different local bands and styles.
From the traditional folk of the Silburies who launched the event on Saturday to the Johnny Cash/June Carter Cash tribute band Jax & Co.
Many of those at the Cornhill were on their way to Chantry Park for Ed Sheeran's concert - or they had been there the previous night and were winding down after being part of the town's biggest ever series of concerts.
And some were also heading to the Ed Sheeran pop-up shop in the Butter Market where there were again long queues - although some of the most popular items, especially some sizes of the Ed Sheeran Ipswich Town shirt, were rapidly selling out because they were so popular.