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Could Ed Sheeran Chantry Park gigs put Ipswich on music map?

PUBLISHED: 05:30 10 October 2018

One Big Sunday in Chantry Park, Ipswich in the early 2000s Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

One Big Sunday in Chantry Park, Ipswich in the early 2000s Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

A string of high profile gigs in Chantry Park by Ed Sheeran next year is set to showcase the space as a venue for promoters to bring other top artists, according to the landowners.

Ed Sheeran's Chantrya Park gigs could pave the way for promoters to bring other top touring artists to Ipswich Picture: PA/BEN BIRCHALLEd Sheeran's Chantrya Park gigs could pave the way for promoters to bring other top touring artists to Ipswich Picture: PA/BEN BIRCHALL

The Suffolk songwriter has booked a run of four gigs at the Ipswich Borough Council-owned park next summer, and with capacity for 46,000 people per gig, event bosses hope it will bring other top bands in the future.

Bryony Rudkin, Ipswich Borough Council deputy leader, said: “Ed’s concerts are a coup for the town and will attract an audience from all over the region and beyond.

“Not only will they bring the world’s biggest singer-songwriter back to his ‘home’ they will also show that our own council events team has the experience and skills to put on the best concerts across our town.”

“We hope other promoters will get in touch and talk to us about their ideas. We have a range of venues spread across Ipswich to meet their needs.

One Big Sunday in Chantry Park, Ipswich, brought in tens of thousands of people Picture: LUCY TAYLOROne Big Sunday in Chantry Park, Ipswich, brought in tens of thousands of people Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

“We have shown in the past with the Radio 1 Roadshow and JLS / Little Mix concerts that Chantry Park is ideally suited and placed for the biggest events of this nature but we also have other parks and the Regent Theatre and in addition the new Cornhill will become another attraction for events.”

“We don’t want to swamp a particular park or venue and having a wide portfolio does help. We also have a comprehensive plan to ensure all the big events run as smoothly as possible.”

“Ipswich is proving that it is the regional centre for entertainment and this is having a beneficial effect on the local economy. I’m sure that Ipswich’s hotels, restaurants and bars and cafes will all receive a boost when Ed comes to town.”

One of the most recent major gigs for Chantry Park was JLS and Little Mix in 2012, but around 85,000 people descended on the park in 2010 and 2000 for BBC Radio 1’s One Big Sunday, while 70,000 graced the park for the Radio 1 Roadshow in 1996.

JLS performing in Chantry Park, Ipswich, in 2012 PIcture: SU ANDERSONJLS performing in Chantry Park, Ipswich, in 2012 PIcture: SU ANDERSON

Gigs on a single stage at Christchurch Park can accommodate up to 12,000 gig-goers, while the Regent has an audience capacity of 1,500, making Chantry Park the biggest borough-run venue.

Its location just outside the town centre but close to the A12 and A14 are also considered to be key benefits for promoters.

The Ipswich Town Football Club stadium in Portman Road has also had a history of attracting top names, among them Rod Stewart, Pink, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Elton John in the last 15 years.

Rod Stewart is set to make a return there next summer.

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