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Plans to bring more touring acts to Ipswich following success of Ed Sheeran concerts

PUBLISHED: 19:00 11 June 2020

Ed Sheeran's second night at Chantry Park in Ipswich, performing to a crowd of more than 40,000 people  Picture: Zakary Walters

Ed Sheeran's second night at Chantry Park in Ipswich, performing to a crowd of more than 40,000 people Picture: Zakary Walters

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Hopes are high of attracting more touring bands and artists to Ipswich following the success of the Ed Sheeran concerts last summer.

Swimsuit Competition performing on the Cornhill for Sound City Ipswich 2019. Picture: PHILIP CHARLESSwimsuit Competition performing on the Cornhill for Sound City Ipswich 2019. Picture: PHILIP CHARLES

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Figures revealed earlier this week showed the town enjoyed a £9million boost to its economy from Ed’s four Chantry Park shows last August where more than 139,000 people watched the Suffolk star’s homecoming gigs.

Now, council chiefs and music bosses in the town are hopeful more is on the way.

MORE: Ed Sheeran homecoming gigs bring £9m to Ipswich economy

Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere said: “What was really important for us on this one was to show that we could attract events to Ipswich and that we could run them well, and I think we proved on both of those counts that we could.

“We formed a very good working relationship with Kilimanjaro Live, who are the promoters, and we would be very happy to work with them, or indeed anyone else, on similar events in the future.

“We would love to hear from anyone who would be interested in putting on something like this in Ipswich.”

Mr Ellesmere said the event proved Ipswich could be a “major venue” and added: “Sadly this year is going to be a washout for obvious reasons, but our intention is to be back next year.”

The council already has relationships with some promoters in bringing gigs to its Regent and Corn Exchange venues, although they tend to be for artists with a longer string of UK tour dates than the six or seven most performers book, largely in the bigger towns and cities.

The Ed gigs came in the same year the first Sound City Ipswich event was held in the town – a conference and festival across four stages in the town to promote Ipswich as a live music destination for touring acts.

That involved conversations with artists, venues and promoters, and the Sound City Ipswich team said the inaugural year found that on the Cornhill stage alone there were 3,000 more people gathered there that day than the months before or after.

Marcus Neal, from the Sound City Ipswich organising team, added: “We think it can really bring a strong footfall, and it has opened up conversations with other organisations about bringing artists to the town.

MORE: Inaugural Sound City Ipswich held to promote live music in town

“The team have got ambitions of larger shows as a result of relationships formed during the Sound City event.

“They are aware of what we are doing and what we are trying to achieve.”

The sold-out Sound City Ipswich event last year featured 28 acts performing across stages on the Cornhill, Smokehouse, Manor Ballroom and Corn Exchange.




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