Why Ipswich should be so proud of music day
It is thought to be the biggest free one-day music festival in the country, with Ed Sheeran even playing there twice. Ipswich should be very proud of its annual music day, writes borough council leader David Ellesmere.
Last weekend was Ipswich Music Day. Many of us will have spent a happy day in Christchurch Park in perfect weather. Tens of thousands of people came along, and there was something for everybody to enjoy.
We believe that our Music Day is the biggest free one-day music festival in the country. Because it's free everyone can come along and enjoy the day.
It's a huge celebration of local talent. Over 70 individual performers had their moment on stage, all of them well-received by an appreciative crowd. And who knows where one performance might lead? Ed Sheeran played Ipswich Music Day in 2009 and 2010 and now he's now the biggest male performer in the world.
There's a huge variety of music and a place for every taste from choral singing to folk to, my personal favourite, ska.
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One thing that amazes me every year is that, by some trick of topography in the park, when you're sitting listening to one stage you don't hear the music, however loud, from the next one along.
You can also hear music in buildings you might not often visit around the park - the Masonic Hall, St Margaret's Church, Bethesda Church and the Mansion.
It's a great day out for the family. Children can have fun on the rides and bouncy castles in the funfairs, or in the play-park, or just in the park itself. Although food and drink are on sale, unlike most events of this sort, you can bring your own. It is possible to enjoy the entire day without spending a penny.
Such a large event requires a huge amount of organisation to keep it running smoothly and safely. Ipswich Borough Council's events team do an amazing job, planning for months in advance, aided by our parks and cleansing teams and security staff.
Also playing a big part on the day are our museums staff, and many volunteers like St John's Ambulance. We are, of course, very grateful for the generosity of sponsors.
It's a massive team effort. Thanks everyone.
This year was the 29th Music Day. Here's to the 30th next year and many more in the years to come!