Ipswich: Tens of thousands heading to town centre on Sunday for Britain’s biggest free music festival - Ipswich Music Day

Crowds are expected to turn out to Ipswich Music Day.

Crowds are expected to turn out to Ipswich Music Day. - Credit: Archant

Retailers, pubs and restaurants in Ipswich town centre are today preparing for one of the busiest days of the year as tens of thousands of people head to the country’s biggest free music festival.

Ipswich Music Day, held at Christchurch Park on Sunday, now has a nationwide reputation as one of the top showcases for up and coming talent – Ed Sheeran wowed fans there just before he made his breakthrough in 2010.

It also gives the area’s finest pub bands the chance to play in front of a huge audience at the biggest single element of the three-week IP-Art festival.

Ipswich council promotes IP-Art, and leader David Ellesmere is looking forward to the event: “It’s the biggest one-day free music festival in the country and there really is something there for all musical tastes.

“Ipswich Music Day has a fantastic reputation for unearthing new talent and people can go along and try to spot who will turn out to be the new Ed Sheeran!”

There are five stages around the park as well as the big top and the poetry tent – and also further music at Christchurch Mansion, St Margaret’s Church and Bethesda Church.

For sporting fans there will even be the opportunity of keeping your eye on one of the major events happening on Sunday.

- but which event would you like to see? Click here to vote in our online poll.

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Between 45,000 and 50,000 people are expected to head to the park for Ipswich Music Day which runs from noon until 8pm.

It should also provide a huge boost for the town centre, with people being able to come and go as they please retailers are expecting visitors to combine a trip to the park with some shopping.

There will be plenty of food available at the park, but pubs and restaurants are also hoping to attract some lunchtime business.

Ipswich Music Day, and indeed the whole IP-Art festival, attracts support from across the political spectrum.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer plans to spend the weekend catching up with IP-Art events – and hopes to get around many of the stages in the park.

He said: “This is an arts festival that is really getting a great reputation, and Ipswich itself is developing a series of festivals around the year which are very good at attracting visitors. It has taken time to get the town on the festival map – but it is now building up steadily.”

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Ipswich Music Day is one of the flagship events of the Ip-Art Festival. For more on this month-long festival, click here