It'll be Jools not Blue

IT promised to be one of the most spectacular music events to come to Ipswich but organisers of a summer pop concert have decided not to stage it in town.

IT promised to be one of the most spectacular music events to come to Ipswich but organisers of a summer pop concert have decided not to stage it in town.

However, while they reflect on the disappointment that the show is not to be they are instead looking ahead to August when they will bring a different major artist to town.

Britain's biggest boyband Blue had been set to headline an event in Christchurch Park on July 26, which would have also brought current chart toppers Liberty X and a host of other popstars to town.

However, organisers of the planned Blue Friday feared the announcement that Radio 1 were to bring free event, One Big Sunday, to Ipswich less than two weeks before their planned spectacular would have a detrimental effect.

Suffolk-based John Hessenthaler Concert Productions and national promoters Because We Can took their time considering their options following the BBC's statement but have at last decided to stage the event in Ipswich is too risky. There remained the chance some of the bands on their proposed line-up would appear at the Radio 1 event two weeks earlier.

Mr Hessenthaler said: "We're absolutely gutted but we cannot compete with something that's offering free admission only two weeks before hand.

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"It would've been a super-duper show but Radio 1 has overshadowed it. It's a shame but it's just the way it goes."

He added that while they looked to take Blue Friday to another location in the region he did not want the people of Ipswich to miss out and would instead be bringing Jools Holland to perform live in Christchurch Park on August 2.

Jools is Britain's most popular and well-respected pianist, bandleader and musician.

His latest album, Small World Big Band, on which he has collaborated with a range of artists, has sold more than half a million copies in the UK alone since its release six months ago.

There is speculation surrounding his summer tour, which is billed as including special guests, that he may be accompanied by some of the stars who feature on the album.

As well as bringing Jools to town for an open-air performance Mr Hessenthaler is also concentrating hard on a classical concert to be stage in Christchurch Park on July 27.

It will take the form of a traditional Last Night of the Proms-style affair with plenty of pomp, circumstance and celebration.

The Royal Jubilee Festival Orchestra, put together to perform across the country in honour of the Queen's golden jubilee, will perform at the event, called Aero Proms, which comes with the added treat of an aerobatic display by the Red Devils.

During the concert interval the crowd will be kept enthralled by a colourful and spectacular airborne show by the parachute regiment freefall team, the official free fall display team of the British Army and arguably the world's best.

The event will be conducted by Woodbridge-based conductor, Leslie Olive, who has gained an impressive national reputation, and compered by BBC Radio Suffolk's Roger Woods.

n Jools Holland will perform in Christchurch Park on August 2. Gates open at 5pm with the concert starting at about 7.30pm. Tickets for the go on sale tomorrow priced £25.

Tickets for the Aero Proms are on sale now and cost £21 for adults, £13.50 for children under 14-years-old. Under-fives get in free. There will be limited on-site parking on the night.

All tickets can be bought at the Central Box Office, Princes Street, Ipswich, by calling 01473 433100 or at Or contact the ticketline on 08702 255163.