Preparations under way for Big Sunday
IN a corner of an Ipswich park today a couple of dozen people are hard at work.They are diligently building, erecting a structure that in only four days time will be the focus of the attention of tens of thousands of screaming music fans.
IN a corner of an Ipswich park today a couple of dozen people are hard at work.
They are diligently building, erecting a structure that in only four days time will be the focus of the attention of tens of thousands of screaming music fans.
It is these men and women who have the responsibility to transform Chantry Park into a concert venue from which to stage Radio 1's One Big Sunday.
Having arrived with lorry loads of equipment and structures that will form the stage on which Natalie Imbruglia, Liberty X, Idlewild, Kosheen and Ms Dynamite will perform, they now have two more days to complete their work.
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Radio 1 tour manager Richard Greeves confidently said: "We've only just started so haven't got very far but it's all running to schedule. It should all be finished by Friday night.
"At the moment we've probably got about 15 people building the stage and 25 people on site. That number will keep increasing as the days go by though."
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Richard is familiar with the Chantry Park site.
It had been his suggestion that One Big Sunday come to Ipswich in 2000, when Bournemouth announced it was unable to stage the event.
And this year it was his decision to turn to Ipswich again when there were problems at its original site in Manchester.
He explained: "I've done many, many things in Ipswich, including roadshows in Christchurch Park, and they've always been brilliant.
"When we had problems in Manchester I immediately suggested Ipswich. Within 14 days we were talking to the council and once again they've come up trumps.
"It's a brilliant council to work with. Billy Brennan and the team are excellent people to work with."
"And the other reason for coming back to Ipswich," he added, "is because it's somewhere where we always pull a good crowd – and that's important."
One Big Sunday's return to Ipswich is a real coup this year.
In previous years the shows have been held on a regular basis throughout the summer.
Last year their were seven such events in the UK; this year there are only four, and only one other in England, which will be held in Leicester in September.
Therefore Sunday's show promises to be an extra special happening.
And Richard, who was with the show back on that scorching day in August 2000, is confident Sunday's will surpass it.
"It's a bigger show, a bigger stage and a bigger PA," he said. "We're bringing a television crew as well this time.
"It's just a much bigger event.
"Some of the names on the bill may not be familiar to everyone but it's as strong a line-up as we had two years ago.
"I was there then and it was great. I'm sure it will be again this year."
Tens of thousands of people are set to join the stars and Radio 1 DJ's Jamie Theakston, Mark and Lard, Trevor Nelson and Nemone in four days time for an unforgettable day.
Excitement is building fast and all those involved cannot wait to see the show kick off.
When asked if he's looking forward to Sunday, Richard's answer is simple, to the point and probably not unfamiliar to the response most people would give: "I most certainly am."