Gallery/Ipswich: My favourite Blinkbox Music East Coast Live and McBusted memories. What are yours?

Jessie J performs at East Coast Live at Blink Box East Coast Live. Photo: Jen O'Neill

Jessie J performs at East Coast Live at Blink Box East Coast Live. Photo: Jen O'Neill - Credit: Archant

Take two days of top-class music, 50,000-plus eager fans and a park venue to die for and what have you got? Pure magic.

Tom Fletcher of McBusted. Photo: Jen O'Neill

Tom Fletcher of McBusted. Photo: Jen O'Neill - Credit: Archant

The weather wasn’t great, especially the first day when I thought I may have to fashion a boat out of discarded rubbish and start gathering the artists two by two.

But if you were at Blinkbox Music East Coast Live Saturday or McBusted Sunday you’ll know it didn’t stop anybody enjoying some of the biggest names in pop.

I saw grey-haired grans get down with the trumpets during Rizzle Kicks’ energetic set and youngsters risk permanently damaging their vocal chords when Union J and The Vamps came on stage Saturday.

An estimated 30,000 had packed into Ipswich’s Chantry Park on Saturday, with tens of thousands more expected for Sunday - both part of this year’s Ip-art festival promgramme.

My highlights?

Hanging out behind the scenes, chatting to the bands as they waited to go on or just after performing and catching bits of sets from the side of the stage in between.

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There were some funny moments too.

The Saturdays trying to give interviews while Jason Derulo and his crew launched into what sounded like an All Blacks style Haka right outside.

Union J’s JJ photobombing Rixton. One of the acts I was trying to photograph pointing out I had my phone cover over the camera lens.

Act-wise, Alexa Goddard ignored the torrential downpour, getting the crowd going and setting the tone for the acts to follow. New groups Rixton and Neon Jungle made the most of their sets too.

It was great to see Katy B back and the engaging Derulo made sure we all kept warm by encouraging us to “wiggle it”.

The Saturdays deserved applause for their cold weather defying outfits alone with Jessie J’s electric set highlighting why she was the headliner.

Owning the stage from the first note, everybody was on their feet as Jessie really showed why she’s one of the biggest names in showbusiness right now.

Making sure we weren’t too wet and cold, we joined her to sing happy birthday to one of her crew before dancing the rest of the night away.

Britain’s Got Talent winners Diversity arrived on stage just at the right time on Sunday, lifting the very wet crowd. On earlier than expected and with the rain looking like it’d settled in for the day it was a typically energetic but brief performance.

Well done Scouting For Girls, who came out all guns blasting. Despite the cold the band praised the crowd for giving them such a warm welcome – labelling us better than the previous day’s Weston Super Mare audience.

It was a blistering bulldog spirit set, the sound of everybody singing along carrying across Chantry Park; especially during a great cover of Live and Let Die. It was one of my favourite performances across both days.

5ive made everybody feel alright. Doubling as Abz’s 35th birthday party the sun came out to join the fun. People were even buying ice-cream. Sadly Abz’s effort at a free cone failed.

It may have been a while since they challenged the charts but boy we lapped up every minute, including some singles that never were. Shame they had to cut a number due to time.

Sat in the middle of the park tucking into some well-earned fudge I feared for my life when Backstreet Boys came on stage. Fans stampeded towards the front, screaming all the way. It was the most excited I’d seen the audience so far the entire weekend and there’s something special about hearing an entire park singing along.

Marking their 21st anniversary, making me feel old in the process, their a capella cum acoustic segment was something else.

The crowd went wild when McBusted finally came on and never really stopped.Their energy was so infectious we all forgot we’d been sat in the driving rain hours, got on our feet and got lost in the madness.

Click the above links to see Jen O’Neill’s photos of the weenken, Emma Noye’s full review of McBusted and my interviews with some of the acts. You can listen to my chats with Blinkbox Music East Coast Live’s Union J, Neon Jungle, The Saturdays, Rixton, Alexa Goddard, The Vamps and Katy B by visiting @WhatsonWayne on Twitter and clicking the links. Tweet me with your best memories, pictures and videos of the weekend.