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Ipswich: Cultural capital sparkles as IP-Art festival brings tens of thousands to the town

09:26 30 June 2014

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

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

Archant

Suffolk’s biggest music festival secured Ipswich’s top spot as the county’s capital of culture.

In terms of visitors and participants the three-week IP-Art festival is by far the largest event in Suffolk. Latitude and the Aldeburgh Festival may attract the national headlines – but their numbers are a fraction of those heading to IP-Art.

Over the two days more than 50,000 music lovers made their way to Chantry Park.

Next weekend that number could well be exceeded in Christchurch Park when Ipswich Music Day, one of the biggest free festivals in the country, takes place.

On Saturday night there’s an open-air screening of the recent version of Great Gatsby in Christchurch Park followed by a 20s-style Gatsby-inspired party at the Big Top in the park.

With classical concerts, indoor and outdoor theatre productions, and the whole festival rounded off by the colourful Indian Mela in Christchurch Park, IP-Art is really making an impression on the region.

Borough leader David Ellesmere said: “It has been a massive weekend for music and it shows that we are the music capital of East Anglia.

“We had tens of thousands of fans dancing in Chantry Park to some of the biggest names in the pop world.

“And it proves you don’t have to go to London or other places to see the likes of Jessie J, Jason Derulo, Diversity and McBusted. These are stellar acts and they want to come here to Ipswich.

“Of course, it’s not just one weekend – the summer festival season in Ipswich dwarfs those of other towns and cities.

“Ip-art is by some stretch the biggest festival in Suffolk and includes many free events – we are providing a festival for the people and include music, visual art, cinema, theatre, comedy and dance.

“And there is something for everyone – while Rizzle Kicks were rocking one part of town, we had one of the world’s leading pianists, Noriko Ogawa, playing at the sensational Ipswich Orchestral Society summer concert in the Corn Exchange. We will also have fun trying to spot the next Ed Sheeran at the iconic Music Day in Christchurch Park next Sunday.

“All these events – which carry on through Celebrate Ipswich, the Maritime Festival and the 1 Big Multicultural Festival – not only provide great entertainment for 
residents, they attract more than a quarter of a million people and provide a huge boost for the local economy, recognising the culture and heritage we have to offer.”

He added:“We are proud of the things we are doing in Suffolk’s county town and are now recognised as the go-to place for a wide range of cultural events.

“I want to thank our events team, sponsors and supporters – and all 
our festival-goers – for making Ipswich the region’s entertainment magnet.”

7 comments

  • Esco Fiasco don't be to hasty as if you don't go again the establishment have won. Next time take the pouches of drink and put them in your wellies. Any food put it in your coat pockets or under your hat as they can only search your bag not your person. My daughter and her friend got all their food and drink in this way. I went to a Queen concert in the 80s and had to dump all my food and beer into a skip and vowed never again will I allow this and I get personal satisfaction getting stuff in try it next time.

    Report this comment

    royg

    Wednesday, July 2, 2014

  • C Smith.. My niece went with a couple of her friends and they had their water taken away. Young teenagers going to a day out in summer having drinks taken off them is just shameful. My sister was outraged when my niece told her. Suffice to say they will refuse to attend this event again.

    Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Wednesday, July 2, 2014

  • Taking water away from you as you enter big events seems to have spread here from North America where removing it and then charging $3.50 or more for a bottle is common practice. Doesn't make it right. I too have to question the legality of this. At the O2 recently where they simply made you remove the lid but allowed you to keep the bottle. As for Cultural Capital.....don't make me laugh. 2 gigs that even my kids weren't interested in doesn't make Ipswich a Cultural Capital.

    Report this comment

    paul e.

    Tuesday, July 1, 2014

  • Indeed Citizen... they have a cheek of using the numbers going there to boost up IP-Art figures. We can be proud of the FREE Ipswich Music Day event... but other than that... you think they would have brought back the Ipswich Carnival. As for the confiscation... I am not sure what the legalities are of having water stolen from you in a public park that has been closed off for an event... I would take it up with the council if I had water taken off me as it really is against human rights and a health and safety concern... what if it was hot and you got dehydrated.

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Monday, June 30, 2014

  • C Smith - I know what you mean about the hot dog prices... it's the same at Covent garden when one goes to the opera...£9.50 for a glass of Chablis!! These people just exploit the cultured amongst us. Ipswich Entrepreneur - well spotted that this was nothing to do with IpArt... bandwagon jumping, that's what it is.... and overcharging for hot dogs as well.

    Report this comment

    Citizen

    Monday, June 30, 2014

  • So talking of CULTURE the best person to have a photo of was Jessie J? It surely has to be autonomous and not selected solely because the promoters dictated it. So this is no longer about an article proud of hosting the event but a preplanned piece of PR. This wasn't IP-Art but a completely different festival held in different parts of the country... by the same promoter. Including the successful event in the definition of IP-Art is pathetic. You get latitude which is a true arts festival... the IP-Art umbrella is disorganised and vague, they might as well call it the Ipswich Summer Festival or "summer" for short.

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Monday, June 30, 2014

  • I heard they were confiscating food and drink from arrivals (including water) and thus forcing people to buy at the gig with prices like £6.50 for a hotdog, greedy.

    Report this comment

    C Smith

    Monday, June 30, 2014

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