Ed Sheeran played Ipswich Music Day two years in a row and look where he is now. If you fancy following in his footsteps, here’s your chance.

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Ipswich Arts Festival has opened applications for this year’s event, one of the largest annual, free, one-day music events in the UK.

More than 40,000 people enjoyed everything from blues and folk to classical and techno pop from some of Suffolk and East Anglia’s best upcoming talent spread over six stages last year.

Notable bands and artists have taken part both at the beginning and height of their career. Road to V winners Rosalita and Underline The Sky both played there and other past performers have gone on to perform at Glastonbury.

“We never look for anything [specific] because we are such a mix match of a committee,” says Veronica Chambers, one of the team of music professionals who give up their time for free to programme the event, now in its 22nd year.

“We try to get as much original music on stage as possible, pick the best of the cover bands and try to cover as many genres as possible. We get 100-200 applications so it is hard when they’re all so good.

“It’s a great opportunity to get your music heard so I’d say apply, apply, apply. It’s such a brilliant event with so many stages and so many great musicians.”

Taking place in Ipswich’s Christchurch Park from noon-8pm on Sunday, July 7, Ipswich Music Day is just one of many Ip-art events planned for this summer.

There’ll be world music from Global Rhythm the previous weekend, Ipswich’s Indian Summer Mela and the Film Night Spectacular classical music concert with Brian Blessed to look forward to.

Ipswich Arts Festival, now in its tenth year, runs from June 21-July 7. Star Event will have the full break-down of what’s on where soon.

It’s even easier to apply for Ipswich Music Day now using the online form at www.ip-art.com where you can supply all your information, including sound and image files. Soundcloud links are preferred for ease of use when submitting music demos.

Due to the high volume of applicants, organisers can’t notify unsuccessful applications. The names of those with a spot will be listed on the website from April. Deadline for applications is Sunday, March 3.

Anybody interested in sponsoring a stage can e-mail Ipswich Borough Council’s events manager James Young at james.young@ipswich.gov.uk