Ed Sheeran seeks local support acts for Ipswich gigs
PUBLISHED: 00:00 20 June 2019
Three local acts will be offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to support Suffolk's biggest superstar at his homecoming concerts in August.
Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, who lives in the Framlingham area, has asked BBC Introducing in Suffolk to nominate a trio of artists to open the first three nights at Chantry Park.
The show's presenters, Richard Haugh and Angelle Joseph, will select the cream of the crop from local acts who submit their music via the BBC Introducing Uploader.
Ed received support from the radio show in the early stages of his career. Music from his self-released EPs was given airtime on BBC Introducing, and he went on to perform a live gig with the show at the tiny Anchor pub in Woodbridge.
Mr Haugh said: "This is an incredibly generous gesture from Ed, whose act of kindness will mean the world to the three artists chosen.
"To be offered a slot alongside one of the biggest acts in the world, returning to his home patch, will be something they will cherish for the rest of their lives.
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"We were privileged to see Ed hone his craft in the small venues of Suffolk all those years ago and feel extremely grateful that he's giving the next generation of talent a helping hand."
Ms Joseph added: "We are thrilled to be involved at this scale. Introducing is such a great way to champion talent locally and many of them respect the come up of Ed Sheeran and remember seeing him play around the county many years ago.
"It will be nice to be the connection between the emerging artists and Ed."
The contest will run separately to a similar competition organised by clothing company HOAX, of which Ed is a brand ambassador.
The opening act for the fourth night of the Ipswich dates will be chosen via a national battle of the bands competition.
Five heats will take place across the UK, beginning in Birmingham on July 11, before coming to Cult Bar in Ipswich the following day.
The following three will take place in Bristol, London and Manchester, before the top five artists will battle it out in front of a panel of industry experts at Epic Studios in Norwich on August 16.
The winner will perform before Ed on the final night of his tour at Chantry Park on Monday, August 26.