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Ed Sheeran's support act plays at 'astounding' Woodbridge Festival

PUBLISHED: 10:42 03 September 2019 | UPDATED: 10:42 03 September 2019

Bessie Turner was one of the acts performing at the festival, fresh from her support gig with Ed Sheeran. Picture: KEVIN GODFREY

Bessie Turner was one of the acts performing at the festival, fresh from her support gig with Ed Sheeran. Picture: KEVIN GODFREY

Archant

The creative diversity of Woodbridge was celebrated in Elmhurst park at the weekend.

The festival received a warm welcome from people who turned out to support the event in Woodbridge on Saturday. Picture: KEVIN GODFREYThe festival received a warm welcome from people who turned out to support the event in Woodbridge on Saturday. Picture: KEVIN GODFREY

Opening with Planet Voices, a 40-strong choir directed by Ben Goble who have previously performed at Downing Street and Stephen Hawking's 70th birthday party, the Festival of Art and Music got off to a great start.

Ipswich singer Bessie Turner, fresh from supporting Ed Sheeran at his epic Chantry Park gig, played a set mid afternoon. She gave a shout out to BBC Suffolk DJ Richard Haugh for his support saying: "Thank you for changing my life", after spotting him in the audience.

The organisers' aim was to showcase the wealth of creativity that is happening around the town and support up and coming performers within the area, and more than 1,000 turned out to see what the festival had on offer.

Festival co-organiser Richard Litchfield said: "To continue the tradition of music events here in the past, this one has had a really strong focus on community involvement, combined with local talent and renowned performers from outside the area.

The Brackish Edge were one of many bands performing on the main stage in Elmhurst Park. Picture: KEVIN GODFREYThe Brackish Edge were one of many bands performing on the main stage in Elmhurst Park. Picture: KEVIN GODFREY

"A big thank you to all our supporters including Adnams, The Table, New Street Market, Smashing Wines, Suffolk Digital, Planet Music Academy, East Suffolk Council, Rachel Smith-Lyte and Woodbridge Town Council for providing us with a wonderful venue."

Also on the bill at the arts festival was legendary Hacienda DJ Justin Robertson, previously hailed as The Chemical Brothers' favourite DJ. When the band made a much-hyped return to London's The Social earlier this year, Mr Robertson was the only DJ they invited to play.

With many different areas across the park including a literacy zone, kids' zone, eco zone and food zone the festival was a family affair.

Children enjoyed face painting and playing games at the festival which provided lots of entertainment for the kids. Picture: KEVIN GODFREYChildren enjoyed face painting and playing games at the festival which provided lots of entertainment for the kids. Picture: KEVIN GODFREY

Programme director Ben Osbourne said: "We had an astounding response from the community, exceeding all our expectations not only in audience numbers, but also heartfelt enthusiasm.

"It's hard to imagine a more inclusive event. All the artists performed brilliantly and were warmly received, which was amazing. It was an afternoon of absolute pleasure. None of us can wait for next year. A massive, enormous thank you to Woodbridge."

All money raised from the festival will go back in to the Woodbridge community to champion the growing music scene evolving in the area.

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