Sheer(an) madness. On the hottest Bank Holiday weekend on record, Chantry Park in Ipswich played host to 160,000 people over four days of music, while the Made in Suffolk exhibition had them queuing outside the Wolsey Galley at Christchurch Mansion for an exhibition of fine art and Ed Sheeran’s story. Timed/dated tickets for the exhibition are free. The logistics of all this must have been a real challenge, so we must tip our collective hat to the organisers and support services for events enjoyed safely by all, many of whom would have been visiting our town for the first time.

Barely a week later and Ipswich showed itself to best effect again with the 1 Big Multicultural Festival in Alexandra Park – a family event unique in this country. Organised by BSC Multicultural Services (which has emerged out of the Bangladeshi Support Centre) which is based in Suffolk’s most ethnically diverse and vibrant town, the BSC reaches out to advance education and empower individuals and communities. Contrary to weather forecasts, sun came to make the ninth festival of music, food, play and sport a great success. Along with the Ipswich Music Day in Christchurch Park at the end of June and the Global Rhythms world music event shortly after, Ipswich maintains its fine tradition of a free music scene, supporting musicians and lifting the spirits of the populace and visitors alike.

Ipswich: a town to be proud of, indeed.

Robin Gaylard

Below: our cover photographby Tim Leggett. A burst of colour comes to College Street: ‘Mural by Zoe Power with & for the folks of Ipswich’.