Acoustic Stage at Sailmakers

A saxophonist who has performed for royalty was one of a talented set of singers and musicians who entertained shoppers during a two-day festival.

The popular Acoustic Stage event at Sailmakers Shopping Centre took place over the weekend for the second year running gave local performers the opportunity to showcase their music.

From experienced guitarists and saxophonists to up and coming solo artists, shoppers were treated to an array of sounds and styles from some of the very best talent in the town.

Mike Sorhaindo, Manager of Sailmakers Shopping Centre, said: “It was great to host the Acoustic Stage event again with such a brilliant line up over the two days.There are so many fantastic musicians and singers in Ipswich so it’s great to be able to give them the opportunity to showcase their talents.

For our visitors events like this make a trip to the shops something really special.”

Saxophonist David Walker, who has played in front of the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Philips and her husband Mike Tindall at the wedding of England rugby star Danny Care, was this year’s opening act.

The 33-year-old, who lives in Ipswich, treated his hometown crowd to an eclectic mix of songs which included Rather Be by Clean Bandit, featuring Jess Glynne, and I Feel Good by James Brown.

David said: “The gig went really well. The event was brilliantly organised, the stage looked good and there was a lot of footfall. I had family and friends there to support me too.

I was glad to do the event and it was great publicity for me in my hometown. People were coming up to me after to say they enjoyed it. I got a clap after every track which was really nice. Sometimes I don’t get that because I often play a lot of background music. I’d love to do it again next year. It was a really great event.”

Also taking to the stage during the festival was teen singer Roma Nicholson who closed Saturday’s performances and then opened the following day’s event with her second set of the weekend.

The 13-year-old St Alban’s Catholic High School student’s sets comprised a mix of cover hits and self penned songs which she sells copies of to raise money for charities like Ipswich Winter Night Shelter for the Homeless, 4YP Suffolk Young People’s Health Project and East Anglia Children’s Hospice.

Her proud mum Rosa said: “Roma had a really good crowd on the Saturday who gave her lots of support. She performed again on the Sunday and that went really well too. We stayed both days to support all the acts and I think it was a really good event for Sailmakers. Roma absolutely loved it.

She’s raised £8,000 so far for local charities. She loves singing and who knows where it might take her. For now though she’s happy using her voice to raise money for charity.”

Completing the Acoustic Stage lineup over the two days were Morgan Beard, Rob Lewis, Ellen, Sophie Hanson, The Heuristics, Harriet Snook, Stu Philpott, Nadine Dixon, James Nunn, Andy Martino and Noah Evans.

The music event also featured student offers and promotions as well as festival-style face painting.

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