University Announces 3-Year Partnership with Brighten the Corners Festival

1 March 2024
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Brighten the Corners festival 2023
The University sponsored Brighten the Corners 2023

A three-year collaboration has been agreed with the University of Suffolk to secure the Brighten The Corners Festival’s place in the Ipswich live music calendar and support its growth in the future.

The festival and the University have agreed a three year partnership beginning in 2024 which will see the University named as principal festival partner, with plans for a larger collaboration building on the cultural offer Ipswich can provide to students and the wider Community.

The announcement comes following Independent Venue Week 2024, which celebrates the work of independent music venues across the country. Brighten The Corners features five stages across the town, including the independent venues The Smokehouse, The Baths and St Stephen’s Church.

Tim Greenacre, Chief Operating Officer at the University of Suffolk, said: “Following the fantastic success of Brighten The Corners 2023, the University is delighted to be working with Joe and the team on an expanded, longer term partnership together.

“We hope to expand our involvement in the festival itself, as well as establishing a year-round collaboration which will not only support the town’s night time economy, but will also help to promote Ipswich as a fantastic destination to study, live and work.”

Through this partnership, the University aims to provide students with unique opportunities to engage with the thriving music and arts scene in the region.

The cultivation of St Stephen’s Church as a brand-new music venue for the town has been a big step forward in the live music offer for the town. A variety of events have happened in the space since it officially opened in June 2023, including genres such as rock, indie, jazz, acoustic and more. It is also home to Hex Record Shop and a new cafe / bar.

Speaking on this opportunity, Brighten The Corners’ CEO Joe Bailey said: “Partnering with the University of Suffolk opens up new avenues for us to expand our reach and bring the joy of music to a broader audience. We believe that by working together, we can create memorable experiences and contribute to the cultural enrichment of Ipswich.”

The multi-venue music festival, set to take place in June 2024, will feature a diverse line-up of local and regional artists, providing a platform for emerging talent.

The initial line-up announced in December last year includes British tuba player and composer Theon Cross, indie rockers Coach Party, Mercury Prize nominee and Grace Jones collaborator Dave Okumu with full band The 7 Generations, experimental indie trio The Orielles, genre bending Irish collective Bricknasty, NME’s ‘essential new band’ Mary in the Junkyard, with lots more still to be announced.

To find out more and get your tickets visit the website here.

A photo of University of Suffolk COO Tim Greenacre, Brighten the Corners chief executive Joe Bailey and University of Suffolk SU president Lewis Woolston inside the St Stephen's Church venue in Ipswich with the Brighten the Corners logo behind
From left to right: Tim Greenacre, Joe Bailey and Lewis Woolston
A performance at the 2023 Brighten the Corners festival in St Stephen's Church
One of the bands at St Stephen's Church stage at Brighten the Corners 2023

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