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Ipswich's Arlingtons brought back to life by Jazzie B of Soul II Soul and DJ Ben Osborne for Welcome Back Ipswich Weekend



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An Ipswich bar that is currently closed was brought back to life this weekend as a popular 90s DJ took to the stage.

Arlingtons on Museum Street was just one of the venues hosting events as part of Ipswich's Welcome Back Weekend which saw Woodbridge Festival of Art and Music, Ipswich Art Centre, Aspire Black Suffolk and Noise of Art collaborate to present music, art and a museum of the environment.

On Friday March 11, Jazzie B of Soul II Soul fame who scored Grammy Winning hits with songs such as ‘Back To Life’ and ‘Fair Play’, and DJ Ben Osborne (Noise of Art), played to an excited crowd in the venue.

Jazzie B performing in Arlingtons. Picture via Ben Osborne (55464654)
Jazzie B performing in Arlingtons. Picture via Ben Osborne (55464654)

Although currently closed, Arlingtons was chosen because the sprung dance floor and surround gallery echo London’s Africa Centre, where Jazzie B and Soul II Soul started.

Meanwhile, internationally renowned photographer John Ferguson’s pictures of black American cowboys were soundtracked by Ben Osborne with African country and western music and projected onto Museum Street Methodist Church.

Noise of Art’s Tide Mill Out, an audio visual piece created entirely out of the sights and sounds of Woodbridge’s 300 year old Tide Mill was also projected onto the 19th century church.

The 'forgotten cowboys' were projected onto Museum Street Methodist Church. Picture: via Ben Osborne (55464701)
The 'forgotten cowboys' were projected onto Museum Street Methodist Church. Picture: via Ben Osborne (55464701)

The cross platform music and artwork was created by Ben Osborne in collboration with Richard Winstanley and Jim Horsfield.

During the afternoon, there was a pop up Museum of The Environment featuring Nature Prints Art workshops, Natural Botanicals workshops, Rubbish Walks, Flotsam and Jetsam, Suffolk Wildlife Trust and installation artist Emily Cannell.

The afternoon also saw events at the Hold where Suffolk Creates, a new county-wide Creative network, saw a high turn-out.

The crowd in Arlingtons. Picture via Ben Osborne (55465383)
The crowd in Arlingtons. Picture via Ben Osborne (55465383)

DJ Ben Osborne, Woodbridge Festival programmer and co-founder, said: “Jazzie and I had a great time at Arlington's, with an amazing crowd and it was amazing how many things were going on at different venues across Ipswich.

"A great welcome back after the two years of isolation caused by the pandemic. We're hugely grateful to the Council and all involved in and supporting these events.”

The events were supported by Ipswich Borough Council, European Union Regional Development Fund, HMG and Suffolk County Council Covid Continuity Fund.

Woodbridge Festival of Art and Music continues its Winter programme this week with St Patrick’s Night Winter Light projecting onto the Tide Mill on Thursday 17 March and Woodbridge Community Disco, with guests the Flying Mojito Bros, on Saturday 19 March.