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Stonham Barns retail park promises to become new hub for local live music




A Suffolk retail park has promised to turn itself into a new hub for live music during lockdown in an effort to support struggling artists.

While in-person concerts are still a long way off, Stonham Sessions will see weekly performances live-streamed from the Aspal Theatre – a 180 capacity venue within Stonham Barns retail park – to the comfort of people’s homes.

Around 30 soul, jazz, pop and rock artists from around Mid Suffolk and beyond are expected to participate in the sessions, which will be broadcast every Friday, between March 5 and May 28.

David Sandpearl and Joe Ringer, who are are leading Stonham Sessions. Credit: Stonham Barns (44614379)
David Sandpearl and Joe Ringer, who are are leading Stonham Sessions. Credit: Stonham Barns (44614379)

Newly appointed events and theatre co-ordinator Joe Ringer, who will be kicking off the events with a live set from his own band, said: “These Stonham Sessions will be welcomed by music lovers around the region.

“They will enable us to bring new music and entertainment to a wide audience of people who have only had limited live music options during the third lockdown.”

Performances will be free to watch, but fans will be able to donate to the individual bands and artists for watching the performance, as if they were buying a ticket.

Mr Ringer added that the initiative could prove to be a desperately needed money-maker for musicians, most of whom have found themselves out of work, with little support during the pandemic.

He added: “It is also just what the artists and bands need after a year of having their musical creativity restricted because of the need to stop social mixing.”

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