Caitlin Whittaker is the Volunteer Manager at Brighten The Corners, a rebranded multi-venue music festival which takes place in Ipswich this coming weekend. Here, she explains what people can look forward to
I joined the small and brilliant team in 2017 as a volunteer when it was just The Smokehouse. Since then, we have launched a festival, opened two new venues, and launched our own year-round promotions (throwing in a pandemic in the middle of that!). Brighten The Corners is a new brand encompassing a programme of live music across three venues, The Smokehouse, The Baths and St Stephen’s Church, as well as a multi-venue festival in Ipswich. After two amazing festivals under the name of Sound City Ipswich, we are now pleased to begin as an independent festival, having rebranded as Brighten the Corners. The name means a lot to us, not only is it a fantastic album by the band Pavement but it sums up our aim to shine a spotlight on our often-overlooked part of the country. There is a lot bubbling in Ipswich right now and it’s very exciting to be part of this new chapter for the town.
Is the Festival a new concept for Ipswich? How many venues are involved?
Although this is the first time operating independently, we previously ran two festivals as Sound City Ipswich in 2019 and 2021, which were also multi-venue festivals and had never been done before. This year we have five stages, including three of our own venues: our 70-cap The Smokehouse, 300-cap The Baths, and our soon to be opened St Stephen’s Church following refurbishment, as well as Ipswich Corn Exchange and the outdoor stage on the Cornhill.
Who is on the line-up?
We have over 70 acts performing across the festival, with both established and emerging artists from across the UK and beyond. Our headliners are indie heroes The Go! Team and newly formed 86TVs comprised of Maccabees members, alongside Rozi Plain, Gengahr, Naima Bock, Honeyglaze, Pulled Apart By Horses, Jehst, deathcrash, Ishmael Ensemble, Coops, Jords, and many others. We also have a late-night programme presented by 6 Music DJ Tom Ravenscroft, with DJ Jamz Supernova, Pleasure Pool and Maria Chiara Argiró. And not forgetting the rich regional talent showcased by our winners of the apply to play competition and BBC Introducing acts.
When is it all taking place and how can people get involved? Do you need volunteers?
Brighten The Corners Festival is Friday 9th and Saturday 10th June 2023. Weekend and day tickets are on sale now and you can find them on our website. If you’d like to get involved behind the scenes, come and volunteer with us – it’s great fun and you get to meet loads of amazing people! You can sign up via the website or email us at email@example.com
What are your hopes for Brighten The Corners? Will it be the first of many?
We are so excited to be back with this multi-venue festival, and plan to keep bringing it to Ipswich every year, perhaps with more venues coming on board! Our two new venues The Baths and St Stephen’s Church are just taking off, which means there will be plenty of live music to see throughout the year, as well as our café/bar which will be launching in the church soon!
The Brighten The Corners Festival takes place in Ipswich this weekend (Friday June 9 and Saturday June 10) at the following venues: The Smokehouse, The Baths, St Stephen’s Church, Ipswich Corn Exchange and the outdoor stage on the Cornhill. Visit brightenthecorners.co.uk, follow @brightenthecornersips on Instagram and Facebook, and @BTCipswich on Twitter
Featured image of Caitlin Whittaker, Marketing Manager and Volunteer Manager of Brighten the Corners. Picture credits: Miff Pleasant