From Friday 11th to Sunday 13th March 2022, we have lots of exciting events and activities planned for the 

Welcome Back Ipswich Weekend!

These include a Light Projection Show in the Town Hall, music in St Stephen’s Church, street entertainers and a Cornhill Light Installation! Art Exhibitions will help showcase local talent, as well as an Open Mic Night shining the spotlight on musicians, stand up comedians and spoken word artists. Various activities will also be on at The Hive, and Ancient House and Arlingtons will also be opening their doors once again, for this weekend of celebration.

In anticipation of The Big Hoot 2022, our extra special Art Trail Reunion with St Elizabeth Hospice will bring together dozens of pigs and elephants from the successful previous art trails (Pigs Gone Wild 2016 and Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk 2019) for everyone to admire and reminisce on those summer memories! These are kindly being loaned from local businesses that are now the proud owners of the sculptures to give you a chance to see familiar faces, and to build your excitement for the next St Elizabeth Hospice art trail – The Big Hoot!

This magnificent weekend event offers something for everyone. We are so excited to see you all there, and to finally see our community back together!


Taking place in the Town Hall and Corn Exchange, the free to attend event will give trail enthusiasts the opportunity to see familiar faces from past hospice art trails in Ipswich as a number of sculptures from Pigs Gone Wild 2016 and Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk 2019 will be on display.

This will be taking place from 10am-4pm on the 12th and 13th of March. *last entry at 3.30pm

Held in the Town Hall, this spectacular Light Projection Show will shine the spotlight on many familiar faces from past Art Trail events! Thanks to St Elizabeth Hospice, dozens of Pigs and Elephants from previous trails will be on view, as well as a sneaky peek into some of the Big Hoot sculptures that will be in and around Ipswich later this summer!

Friday 11th March, 5.30pm – 7.30pm
Saturday 12th March, 10am – 4pm
Sunday 13th March, 10am – 4pm

Enjoy various street entertainers throughout the town centre!

Cornhill, Buttermarket and Arras Square

Saturday 12th of March 10am-4pm and 6.30pm-9pm


Enjoy a unique shopping experience in one of Ipswich’s oldest buildings with a pop-up department store full of independent makers and traders from near and far, food, drinks and tours of the building

Saturday 12th March, 10am – 6pm
Sunday 13th March, 11am – 4pm

Art Eat Events, Aspire Black Suffolk and Noise of Art are hosting a Cultural and Visitor Economy networking event called Suffolk Creates that is aimed at helping the sector recover from Covid, and supporting refreshed developments through new collaborations.

The guest list will include festival and event producers, theatre directors and staff, artists and musicians, shop and gallery owners, marketing professionals, media professionals, community arts organisations, further/higher education tutors leading creative courses, as well as other core university staff members and whoever else that might be interested!

The event will have live DJ’s, spoken word artists and speed networking and will take place at The Hold, from 2pm to 5pm on the 11th March, come along and get involved with helping local creative economy get back on its feet.

Free event, booking essential.

In collaboration with After Hours Collective, this female-only exhibition will be running from Saturday 12th March for a week. The theme is ‘Fierce Colour’, and will feature 10 inspiring local female artists.

It will take place at Ronin Body Arts from 7:30pm on the 12th of March, come along and support these incredible women and their Fierce Colour Art Exhibition.

CHIp – Your Open Space

Taking place in one of Ipswich’s many empty shops, this is a chance to see how these empty spaces can be used in a variety of different ways. This Open Mic will showcase some of Ipswich’s excellent local talent on stage and also some of our local small businesses who will be using CHIp spaces in future. And just for fun, some very colourful and fun street performances too!
Date – 12th March 
Time – 5-9pm 
Location: 47 St Nicholas Street

Locally based artist and photographer Gillian Allard has created an art installation for this Welcome Back Weekend, depicting Ipswich and celebrating its community.

Locally based creator Handsome Made has created a light installation displaying the words “Key Worker Thanks” as a tribute to the incredible effort of the key workers throughout the pandemic.

This will be launching on the 11th of March at 6.30pm and will be showing every night until the 20th of March, from 6.30pm – 9.30pm

The Hive is a new social and creative venue and workshop space that has opened up on Norwich Road, they have built relationships across the Norwich Road local community, involving every culture and providing enjoyment for all.

Throughout the weekend of the 11th of March, make sure you get involved with the array of entertaining events and activities they are hosting, such as live music, film screenings, art and music workshops, and live podcasts.

We are lucky enough to announce that Kinetic Science is hosting this year’s annual Suffolk Science Festival in the Ipswich Townhall.

This will take place on the 12th and 13th of March

The Smokehouse Presents “Brighten The Corners” from Out Loud Music CIC, an exciting 2-day event being hosted in St. Stephen’s Church Friday 11th from 5pm to 11pm, and Saturday 12th from 11.30am to 6pm.

Woodbridge Festival of Art and Noise of Arts Environmental Zone are collaborating with regional and national environmental organisations to present a free-to-enter pop-up Eco exhibition on environmental issues and practices.

Make sure you get yourself down to this exhibition which will include exhibits, educational talks, and interactive workshops.
It will be held at Arlingtons on Friday 11th March 12-6pm

‘Saving Bees and Bollinators’Drop in workshop 1-4pm with Wildlife Learning Officer Charlie Zakss
Suffolk Wildlife Trust will be making solitary bee nests for the community and discussing ways we can all help solitary bees and other pollinating insects in our daily actions – including thinking about our gardens, the food we buy and neonicotinoids – what are they and what is all the fuss about?
Nature Prints Art workshop: Drop in 2-6pm
Run by Community artist and illustrator/graphic designer Penny Sobr : nature prints with acrylic paints on recycled paper . Drop in and create your own nature prints to take away and inspire you.
Penny runs community art projects and will be displaying some of her nature inspired collages too.
Natural Botanicals workshops: Drop in 3-6pm
 Botanical Being’s Maria Clarke-Wilson will be running the following workshops and demos:  
Find out about natural dyeing on British yarns, have a go at a simple weaving project and take part in a weaving collaboration using naturally dyed yarns. 
Maria is a mixed media artist working with sustainable art practices. Using natural colours from the environment for dyes, paint and prints. 
Find our more about workshops on offer
Environmental Waste Art/Stop Motion Animation: by Rubbish Walks: Drop in 12-4pm
Jason Alexander of Rubbish Walks will be running workshops kickstarting with a talk. His workshops will use stop motion animation for participants to create a sculpture or visual story made up of some of the tonnes of rubbish Jason has collected around  Ipswich. Rubbish Walks is an award winning small social enterprise based in Suffolk, working tirelessly to raise awareness about the issues of single use plastics, litter and waste. He hopes to create a collaborative communal art piece too in these workshops to showcase at the end of the festival.

Sculpture /ArtGallery & Exhibition

Graham Laffling of Flotsam and Jetsam is an environmental sculptor/artist whose work is made of flotsam and jetsam which he’s found on local Suffolk beaches. Each sculpture tells an environmental story.  

Emily Cannell is a talented installation artist who will be displaying photographic work of her pieces.

A musical pioneer, Jazzie B needs no introduction. Soul II Soul‘s classic tracks Fair Play, Keep On Movin’ and Back to Life (However Do You Want Me), propelled Soul II Soul into the mainstream with a groundbreaking fusion of London’s sound system and breakbeat culture, with hip-hop, house and soul.

In 1987 the Soul II Soul sound system moved into an unknown venue in the centre of London called The Africa Centre. The reason for choosing the venue was, in the words of Jazzie B, that it had a “gallery balcony and a sprung dance floor”.

Tonight in Arlington’s, Ipswich’s own venue with a balcony and sprung dancefloor, we celebrate 35 years since Jazzie, took sound system culture to the mainstream and changed the course of British music.

Jazzie is joined on the decks by Noise of Art founder and international DJ Ben Osborne, while other events in Arlington’s celebrate the Welcome Back Ipswich weekend with Back To the Africa Centre, John Ferguson’s Black Cowboys and Museum of The Environment.

Venue: Arlington’s, 13 Museum St, Ipswich IP1 1HE.

Date: Friday 11 March

Doors Open: 7:30pm

Door Price: £12.50

Tickets available from:

Presented by Ipswich Arts Centre

Presented in partnership with Aspire Black Suffolk and Noise of Art, the Black Cowboys Art Exhibition by renowned local photographer John Ferguson will include photos of African American cowboys projected from Arlingtons Ipswich, and soundtracked by DJ Ben Osborne.

It will take place on Friday 11th March at 7:30pm and is free to enter and have a look around, so why not go down and experience the amazing photography and musical talent of John Ferguson and Ben Osborne.

Ipswich School of Dancing is putting on some incredible performances at the Waterfront and on Cornhill on Saturday 12th March.

Kings Street Cinema is kind enough to screen two movies for everyone of all ages to enjoy over the Welcome Back Weekend. These are £3 each to attend with £1 being donated to St Elizabeth Hospice.

They will be showing Peppa Pig: Festival of Fun at 11am and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban at 2.30pm, on the 12th and 13th of March

The Hospice Art Trail Reunion

Fans of St Elizabeth Hospice’s Wild in Art sculpture trails are in for a real treat as St Elizabeth Hospice presents The Great Art Trail Reunion.

 Taking place in the Town Hall and Corn Exchange, the free to attend event will give trail enthusiasts the opportunity to see familiar faces from past hospice art trails in Ipswich, as a number of sculptures from Pigs Gone Wild 2016 and Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk 2019 will be on display.

The Council and the hospice are very grateful to a growing number of organisations that are committing to loan their pigs and / or elephants purchased at the end of trail auctions for the reunion event, including Associated British Ports, Concertus, East of England Co-op, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Wyards Removals and Homestyle UK Windows.

The special reunion weekend, 12th to 13th March, will also generate further excitement ahead of the Big Hoot Ipswich 2022, with an array of ‘Hoot’ related activity being held throughout the weekend, including street performances, children’s activities and special visits from artists working on this year’s trail.

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