The popular music club The Swan, in Ipswich, closed on Tuesday, 28th August. It has hosted acts including Ed Sheeran, Mumford & Sons, Slaves and Lonely The Brave and over time it built up a reputation for being one of the main venues for live music in the town.
The Swan was built in 1689 and stands on Kings Street. Major changes were made to the establishment in 1707, with its name becoming “The White Swan” in 1839.
Along with other venues in Ipswich, such as The Steamboat, Cult and the Smokehouse, it always paved the way for local artists to perform their original music and share the stage with famous musicians, as it was always the case during the annual festival Swanfest.
Ed Sheeran famously performed at The Swan, in 2010, before becoming a global superstar. On that occasion, he treated his fans to a post-set show on the street outside. Sheeran can be seen in old YouTube footage performing original versions of his hit songs “The A-Team” and “You Need Me” in the pub.(https://youtu.be/ZMEW3TESlS0)
Regular promoters at the pub, along with some bands already booked, were told about the closure on Tuesday, but neither the Landlord David Yates nor the owner EI Publican Partnershipshave explained the reasons behind this decision yet.
Among the comments on social media, some people said Tuesday was a sad day for the town, with one customer writing: “Such sad news, always our favourite pub in town and always had a drink there when we went out.”
Kulk, a band from Suffolk, stated: “The owners were really supportive of the local scene and created a very DIY outlook which we are so grateful for. The closure reduces the amount of opportunities open to us”.
Rapper Scott French said he played at The Swan nearly 100 timesand, as a promoter, he had brought in hip-hop acts from the United States. “It was always a really lively atmosphere – everyone was there to have a good time,” he added. “We brought a lot of out-of-town acts to Ipswich, which would never have been possible if it wasn’t for The Swan allowing us to do that.”
Ipswich had lost more than a quarter of its pubs since 2010, with about twenty pubs shutting their doors for good. In fact, there were 75 pubs and bars in Suffolk’s county town in 2010, but this number fell to 55 in 2017.
Words: Valentina Guidi