Ed Sheeran will be taking the stage in Belfast on Thursday and Friday evening and it is safe to say the excitement over his arrival is palpable with fans promised a “spectacle”.
Any fans passing the gig venue at Boucher Road Playing Fields on Tuesday will have noticed the impressive and unique 360-degree stage is now firmly taking shape, as the area is set to host around 80,000 when Sheeran delights the crowds this week.
The stage – which sees the Shape of You singer in the middle of the venue surrounded by crowds – is the same one that has led to rave reviews during the rest of his Ireland Mathematics tour, including a recent sold-out Dublin show in Croke Park.
Fans of the English singer can be forgiven for being just a little excited to see him this week given it is the first time he is coming to Northern Ireland since his Divide tour in 2018.
Aiken Promotions event coordinator Jim Clarke said those coming to the shows are seeing something unique.
“Every time I see it [the stage] I see something different,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.
“It really is a spectacle. It is a word that is perhaps overused in entertainment terms, but not in relation to this show. In all my experience in this business I have never seen anything quite like it.
“There are six towers, those towers act as lighting towers and sound towers, but they also hold the video and the video is in the shape of guitar plectrums.
“So there are six of these around the stage. The stage also has a kind of halo which rises. a lot of the video and effects are in that.
“The stage itself rotates so Ed is not standing in the one place at all time. He is moving so the audience get a view of him.”
The 31-year-old troubadour - who has sold over 150 million records – will not be alone on the stage, being supported by Irish and Zambian artist Denise Chaila and English singer-songwriter Maisie Peters.
Sheeran’s tour site manager Harry Ford added: “This is truly unique in that it is a 360-degree stage. The audience are right up to the stage. There are no bad seats and everybody has got a great view of the show.”
Fans have been advised by organisers that they should ensure their ticket is downloaded on their phone and ensure their phone is fully charged for the opening of gates at 4pm.
As it is an outdoor event, those attending have also been advised to dress for all potential conditions.
Meanwhile, the PSNI have encouraged people to take public transport where possible and advised that a traffic management operation will be in place over the two days.
Superintendent Amanda Ford told the Belfast Telegraph: “With 80,000 people attending the event... we are asking the folk please if you are driving to the event, park in the city centre, walk to the event where you can or use the transportation that is available through Translink and Metro.
“The message from police is we want people to stay safe. We want people to enjoy the event and to do so responsibly.”
There are a limited number of tickets still available for the Friday night show.