From stock car racing to jazz concerts in a 15th-century church, you will have plenty of options when looking for entertainment in Ipswich.
Entertainment in Ipswich
Ipswich’s waterfront is a hub of activity, with many options for food, drink and entertainment just minutes from our Town Centre (Quayside) hotel. Isaacs on the Quay is a popular spot every day of the week, with four bar areas to choose from around a central courtyard. Frequent live music events cater to every taste, with their must-see Sunday afternoon live gigs throughout the summer months. Catch a bite to eat while you’re there – there’s everything from breakfast through to dinner on offer as well as their own pizzeria. Events also include summer barbecues, beer festivals and live sports screenings, so there’s always something going on.
The Steamboat Tavern is also a great music spot offering a waterfront location. Music plays a big part of the riverside pub’s history and they’re renowned for their regular live music nights for all tastes, from open mic Mondays, punk on a Saturday to jazz classics on a Sunday. You’ll be tapping your toes even on nights without live music – bring your own records to their vinyl nights and enjoy an eclectic selection of tunes. With a beer in hand and hearty pub grub in your belly, there’s something to suit all music tastes. It’s a little-known fact that even Ed Sheeran performed at the pub before he hit the big time!
Or for a bit of an alternative location to enjoy a beer and live music, head to St. Peter’s by the Waterfront. The 15th-century church has been given a second lease of life, now serving as a music and arts centre. It hosts many concerts and events, from live jazz music to beer and cider festivals. Check out the free weekly concerts on Wednesday lunchtimes, and enjoy the Ipswich Charter Hangings – with the town’s history in embroidery art – whilst appreciating the perfect acoustics of the venue.
Regent Theatre, Ipswich
Ipswich Town FC
With five theatre venues across the town, the Ipswich dramatic scene offers plenty of options. Check out our dedicated guide to Ipswich theatre for more details.
Regent Theatre and Ipswich Corn Exchange frequently welcome big names in comedy to the town, including TV favourites such as Bill Bailey and Jason Manford. Jokers Comedy Club is also a good bet for an entertaining night. Going strong since 2007, they hold regular Sunday night events each month, hosting top-notch comedians from the national circuit as well as up-and-coming acts. Their success has led to hosting nights in a new central location; Venue 77 on Fore Hamlet is a handy 10-minute walk from our Quayside hotel.
Ipswich Town F.C. is the town’s resident football team, playing in the Championship and based at Portman Road Stadium. The Blues are the only professional football team in Suffolk. They have contested the East Anglian derby against their big rivals Norwich City (in Norfolk) a full 139 times since 1902. As well as competing in the top two tiers of English football uninterrupted since 1957, the team seem to enjoy luck at their home stadium. Never losing at home within a European competition, they have defeated the likes of Real Madrid, A.C. Milan and Barcelona at Portman Road.
Or head to Foxhall Stadium if you’re looking for a bit of speed and drama. It’s a stock car racing stadium and is also home to the Ipswich Witches speedway team, with meets most Thursday nights from March to October. The stadium hosts sell-out crowds for its big ticket events, namely The National Hot Rod Championship of the World and Gala Night – expect a large entry of stock cars, banger racers and hot rods speeding around the oval.