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Ed Sheeran makes surprise visit to Sheffield’s Red Tape Studios

Ed Sheeran poses for a picture with musicians at Red Tape Studios
Ed Sheeran poses for a picture with musicians at Red Tape Studios. Credit: Sheffield City Council/Sheffield Music Hub

Global star Ed Sheeran surprised young, aspiring musicians at the iconic Red Tape Studios in Sheffield on Thursday.

The Shape of You star met with young people to speak about their experiences and their ambitions for their careers.

While visiting, Ed met with young people who work with TRACKS at Sheffield Music School and students from Hinde House and All Saints Schools, supported by Sheffield Music Hub.  He heard some of their original work, learned more about their aspirations and how the music services in the city support their ambitions of breaking into the industry.

Tracks offers a music-based alternative provision for secondary age children in receipt of free school meals or for looked after children. The students have access to a full suite of recording studios, providing them with the opportunity to learn new skills in song writing, production, rapping, singing and more.

Ed also took part in a special performance with a number of young musicians who were thrilled to get the opportunity to sing alongside the Grammy Award winner.

While visiting, Ed offered the students advice about the industry and answered a number of questions they had.

As well as meeting young people, he was able to speak with the dedicated staff at the Sheffield Music Hub and Tracks as well as a number of music teachers from Sheffield schools. They spoke about the great work taking place in Sheffield despite significant challenges in music education due to a reduction in public service funding.

The surprise appearance was organised by the Sheffield Music Hub team at Sheffield City Council.


Speaking about the visit, Ian Naylor, Head of Music Education Sheffield at Sheffield City Council, said: “Sheffield has a rich musical heritage and is committed to developing homegrown talent and seeing our creative industries thrive. It’s been a pleasure to host Ed today and see first-hand his commitment to using his global platform to champion the importance of music education.  

“There is real alignment with our own ambitions here in Sheffield where, despite a challenging funding environment, our commitment to a future where music is at the heart of our plans for the city is unwavering, most notably the development of the £15m Harmony Works project.

“Most importantly, Ed’s visit has been a brilliant experience for Sheffield music students and showcases what our wonderful city has to offer.”