Ed Sheeran in Sunderland: Superfan with Ed Sheeran tattoo joins queue outside Stadium of Light for first gig

Ed Sheeran fans have already arrived at the Stadium of Light ahead of the first of two gigs in the city.

Friday, 3rd June 2022, 1:02 pm

The songwriter is set to perform two concerts at the Stadium of Light on Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4, with thousands of music fans expected to descend on Wearside.

The first keen concert-goers arrived as early as 6.30am on Friday, hoping to get a spot at the front of the crowd.

Long-time Ed Sheeran fan Emma Webster, 35, was in the queue with her sister Katherine McDade, 25.

Emma Webster with her Ed Sheeran tattoo at the Stadium of Light.

The pair made it to the stadium at 7.30am after arriving from Coventry on Thursday, June 2.

Emma has been an Ed Sheeran fan for more than eight years after her sister recommended his music.

She has seen Ed live eight times since then – and even got a tattoo of him in October last year.

For the gig in Sunderland, she’s also had her nails done in an Ed Sheeran theme.

The first fans in the queue for Ed Sheeran arrived at the stadium from 6.30am.

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"I’d had the [tattoo] idea for probably two and a half years,” Emma told the Echo.

"I love tattoos anyway, I’ve got quite a few and I just wanted to have his face immortalised on my arm forever.

"My husband wasn’t best pleased, but he’s fine now, he’s alright with it.”

Emma's Sheeran-themed nails.

Emma and Katherine didn’t have much time to explore Sunderland, but say they’ll “definitely come back” to see more of the city in future.

Ahead of Ed taking to the stage on Friday, the pair have been soaking up the “friendly atmosphere” and enjoying the warm welcome of the city’s people.

As thoughts turned to the gig, Emma continued: “We’re hoping to get to the barrier, to the front of stage, that’s the plan anyway.

"We have been to the front before. The atmosphere is better than anywhere else, because you’re so close, you get that experience right in front of you rather than watching it through a screen or having to sit down.”

Emma with her Ed Sheeran tattoo.

Speaking of the upcoming show, Emma said she expects to be ‘in awe’ of the performer, and looks forward to hearing classic single Shape of You and new song 2step.

She added: "It’s absolutely fantastic. It’s a real buzz and I think because everybody’s there to see Ed specifically, we are all fans, everybody knows his music and it’s a really good sing-along.

"It’s a just a really great evening and you walk away from it with a buzz like you want to do it all again.”

Ahead of the influx of visitors, Sunderland City Council, Sunderland AFC, Nexus and bus companies are putting event travel and transport plans in place.

The plans will see extra Metro and bus services available, with a traffic management system in place for the afternoon and evenings to avoid over-congestion on public transport or on the roads.

Gig-goers are also being reminded by the Stadium to download their tickets in advance of arriving at the ground, to ensure a smoother entry experience into the concert.

We hope everyone has a great night!