On Thursday afternoon in Cork City, the sun shone, Sheeran was blaring on repeat on every corner, and the red carpet was rolled out to give the red haired singer-songwriter with Irish roots a rebel welcome.
Having played a similar string of shows in Páirc Uí Chaoimh in 2018, Ed Sheeran returns to Cork on Thursday for the first of two near sold-out gigs that will see the stadium packed with near 70,000 fans (over half the total population of Cork City) over two days.
By 4pm on Thursday, food trucks and buskers line all roads that lead to Páirc Uí Chaoimh, and Sheeran fever has already set in for fans lining up early to get as close as possible to the spectacular 360-degree stage, the spidery arms of which can be seen peeking out of the stadium.
Emma Murphy from Farranree has had her tickets since last October, and says she is “so excited” to see Ed. “I just love him to be honest, I love his songs, and I’ve loved him since I was young,” she said.
“She think’s he’s unreal,” chips in her friend Sophie Teale.
“Yeah I do,” laughed Ms Murphy, “ I’m just so excited now.”
Fans are flooding into the Leeside stadium to welcome Sheeran back to Cork for the first time in four years, and to celebrate the first act to return to Páirc Uí Chaoimh since the pandemic, with Denise Chaila set to kick things off at 6pm.