Ed Sheeran at Manchester Etihad Stadium

For anyone that has read my blog for a while then you will know how much of a big Ed Sheeran fan I am, I’ve been a fan of Ed ever since his first single ‘The A Team’ was released in 2011. Unfortunately, I’ve never had the chance to see him live because of one thing or another, but when he announced his 2018 stadium tour back in 2017, I knew that I had to go this time!

Me and Elin decided that we would go together, along with his brother and his friend. We decided that we would go and see him in Manchester as it is a central location for the both of us as we live so far away from each other. This post is part of mine and Elin’s seeing through sight loss series, so make sure you check out our other posts as well. The last time we did a post in our series was when we went to see Shawn Mendes last year, so this one is perfect for that.

I’m sure that we will both look back on our posts about the concert in the future.

 

Booking tickets

We found out how to get accessible tickets at Manchester Etihad Stadium. The accessibility team were very helpful and gave us all the information that we needed to know, we filled out the relevant forms in order for us both to apply for free personal assistant tickets and sent them our proof of disability. There is also a lot of access information on the website which is good.

When the tickets came on sale on 8th July we were straight on the phone to the accessibility line at the Etihad Stadium and waited in a queue to get accessible tickets. We waited in the queue for over an hour, we did think that we weren’t going to have any luck, but we managed to get some tickets for Ed’s show on Friday 25th May 2018!!

We just had another 10 months to wait until the concert itself…

A photo of my Ed Sheeran concert ticket

Ed announced his support acts earlier on in 2018, they were Jamie Lawson and Anne-Marie, I’ve been a fan of Anne-Marie for a couple of years now, so it was a bonus that we would be seeing her as well.

A few weeks before the concert, I decided to book a disabled parking space at the stadium and Elin did the same as well, it cost me £15 which I didn’t think was too bad as it meant that we had somewhere to park and didn’t have to worry about finding a nearby carpark on the day.

The stadium sent us a disk which we had to display in the car window along with our blue badge, this showed that we had paid for a disabled parking space beforehand.

The concert

The day of the concert finally arrived, it’s safe to say that me and Elin were beyond excited. I’d waited 7 years to see Ed live so I was absolutely buzzing! I’ve watched countless amounts of his TV performances and videos on Youtube, so I had some idea of what to expect but I don’t think that I was fully prepared.

I spent the morning getting ready, before setting off to go to Manchester in the afternoon. My Mum and Dad drove me to Manchester, I am extremely grateful to them for doing that.

After a long and slow journey, we finally arrived at the Etihad Stadium. We made our way to the disabled carpark and found ourselves a space. It was relatively easy to get to and we didn’t have any problems. Myself and my Mum and Dad waited for Elin, her Mum, her brother and brother’s friend to arrive.

Once we had all met up, we had some food, chatted for a while and went to find the entrance that we needed to go through.

I wanted to buy some merch, but the queue was quite long, so my Mum bought it for me whilst I was at the concert. I got a t-shirt which is extremely comfy.

Holly Wearing Ed Sheeran t-shirt

We eventually found the entrance that we had to go through, we made our way through security without any problems and entered the stadium and found our seats. We had great seats as the boys had a good view of the stage which was excellent.

Ed’s first support act was Jamie Lawson, Jamie is signed to Ed’s record label ‘Gingerbread Man Records’. I’d heard a couple of Jamie’s songs before but was pleasantly surprised at how good he was live. He had some very upbeat songs, I’ll be downloading some of his music. It was a special gig for Jamie as he was performing in his home town. One of the songs that he performed was the song that he wrote with Ed called ‘Can’t See Straight’, the song definitely had an Ed Sheeran Vibe.

He finished with his hit single ‘Wasn’t Expecting That’ which was a brilliant song to end his set with. He has a lovely voice and is really talented.

Around half an hour later, Anne-Marie came on stage! I am so so glad that I finally got the chance to see her live. Anne-Marie performed some of her well-known hits including Chao Adios, Alarm, Do It Right, Friends, Rockabye and her latest single which she wrote with Ed ‘2002’. She also performed some of her tracks from her newly released album including Perfect, Then, Trigger and Breathing Fire. Anne-Marie’s album is called ‘Speak Your Mind’, it’s such a brilliant album so I would suggest checking it out, I’ve practically had it on repeat since I bought it.

Before she sang her song ‘Breathing Fire’ she gave a touching tribute to the victims of the Manchester attack.

Anne-Marie smashed her performance, she owned that stage! Her vocals live are amazing, she’s extremely talented. Her energy and enthusiasm on stage really got the crowd hyped for Ed. I’d love to see her live again in the future. I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s selling out arenas and stadiums soon.

Here is a video of Anne-Marie singing 2002:

Once she had gone off stage, it was a matter of minutes until Ed would be coming on.

I was starting to get even more excited, if that was even possible. It all became so real, I can’t describe how I felt.

Ed came on stage at 8.45 and the atmosphere in the stadium was electric! The crowd went crazy as I’m sure you can imagine. Everyone was dancing and singing along, just like you should at a concert. Ed has no band or backing singers, it’s just him, a guitar and a loop station and it is truly incredible, it is absolutely mesmerising.

He performed an array of songs from his three albums. I had an idea of the setlist as I had seen it online, I was very happy with the selection of songs. Songs from his first album included the crowd favourite The A Team. Songs from his second album included Dive, Bloodstream, I’m A Mess and Thinking Out Loud. Performances from his third album included his opening number Castle on The Hill, Eraser, Dive, Happier, Perfect, Galway Girl and Nancy Mulligan.

He also did some mashups which were Don’t/New Man, One/Photograph and Feeling Good/I See Fire.

A photo of the colourful stage

I was in absolute awe of every performance, there was so much emotion and they were just incredible! Ed’s passion for what he does is so clear to see.

I don’t think that I can pick a favourite song from the setlist but some of my favourites were Castle on The Hill, Happier, One/photograph mashup, Galway Girl, Thinking Out Loud, Perfect, Sing and Shape of You…basically the whole setlist.

Ed announced that Sing was his last song, the crowd went wild during this one. He went off stage and everyone started cheering for him to come back on which he obviously did. He performed two encores – Shape of You and You Need Me I Don’t Need you

We got some videos and audio clips for our blog posts and also obviously because we want to watch and listen to them in the future. I’m not going to lie, I’ve watched and listened to them a countless amount of times already!

Elin put some audio clips together so make sure you check it out, there’s some real highlights from the show:

Here is a video of Ed singing Thinking Out Loud:

To say that it’s just one guy on a huge stage, he really knows how to entertain a crowd. It was clear that he wanted the crowd to get involved which we obviously did. He wanted us to sing as loud as possible and sing every word and lose our voices, and I rose to the challenge of course!

I think my favourite parts were when the crowd truly got involved when he sang Thinking Out Loud, Photograph, Perfect, the chant in Sing (everyone went wild) and Shape Of You. There isn’t a more magical moment at a gig than when the crowd sings the songs back to the band or artist.

One of the things that I really loved about the gig was the fact that he told little stories in-between songs such as he remembered the first time he ever played in Manchester and how he wrote one of the songs from his first album whilst his shower was broken.

Before he left the stage, he thanked everyone for coming and said to get home safe which I thought was lovely.

Ed’s talent is sensational, his vocals, guitar skills and how he can put on such an incredible show is truly mind-blowing. I really can’t put into words how incredible he is! There were no pyrotechnics or anything like that, it was just him being his true self. When there are things such as pyrotechnics or sections of dancing throughout a show, it can often be hard for me to understand what is going on as a blind person as I can’t see what’s happening on the stage. AT Ed’s gig, there was no reason for me to feel like I had to see what was happening as I felt like I could enjoy the concert in the same way as everyone else by taking in the music. For Ed it’s all about the music and I truly love that. He also told you when to clap, dance etc which as a blind person with no useful vision, this is brilliant so I was very glad that he did that. Sometimes it’s just the small things that make such a difference.

One of the things that I love about Ed is how genuine and down to earth he is, he wants everyone to have a good time, he treats everyone as an equal and he is so grateful for what he does and for his fans.

Seeing Ed was such an incredible experience, it was a night that I’ll never ever forget! The fact that I’ve gone from wishing for years that I could see him live to actually seeing him live is such a surreal feeling.

I’ve been to many concerts, but this was by far the best concert that I have ever been to, I can’t put into words how incredible it was. It was 100% one of the best nights of my entire life! Any future concerts have a long way to go to beat this one, Ed has set the bar high.

 

It was my first ever concert in a stadium and I would do it again.

Going with Elin, her brother and his friend was so so lovely. Me and Els like the same artists but seeing Ed live together was an amazing experience for us both, a memory that I know we’ll both cherish.

Holly and Elin outside Manchester Etihad Stadium

I was sad that it was over but left the stadium on such a high, a sore throat and a very croaky voice but it was most definitely worth it!

It took us a while to get out of the stadium, there wasn’t a specific disabled access exit. It also took us a while to get out of the carpark, but we got there in the end.

I would do anything to relive that night, I want to do it all over again.

Do I wish that I was seeing Ed again? I think we all know that the answer is yes.

If you ever get the chance to see Ed Sheeran live then DO IT, you won’t regret it! He puts on the most amazing performances, he gives it his all and his shows are so unique, I’ve never seen an artist that is so talented in so many ways.

Everyone that is going to the rest of the #DivideWorldTour is in for a real treat, prepare to have the best night of your lives…I’d see him again in a heartbeat.

I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have had that experience and how thankful I am for Ed and his music. There’s something so special about being amongst thousands of fans who love the same artist as you.

That concludes today’s post, I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. This is one of my favourite posts that I have ever published.

Don’t forget to check out Elin’s post to read about her own experience.

 

If you have been to a concert, who is the best band or artist that you have seen live? Also, if you’re a fan of Ed then what’s your favourite Ed Sheeran song? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.

Holly x

2 Comments

  1. May 27, 2018 / 7:40 pm

    Thank you for the most incredible night Hols. Reading your post and writing mine made me want to relive it all over again! I hope we can see Ed live again one day, feel like it’s going to become a habit now haha!xxx

    • lifeofablindgirl@gmail.com
      Author
      May 27, 2018 / 8:24 pm

      Thank you so much too lovely, reading yours made me want to relive it again! So do I, let’s hope we can see him again in the near future xxx

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