Ed Sheeran Performs For Kids At West London Inclusive Arts Festival

Ed Sheeran made a special appearance at the West London Inclusive Arts Festival inside the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room. (Picture by Andy Paradise)

Ed Sheeran dropped into the Royal Albert Hall for a special performance with young people at the West London Inclusive Arts Festival, May 15.

Sheeran’s performance on Wednesday afternoon was the climax of the West London Inclusive Arts Festival, hosted by the Royal Albert Hall in its Elgar Room, which showcases arts performances created by young people aged 4-19 who have moderate to profound learning difficulties.

They joined Sheeran for a sing-and-sign performance of his song “Perfect”.

Sheeran was besieged as he entered the room, and told the crowd: “What a pleasure it is to come and see the work everyone is doing here. It’s a real honor to be on stage with these guys.”

During his performance of “Perfect,” he encouraged audience members to light up the space with their phone torches, then orchestrated a mass sing-along for the final chorus, including not just the children on stage, but the parents, carers and teachers in the audience, according to a press release from the Royal Albert Hall.

Afterwards, Sheeran said, “Music is one of those things where everyone starts off at the same level, and the great thing about art is that there is no right or wrong. When I first started playing guitar, there was no right way for me to play a chord, there was no wrong way to play a chord, if it sounded good, and I enjoyed it, that was what mattered.”

Stuart Whatmore, head of the Tri-Borough Music Hub, a key partner of the festival, commented, “What a total legend Ed is! He is someone who understands the importance of state school music education as a way of bringing music to everyone, regardless of their background or circumstance. Our enormous thanks go to him for coming to join us.”

Ed Sheeran was besieged upon entering the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room. (Picture by Andy Paradise)

Matthew Todd, director of programming at the Royal Albert Hall, added, “This was such a special event for everyone involved. We’re delighted to see the festival going from strength to strength, and so grateful to Ed for sharing his time and his talent with us.”

Paul Morrow, founder and director of the West London Inclusive Arts Festival, and lead of the creative arts at Westminster Special Schools, said, “We were delighted that Ed came to watch, and perform with our young people today. Ed was also interested to hear how arts and culture can change lives and build community. We discussed our festival’s aspiration for all children and specifically children with [special educational needs and disabilities] SEND to have access to vibrant cultural artistic opportunities that enable them to be seen and valued, and engender them with a sense of belonging.”

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