We haven't seen this level of musician-related mania since #GarthGate - but here's hoping that this one turns out better for all involved.
Ed Sheeran is playing three dates in the New Zealand city of Dunedin this weekend - a rare occurrence for the small city, which rarely sees such mega-stars passing through - and to say that they have taken the ginger singer to their bosoms is a bit of an understatement.
There's a weekend-long festival in the works that will involve special licences granted to pubs and restaurants to serve alcohol on the previously-restricted Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
A giant mural of Sheeran's face has also been painted at a cost of $8000 NZ (€4,600), bakeries have been baking special Ginger-Ed Men for the occasion, restaurants have special Sheeran-themed menus, the airport has temporarily altered its signage and there's even a passenger train being renamed the Easter Ed Express to transport the 100,000 fans that will be attending the three gigs.
However, while it may sound like a dream to Sheerios, not everyone is happy - particularly about the cost of the mural, with one local complaining: “Still don’t think he’s got enough relevance to be plastered on a wall and then charged to the taxpayers." Another member of local band The Chills said: "Ed, for all his qualities, seems like an unusual choice. I do think something like this is better spent celebrating local arts.”
— Terry (@TelSaunders7) March 22, 2018
it’s a lil trashy and embarrassing... but like you do you dirty dunners. See you in 4 days EdðŸ˜˜
— mads (@itsmaaddyx) March 27, 2018
Ed Sheeran Concert is in 2 days and my city has literally gone nuts there are banners saying dunEDin everywhere and they’ve literally changed the airport sign too
— emma (@UseTheForthLuke) March 27, 2018
More than 84,000 visitors are expected in Dunedin at Easter, when Ed Sheeran performs at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
This is great opportunity to showcase our city. If you're organising activities we can help promote them. List your event for free here https://t.co/ZJMZrrKvPy pic.twitter.com/1gO3hw1oST
— Dunedin City Council (@DnCityCouncil) March 14, 2018