BLUR fans had their first chance to bag tickets for the band’s homecoming show this morning – but tickets sold out in seconds.

The Britpop band, which has firm roots in Colchester, announced four warm-up shows ahead of their European tour, which will see the band take to the world-famous Wembley Stadium for two nights in July, yesterday.

They will start their warm-up shows with a special gig at Colchester Arts Centre, in Church Street, on Friday, May 19.

Tickets are a hot commodity, with the venue having a capacity for just 400 standing music fans.

An exclusive pre-sale for members of Blur’s online mailing list started at 10am today, but tickets sold out within seconds.

It isn’t the end of the road for fans who missed out, however, as the general sale starts at 10am on Friday, with tickets costing £27.50.

Tickets will be sold through the online ticketing giant Ticketmaster, and a maximum of two tickets will be available for each customer.

Colchester councillor and Blur fan Darius Laws said: “The venue itself is a fantastic Colchester institution. It’s magical in there and is run by magical people.

“Blur wouldn’t entertain playing there if it wasn’t a first-rate venue.”

More information about tickets can be found at

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Why is Blur coming to Colchester?

Nigel Hildreth, a retired music teacher who taught two members of the band at Stanway School, has kept in touch with his former pupils.

Having spoken with Colchester Art Centre’s Anthony Roberts, Mr Hildreth approached the band to ask if they’d do a homecoming show at the venue to celebrate Colchester gaining city status.

Gazette: Proud teacher - Nigel Hildreth taught two members of Blur at Stanway SchoolProud teacher - Nigel Hildreth taught two members of Blur at Stanway School

The members of Blur were only too happy to agree, especially as the gig coincides with two huge shows at Wembley Stadium, London, on July 8 and 9.

Mr Hildreth, who now sits on the board of Colchester Arts Centre, said: “It’s great they’re doing this. They’ve been back to Colchester before in the 90s for a charity concert at Colchester Sixth Form College, so there’s a precedent but I didn’t know they’d agree to this one.”

Who are the members of Blur?

Blur’s frontman Damon Albarn, guitarist Graham Coxon, and drummer Dave Rowntree all grew up in Colchester, with Damon and Graham first meeting as teenagers at Stanway School.

Gazette: Star - Damon Albarn recently performed at CoachellaStar - Damon Albarn recently performed at Coachella (Image: PA)

Graham later introduced Dave to Damon and bassist Alex James, and together they formed Blur, releasing their debut album, Leisure, in 1991.

Since then, they went on to have five successive UK number-one albums and a string of top ten singles, including Country House and Beetlebum which reached the top spot.

Together they’ve collected ten NME awards, six Q awards, five BRIT awards, and an Ivor Novello award.

Their London show on July 8 sold out in minutes with fans faring to see the band come together again to perform their iconic and much-loved songs at their first-ever Wembley Stadium appearance.