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Festival at 250

Festival at 250

Norfolk & Norwich Festival has a long, rich history as a community celebration. 

Founded in 1772 as a fundraising event for the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital we have been at the cultural heart of Norfolk ever since.  We are a Charity, which holds true to the central commitment of those first events: to celebrate, to share cultures and to bring our community together.

We were pleased to have been awarded National Lottery Heritage Funding to produce a key project for our 250 celebrations. Festival Forever investigates the extensive history of the Festival, delivering work throughout the year. Keep an eye out for updates as this incredible project progresses.

As we approached our 250th anniversary, we looked to the future. We explored the role of a Festival in the twenty-first century with artists, audiences and communities, creating bold new art, working with more young people, exploring our social responsibility and celebrating this wonderful place in which we live.

250 Projects

To landmark the 250th year of Norfolk & Norwich Festival, we developed a number of projects working with communities and young people across the county. We celebrated people, places and culture, nurturing creativity and brought our Festival Spirit to every corner of the county.

Festival Forever

We are thrilled to announce that we have been awarded National Lottery Heritage Funding to produce a key project for our 250 celebrations. Festival Forever has three principals: research, record and celebrate the history of Norfolk & Norwich Festival and the people whose lives it has touched. It is the historical context and cornerstone project in our celebration of Festival Spirit – the story of community aspiration and engagement we’re telling during our 250 anniversary.

Find out more

Common Ground

Common Ground inspired new forms of heritage interpretation, enabling young people to generate and present unconventional ideas. This project ran in partnership with Norfolk Wildlife Trust, National Trust, Prince’s Trust, SHARE Museums East, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, supported by National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Find out more

Lost and Found Films of Norfolk

Andy Field of Forest Fringe (News News News 2019) worked with artists, including Christopher Brett Bailey and Keisha Thompson, and children from schools across Norfolk to uncover lost films about the very true history of Norfolk.

Find out more

Festival History

One of the oldest Festival’s in the UK, our origins can be traced back to the founding of the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital in 1772

Click here to read more about our history

Past Festivals

Relive your past favourite shows

Take a look back at some of the highlights from previous Festivals

Image credits: Masthead © JMA Photography. Common Ground © TBC. The Two Fifty © Lone Twin. Lost & Found Films of Norfolk © Andy Field.

Arts make life better

Norfolk & Norwich Festival brings tens of thousands of people together in celebration – it has been doing this for 250 years. Through our May Festival and our year-round arts education work, focusing on children and young people, we lead and support celebration, creativity and curiosity in communities across Norfolk and the region.

This year we begin an exciting new initiative, Festival Connect & Create that will bring creative opportunities to those schools and communities with least provision. Creativity transforms people’s lives. It builds cohesive communities, develops vital skills and supports health and wellbeing. We want more people to have access to creative opportunities.

Please consider donating to support and develop this work. With your help we can increase access to the life changing power of the arts.

Registered Charity No. 116442

Amount to Donate £ 0