Festival Blog

Sustainability: What we’re doing

From energy sources, Festival food to transport, find out what we’re doing at the Festival to reduce our impact on the environment.


Sustainability: How we sense as well as do

Our Head of Production and Programme, Mark Denbigh, talks us through the Festival’s approach to embedding sustainability into our work, and how we work with other organisations to help to improve our practise and share our knowledge.


Events and the Environment: Our Thoughts

15.11.21| Industry Insight

As COP26 draws to a close Mark Denbigh, our Head of Production and Programme, reflects on his recent involvement in tackling climate change in the events sector, Norfolk & Norwich Festival’s approach to environmental sustainability over the past five years, and what want to achieve at future festivals.


Sarah Lowndes - The Sea Cure

01.11.21 | Artist Insight

For centuries Cromer has been a place for those in need of convalescence. Empress Elisabeth of Austria is one such visitor in 1887, as she sought the restorative power of Cromer’s North Sea.

Here Sarah Lowndes takes us on her journey when creating The Sea Cure, following in Empress Elisabeth’s footsteps and unpacking the history of sea bathing for wellness.


Norfolk Open Studios 2021

25.09.21 | Artist Insight

Norfolk Open Studios has returned after two years! Ros Dixon, our Norfolk Open Studios Officer, discusses the value of the scheme to artists and visitors alike, and what it means for the Norfolk art scene.


We're moving to Norwich Guildhall

12.07.21 | News Update

We’re beginning our 250th year with relocation to the heart of the city. We are happy to announce we will be moving our offices to Norwich’s medieval Guildhall this autumn.

The team at the Festival have been working with Norwich City Council and Hudson Architects on plans for the past 18 months. The ambitious move will provide a unique and flexible base for the organisation which celebrates 250 years in 2022.


Art, Nature & Norfolk: Living Landscapes & The Norwich School of Painters

18.05.21 | Artist Insight

The cultural and natural landscape of Norfolk has inspired local artists from as early as the 19th century, making Common Ground’s upcoming event, Living Landscapes, a fresh take on old traditions. In the lead up to this diverse and insightful mixed-media exhibition, Common Ground Leader, Jordan Hunnisett, shares a little bit more about the event and reflects on continuing the creative legacy of Norfolk’s historical artists – namely, The Norwich School of Painters.


Exploring Theatre Making and Mental Health through ACT NOW!'s Open Road

20.03.21 | Artist Insight

Drama programmes aren’t just about training the next generation of actors. ACT NOW!@The Corn Hall is a series of masterclasses that have been using creative skills to build confidence, gain useful work experience and have fun. Project assistant and participant Matt Kirkum talks us through his experience working with fellow young people to create Open Road, a collection of short films responding to the changing world around them.


Festival 2021 Update

05.03.21 | News Update

Read the latest update from Norfolk & Norwich Festival, including date changes and an exciting ticketing announcement.


Georgia Rees-Lang: Five Shows That Made Me

02.03.21 | Staff Insight

The cultural things that we watch, experience, dance to or take part in, play a huge role in forming the people we are. Inspired by this idea, we asked Festival Bridge’s Communications Assistant, Georgia Rees-Lang, to take us through some of her personal highlights from across the years. Read about the shows that made her, from parades and film screenings to being ‘immersed in an aquatic world’ in her own bathroom


James Hardie: Five Shows That Made Me

02.03.21 | Staff Insight

Creative Careers week is back! To celebrate the power of creativity and the arts we have been asking members of our team what five shows have inspired, influenced and changed  the way they viewed themselves and the world. Our Music Programmer, James Hardie, takes us through his personal highlights, from classical music to drama and West Side Story. Looking for some show inspiration? Read on!


When Nature Meets Arts: Creating Resilience in the Outdoors

22.02.21 | Artist Insight

Genevieve Rudd’s Yarmouth Springs Eternal is a new project that explores personal relationships to the natural world through contemporary arts. In this post, the Community Artist reflects on the countless benefits of nature on our wellbeing and creativity, advocating for an accessible and fair reimagining of our dear green spaces.


LGBTQIA+ Arts: Queering Careers, Communities and Festivals

8.02.21 | Staff Insight

February marks LGBTQIA+ History Month. Regardless of whether or not you’re a fan of the ‘history month’ model (spoiler: we’re not!), we took this as an opportunity to discuss the role of personal queerness in a professional setting. In this post, Production & Programme Assistant Abbie Reeve and Artistic Director Daniel Brine speak on queering their career paths, continuing the work of those before us, and the future of LGBTQIA+ representation at the Festival.


'Vigilant, Vocal and United': Outdoor Arts in a Post-Brexit World

22.1.21 | Industry Insight

We’ve heard plenty about fishing, fertilisers, vaccines and visas, but how will Brexit affect the country’s festival and street art landscape? Out There Arts’ Joe Mackintosh is on hand to lend his two cents to the discussion.


Sascha Goslin: Creating Space for Change

15.1.21 | Industry Insight

Producer Sascha Goslin has established the Norfolk Black & POC Creatives Network, providing a vital space for workers across the creative sector to meet, discuss and share. In this post, Sascha tells us about the origins behind, and ambitions for, this necessary project.


Creative Careers: An Honest, Optimistic Q&A with our Team

23.11.20 | News Update

Brexit, COVID and ‘Fatima-Gate’ have sparked plenty of recent discussion about the sector – how viable is an job in the arts? Never ones to shy away from a debate, we asked colleagues across Festival departments (from Finance to Production to Development) their take on everything from career paths to their predictions for the industry’s future. If you’re interested in working in the arts, or if you’re just keen to learn more about the Festival Team, this is the Q&A for you!


Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2021 Announcement

19.11.20 | News Update

Read the full press release from our latest Festival 2021 announcement.


Nadenh Poan: Life as a Disabled Dance Artist in Lockdown

13.11.20 | Artist Insight

Marking 25 years since the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Stopgap Dance’s Nadenh Poan reflects on the emerging threat lockdown poses to hard-fought disabled visibility in the arts, and how he’s keeping busy from home.


My Time as Communications & Development Assistant

05.11.20 | Staff Insight

Denise, 2019/20’s Communications & Development Assistant, describes her 18 months working at the Festival, outlining some of her favourite highlights and biggest challenges.


Why Creative Learning Matters

22.10.20 | Staff Insight | Industry Insight

As we enter into an uneasy October Half Term, our Creative Learning Manager Sarah Witcomb took some time to think about why we run our year-round arts education programme. In this post, Sarah advocates for the enormous benefits of creative learning in schools, for children, parents, communities, and our collective health.


Meet James Hardie, Festival Music Programmer

12.10.20 | Staff Insight

Read about James‘ vision for the Festival’s music programme; from bolstering music education to diversifying audiences and venues for our classical offering.


Creating The Journey: How to Make a Public Soundscape

2.10.20 | Artist Insight | Industry Insight

For 2019’s Festival Launch, we worked with a team of artists and producers to create The Journey, an immense evening of storytelling centred on a highwire walk across Norwich Market. In this post, Sound Designer Helen Atkinson charts her experience of the project, capturing voices from across the county to create a sonic story of Norfolk, migration and home.


Creative Individuals: Why supporting Norfolk's creative communities is more important than ever

25.9.20 | News Update | Industry Insight

We know the vital role creative individuals play in the arts ecology. And we know freelance creative workers have been some of the hardest hit during Covid-19 pandemic. Festival Production Officer Ailsa McKay outlines one of the ways in which the Festival is supporting artistic projects and communities in Norfolk, and explains just how pivotal Freelancers are to the Creative Sector.


Regional Theatre at Risk: Lock Down at Sheringham Little Theatre

18.9.20 | News Update | Industry Insight

As we begin working with Sheringham Little Theatre across a number of projects, Theatre Director Debbie Thompson shares her experience of leading one of North Norfolk’s most-loved venues through lock down, explaining why regional theatre is now more important than ever.


Please send your application to work@home.co.uk

10.9.20 | Staff Insight | Creative Writing

We asked poet and one of 2020’s Volunteers Coordinators Ellie Reeves to respond the Festival’s cancellation in her chosen medium. In this poem, Ellie reflects on change, career paths, and perfecting Mary Berry’s roulade in the time of Covid.


‘Undoing’ a Festival? Thoughts from an Assistant's first six months

21.8.20 | Staff Insight

Every year, four Assistants join the Festival ranks for 18 months of hand-on industry experience. In this post Abbie Reeve, the Festival’s latest Production & Programming Assistant, shares experiences from her first six months in the role, and what can be learnt from unpicking a year’s work.


In Conversation with Frozen Light's Lucy Garland

12.9.20 | Artist Insight | Interview

In February, Festival Assistants Abbie and Robbie spoke to Frozen Light’s Lucy Garland about their 2020 Festival co-commission, Fire Songs. Although the show’s debut has been delayed due to the COVID outbreak, we thought this conversation about sensory performance, learning from PMLD audiences and the future of accessible theatre was well worth repeating.


Wish You Were Here

3.8.20 | Staff Insight | Creative Writing

Each year, the Festival recruits two Volunteers Coordinators to help organise our team of 140+ volunteers. However, for 2020 Volunteers Coordinator Georgia Rees Lang, the Festival’s cancellation left more than a hole in her May to-do list. In this letter, she reflects on a lost love in an ode to the Festival That Never Was…


Masthead image: Snarky Puppy © JMA Photography

Festival Futures – 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 arts education work, we lead and support celebration, creativity and curiosity in communities across Norfolk.

This year we launch a giving campaign, Festival Futures, to help ensure we continue this work for future generations.

2022’s campaign focuses on ‘Tomorrow’s World’ – the participants, audiences and artists of the future. We aim to raise £20,000 towards our Take Part: Schools programme and towards a range of programming at 2022’s Festival that provides participation and showcase opportunities for young people and early-career artists.  We believe that participation in the arts can increase confidence, creativity and academic results and that by creating performance and commissioning opportunities for the next generation of artists, we are ensuring the future of Norfolk & Norwich Festival. We need your support.

Make a Festival Futures donation to Norfolk & Norwich Festival.

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