Cars, dance and music at Norfolk and Norwich Festival

Big, bold, bright and filled with music, song, dance and more. The Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2022 starts on May 13 and promises something for everyone.

A very short burst of live music, a cascade of flipping dominoes, ten-minute dance parties, elaborate window displays, short shows that seem to make absolutely no sense, and others that speak to your soul.
It can only be the Norfolk and Norwich Festival with its bucketful of music, song, dance, circus, art, drama, hilarious performances and intense acts.
It’s all happening at the Festival which runs from 13th to 29th May – and it’s all about getting everyone involved and celebrating Norfolk’s wonderful uniqueness.
Community is a big theme of the 2022 Festival, and to mark 250 years of Norfolk & Norwich Festival, special multi-year projects focusing on working with Norfolk communities are being developed.


Live musical marching bands will appear across the city to bring new music to all during the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2022
– Credit: Kat Mager

This means inspiring volunteers, encouraging people to watch performances, involving schools in performances and filmmaking, and artists taking their work across the county.
From sopranos on the beach and landscape operas in Great Yarmouth to haikus and breakdancing in Norwich, from bus tracks in Kings Lynn to world musical premieres in Norwich and protest songs in Diss and Sheringham, there’s plenty to see and do.
“It’s about community and festival spirit,” said James Hardie, the festival’s music programmer.
“It brings people together around pieces of music and art,” he said, describing how the Norfolk community is thriving in the spirit of the Festival.
“I don’t think there is a place that has the same enthusiasm for art and culture as Norwich and Norfolk,” he said.
The acceptance and enthusiasm of Norfolk communities to watch artists, installations and performances, and to get involved, means that the Festival team can organize a wide variety of events with plenty of opportunities to imply.


Speakers on the beaches bring soundscapes to the beaches of Great Yarmouth

Hear the soundscapes that arrive in Great Yarmouth at various times throughout the Norfolk and Norwich Festival
– Credit: Signal on Sea/Norfolk and Norwich Festival

“The community is an important part of the Festival. There are so many things that are not high culture, although we have some. It’s involving people,” said Daniel Brine, director of the Festival.
Among the works he looks forward to seeing audiences with is the set of Lost and Found films created by Norfolk artists working with school children studying the history – real or imagined – of Norfolk.
“It’s a really nice series of movies where the kids really thought about it,” he said.
Another event, Every Step is a Different Height, will see volunteers give tours of the Guildhall. But rather than just talking about her story, volunteers work with artists and costume designers to make the tours performance-style. “It’s about building relationships with the community,” Daniel said, admitting he spends more time watching the audience at performances than watching the show.


Volunteers will set up a domino course through the city

A Dominoes trail will meander through the city as part of the Festival launch
– Credit: ©XavierValne

One of the projects currently recruiting young volunteers aged between 18 and 25 will see them create a website about the Festival’s history, Daniel said, inviting those interested to contact [email protected]


Get ready to dance at free events at Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2022

Get ready to dance at free events at Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2022
– Credit: Kelly Champion

During the Festival itself, he can’t wait for things like mini raves; ten-minute dance parties that anyone can join in on, or the idea of ​​a bedtime story that will see children from Norfolk, Canada and Singapore reading bedtime stories to people from different countries.
“I really think people like the chance to do something different,” Daniel said, pointing to a performance with children from Diss and Sheringham that sees them joined throughout a day by more and more musicians.
“The Festival does a lot to bring people together,” he said, encouraging people to listen to and seek out many pop-up shows and performances while on the go. Some may only last a minute.
“We’ve had composers writing one-minute pieces and these will appear, with live musicians, every hour and suddenly there will be an explosion of music, a fanfare. Then it will be gone,” he said.
Norfolk and Norwich Festival run from May 13-29. See the program at nnfestival.org.uk

Get involved in Festival community events

Posters, leaflets and other accessories
From 90s football programs to DIY zines, goblincore to glossy magazines, creative voices from different communities feature in an exhibit exploring the historic role of print in public discourse. Led by artists Hester Stefan Chillingworth and Salome Wagaine, the project delves into Norfolk’s diverse communities and subcultures.

Publicity/City dressing
This year, the Festival revives the tradition of the city’s merchants who dressed their windows to celebrate the event. Don’t miss the stunning presentations in independent store windows by May 31 across the city, created by 10 Norfolk artists to celebrate creativity and create festival buzz.

This is the sign you’ve been waiting for
What does a brown tourist sign look like in the hands of an inventive artist? Look for the work of Hester Stefan Chillingworth who has created a collection of playful new signs for the city as alternative interpretations of traditional signage. It’s in the city center, from May 14 to 29.

Take away food
A series of menus based on the cultural history of Norwich, presented as takeaway meals. It’s the work of writer Salome Wagaine who wants us to explore the past and present of Norwich’s laid-back food scene. To find out what this means, pick up a copy throughout the Festival at the Festival Box Office at the Guildhall in Gaol Hill, Norwich.

Every step is a different height
The title is a clue to the intriguing facts and anecdotes the volunteers will share with the public during a tour of the Guildhall. The Lone Twin artists have created a guild of volunteers to guide the public through the unique spaces of the medieval Guildhall, which is now the home of the Festival, to remember 250 years of Festivals past.

Norfolk Lost and Found Films
Have kids explain fictional events from Norfolk’s past, present, or future, add movies and artists to work with them, and the short films created are absolutely magical. The films will be screened in The Gallery at The Forum from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday May 21 and 22. No need to book – just come to watch.


A crowd enjoys the toppling of dominoes at another festival

The Dominoes trail has been extremely popular at other festivals
– Credit: Adrien Bargin

Dominoes
A moving sculpture of thousands of cinder blocks will cross the city in a reverse flow over the course of a day. It’s also a community effort, with hundreds of people setting up or watching the dominoes as they make their way through the city. Dominoes, from Station House Opera, sees the line of dominoes weave their way through historic and everyday parts of the city, linking its diverse communities from Anglia Square to the Forum in a symbolic and physical chain of cause and effect. It starts on May 13 at 6 p.m. in Anglia Square.


ten minute free dance parties where the only rule is you have to dance

Join free ten-minute dance parties where the only rule is you have to dance
– Credit: Damien Peck Photography

10 minute dance parties
Music, lights, an intimate place and only one request: to dance. Ten-minute dance parties see artist JOF collaborate with local youth to create a unique dance event. There will be world record attempts, dance move competitions, signings, performances and adventures into the unknown during each ten-minute party. Find him at the Forum, from May 25 to 28, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Peacophobia
A group of young men, talking about making modifications to their cars, followed by a hands-on workshop showing people how to do the same thing at home. It’s a very different act for the Festival, and one that should attract an avid car customization crowd. Based in the Rose Lane car park in Norwich from May 18-21, the show is set in Bradford and while there’s plenty of drive-by talk, it’s also a thought-provoking look at racial profiling.

Britten Sinfonia with children
Some Norfolk schoolchildren have explored music with members of the Britten Sinfonia chamber orchestra ensemble and this concert is another opportunity for youngsters to experience the magic of classical instruments, music and storytelling. At Blackfriars’ Hall on May 20, it’s an informal concert for children aged five and up based on Nadia Shireen’s funny and heroic tale, Billy and the Beast.
Full information at nnfestival.org.uk