Art and Culture Festivals in East Anglia

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Art festivals offer so much more than pretty paintings. Embrace your creativity with a visit to one of the East of England’s leading art festivals

NNF 2018 – image: ® Chris Nash

Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Norfolk, 10-26 May

Multiple venues across Norwich & Norfolk

The vast and wide-ranging programme showcases artists from around the world and the region presenting a huge variety of work and events throughout the city and around the county, which spans performance, theatre, music, visual arts, literature, circus, outdoor and family events. It includes world and UK premieres, one-off spectaculars, and a host of free events across the Festival. Highlights include Hannah Jane Walker’s highly anticipated new show ‘Highly Sensitive’, using games and poetry to investigate toughness and weakness, British soul artist Beverley Knight and Gravity & Other Mythsmultiple award-winning production ‘A Simple Space’ , which comes to Norwich for first time, to headline The Adnams Spiegeltent. Purchase tickets at

Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios, 25 May – 9 June

Multiple venuesacross Norwich & Norfolk

This year the event celebrates its 25thanniversary. Hundreds of artists will be throwing open their studio doors to the public as part of the event, which is firmly established as one of the biggest open studios schemes in the country. Throughout the duration of the scheme many of the artists will be holding additional events, demonstrations and workshops. Further details at


Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios 2018 – Will Teather in studio at Muscle Workshops

Great Yarmouth Arts Festival, 6-16 June

Multiple venues, Great Yarmouth

The hugely successful Great Yarmouth Arts Festival returns in 2019 for the 6th year with cultural activities, shows and events in a range of locations around the town for everyone to enjoy.

Harwich Festival of the Arts, 20-30 June

The festivals brings together artists and musicians for an impressive 10 days of exhibitions and live entertainment.

First Light Festival, 22-23 June

Lowestoft, Suffolk

A brand new festival comes to the Suffolk coast this summer. Taking place on Lowestoft’s glorious sandy South Beach, with its backdrop of colourful, traditional beach huts and Victorian gardens, the First Light Festival is a free non-stop 24 hour long, multi-arts festival celebrating Lowestoft’s position as the first place that sun rises in the UK. It will begin at noon on Saturday 22 June and will run continuously through changing tides, light and darkness, sun and stars until noon on Sunday 23 June. The programme will include music, dance, film, art, science, talks, walks, fire, sports and workshops – as well as the best regional food, drinks and produce.

First Light Festival, Lowestoft

Felixstowe Book Festival, 27-30 June

Felixstowe, Suffolk

The festival has become one of the highlights of the East Anglian arts calendar. From politics to sport, crime fiction to romance, there’s something to capture everyone’s imagination! There’s a whole programme of pop up events too! Full details at

Cambridge Open Studios, 6-7, 13-14, 20-21 & 27-28 July

Multiple venues throughout Cambridgeshire

Artists will open their doors to the public over four weekends in July for the annual Cambridge Open Studios art event. 356 participants will be exhibiting at 222 locations in Cambridge, Ely, Saffron Walden and many surrounding villages. Among the huge range of specialisms will be fine art, photography, pottery, photography, sculpture, illustration, textiles, jewellery, furniture making, and more besides. The weekends are 6/7, 13/14, 20/21 and 27/28 July. Visit to find out more or download the Cambridge Open Studios app. Free Guide Book available from June. Twitter @CamOpenStudios 

Latitude Festival, 18-21 July

Henham Park, Suffolk

Set in a beautiful location, Latitude Festival is a favourite among festival-goers. Firmly established as one of the best music and arts festivals in the UK, its  relaxed atmosphere makes it ideal for the whole family. In 2019 the Festival will once again host an impressive and diverse mix of comedy, music, theatre and poetry. There will performances from famous faces such as George Ezra, Lana Del Ray and Snow Patrol on the main stage, alongside other talented artists. Jason Manford and Russell Kane will be bringing the laughs in the comedy tent. There’s also the opportunity to enjoy a swim in the lake and relax the mind, body and soul in the SOLAS area! The activities and sheer scale of this festival is what makes it so popular. Book tickets at

Holt Festival, 21-27 July

Holt, Norfolk

Year after year this vibrant cultural festival serves up the very best arts and performances from across the region. The town comes alive with a mix of comedy, poetry, dance, music and more with something for everyone to enjoy. Early announcements include punk princess Toyah (26 July) and popular household name Georgie Fame (27 July). Both are appearing in the outdoor Theatre in the Woods venue. Additional musicians taking to the stage include MOBO Award winners Kairos4Tet on 27 July and Britten Oboe Quartet on 25 July. Book tickets at

Art in Clay, 16-18 August

Hatfield Park, Hertfordshire

Discover a huge selection of ceramics and pottery from makers in the UK and Europe. There will be over 200 exhibitors and a programme of talks and demonstrations, plus a Clay Creation Zone to stimulate your imagination. From pots used in the home and garden to beautiful sculptures, the show provides a fascinating insight into the world of clay.

Crafts in Focus, 23-26 August

RHS Hyde Hall, Chelmsford, Essex

Held within marquees in the beautiful gardens, the event features 140 exhibitors of UK contemporary craft makers and artists. Visitors can browse and shop artwork, textiles, furniture, jewellery, ceramics and more while enjoying the gorgeous grounds of RHS Hyde Hall. Also included is a food village with exhibitors selling delicious food products and a varied selection of live music throughout the event making this an enjoyable day for the whole family.

ART EAT, 21-22 September

Ipswich Waterfront, Suffolk

ART EAT will bring together Suffolk’s inspiring artistic talent in an inclusive,  vibrant and delicious exploration of creativity, culture and flavours for all the family. Events including street entertainment, live music and DJs and visual arts, will take place at Quay Place, UOS, Dance East and St. Peter’s by the Waterfront. There will also be collaborations with local businesses, cafés and restaurants. The festival includes the production of three large urban art murals as well as a largescaleurban textile installation, which are being produced by nationally renowned artists in conjunction with local charities, businesses and community groups.

Out There Festival, 14-16 September

Crown Road, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

The Out There Festival of International Street Arts & Circus Entertainment is one action-packed weekend, bursting with circus and street entertainment. It’s got everything from daring acrobatics and daft comedy to dancing, juggling, theatre, circus, storytelling, music and more! It’s mostly free and is a fun and different way to experience Great Yarmouth with your family and friends.

Cambridge Art Fair, 26-29 September

Quy Mill Hotel, Cambridge

A wonderful selection of galleries and dealers from all around the UK and beyond, have participated in the Cambridge Art Fair over the years and many of them are returning for 2019. The fair aims to be vibrant and fresh for visitors, so there will always be new galleries and dealers exhibiting. ​


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