Search

Joy as ‘world class’ festival will be staged in town once more

PUBLISHED: 00:01 31 January 2020

Some of the crowds at the First Light Festival in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes

Some of the crowds at the First Light Festival in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes

Archant

A popular beach and seafront will be transformed once more this summer as a 24-hour festival makes a stunning return.

People enjoying Kensington Gardens as part of the Lowestoft's First Light Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPeople enjoying Kensington Gardens as part of the Lowestoft's First Light Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The First Light Festival will go-ahead on Lowestoft's south beach in June this year, organisers have confirmed today.

In September council bosses agreed to put up to £200,000 into organising the return of the First Light Festival.

The First Light Festival in Lowestoft at night. Picture: Mick HowesThe First Light Festival in Lowestoft at night. Picture: Mick Howes

And with Arts Council England having now confirmed their support with additional match funding to ensure the 2020 First light Festival can take place, a council spokesman said; "For the first time, we can confirm that it is definitely happening."

First Light - the 24-hour, non-stop multi-arts and science festival - will begin on Lowestoft's south beach at noon on Saturday, June 20 and run continuously until noon on Sunday, June 21.

The First Light Festival in Lowestoft as captured at night. Picture: Mick HowesThe First Light Festival in Lowestoft as captured at night. Picture: Mick Howes

The first festival was held on Lowestoft's south beach, Kensington Gardens and promenades during June's midsummer solstice.

Data revealed around 30,000 people attended the event - three times more than the anticipated 10,000 - as up to £900,000 in economic benefits was generated.

A crowded beach at Lowestoft's First Light Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYA crowded beach at Lowestoft's First Light Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Thrilled to announce its return, festival directors Genevieve Christie and Wayne Hemingway, said: "We are absolutely delighted that both East Suffolk Council and Arts Council England have agreed to fund the festival again.

"More than 30,000 people joined us at the inaugural event last year and experienced the highest quality dance, music, arts and science programmed in collaboration with the region's foremost cultural organisations including Dance East, Snape Maltings and national science institutions CEFAS and the Natural History Museum.

Images from the inaugural First Light Festival in Lowestoft. Picture: Christopher Mortimer.Images from the inaugural First Light Festival in Lowestoft. Picture: Christopher Mortimer.

"It transformed the beach and seafront into a welcoming, social space, enriching the local arts ecology with opportunities for local artists and performers to showcase their skills alongside world class talent - including Mercury award-winning musician Talvin Singh, Six Music DJ Gilles Peterson and award-winning film director Danny Boyle.

"Having seen the impressive power of the local community to support and celebrate their place at an event like this, we are excited to begin programming for this year's festival."

The Pakefield man sculpture at First Light Festival goes up in flames. Credit: Gareth PepperellThe Pakefield man sculpture at First Light Festival goes up in flames. Credit: Gareth Pepperell

According to the organisers, this year's festival programme will be launched at the end of March in Lowestoft.

The Pakefield man statue being dismantled two days after the First Light Festival on Lowestoft beach. Pictures: Andrew McMeekin PhotographyThe Pakefield man statue being dismantled two days after the First Light Festival on Lowestoft beach. Pictures: Andrew McMeekin Photography

'World class event'

Elise Day, eight, on the back of the dragon, at Lowestoft's First Light Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYElise Day, eight, on the back of the dragon, at Lowestoft's First Light Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The First Light Festival was conceived as part of the vision for the cultural regeneration for south beach and also for wider cultural regeneration for Lowestoft.

With a unique non-stop, 24-hour programme at the inaugural festival, free access and more than 160 free events attracted more than 30,000 people.

Eddie Lambert, four, front, with Maya Day, five, and Elliott Barnard, four, inside the dragon on the beach at Lowestoft's First Light Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYEddie Lambert, four, front, with Maya Day, five, and Elliott Barnard, four, inside the dragon on the beach at Lowestoft's First Light Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Of its return, Craig Rivett, cabinet member for economic development at East Suffolk Council, said: "This is really good news, not just for Lowestoft but for the whole region.

"We have worked incredibly hard to secure the return of the First Light Festival after the success of the event last year and we cannot wait to welcome visitors from all over the country and even beyond to the town and our incredible golden beaches.

"Lowestoft has proved that it can stage a world class event and local people have shown how much this Festival means to them.

"We are delighted to fund the event and the support from the Arts Council indicates a real faith in the town to deliver."


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press