How public events have helped to shape town
- Credit: Archant
Having helped to organise, and attended as a photographer, many events in Lowestoft over a number of years, it was sad to hear that the Lowestoft Summer Festival would not be held next year.
The Royal Green on which it was mainly staged has been the focus of many memorable events – perhaps the most noteworthy being the council-run Millennium celebrations to mark the beginning of the 2000s – when the Green was packed to see a Beach Boys tribute band welcome in the new century.
Over the years the Green has been used for carnival marching bands, fetes, fun days, circus, funfairs, the exhibition area for the Airshow and for cycle festivals.
Lowestoft is fortunate to have other event areas. Twenty years ago Sparrow's Nest hosted the East Point Music Explosion, a two-day event that showcased local bands as well as a professional performance from artists such as Buster Bloodvessel of Bad Manners and Paul Carrack.
The bandstand at the venue has also been the focal point for country music festivals, commemorative celebrations, the Bands of Hope and Glory concerts and of course the K-Syl-R summer children's discos.
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Meanwhile at Nicholas Everitt Park the Lions have held their Gala Day at the Oulton Broad venue for more than 25 years.
Some events in the town such as the Airshow and East Coast Festivals have benefited from European funding. The cash was also used to provide entertainment in the Triangle and High Street area, which included Christmas craft markets, antique fairs and continental markets.
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Public events are not cheap to stage but their future in Lowestoft is not all doom and gloom. Ambitious plans for the free, non-stop 24-hour First Light Festival on South Beach are starting to take shape.
Also the council website suggests that the East of England Park between the north beach and Whapload Road has potential amongst other facilities for space for cultural events.
Finally the future of the East Point Pavilion (EPP) could also present a huge opportunity for events in Lowestoft.
I agree with town councillors who have said that Lowestoft needs to think creatively about tearing down the EPP and instead build an event space that could be used for conferences, exhibitions, dances and live music concerts.