Norfolk & Norwich Festival confirmed for 2021 with new format

The Norfolk & Norwich Festival will return in 2021 with many outdoor and socially distanced shows. 

The Norfolk & Norwich Festival will return in 2021 with many outdoor and socially distanced shows. - Credit: Dibs McCallum

The annual Norfolk & Norwich Festival is set to return this year and will include socially distanced performances and digital shows. 

Following the government's roadmap announcement on February 22, the start date for the event has been pushed back by three days and it will run from May 17 to 30.

The festival will feature a programme of music, performance, visual arts and literature in venues and outdoor spaces across Norwich and Norfolk.

Daniel Brine, artistic director and chief executive of Norfolk & Norwich Festival, said: “We are delighted to be able to say that the festival is going ahead.

"We have been working for 12 months on a special festival that could take place safely in COVID times and hope, subject to the scheduled easing of restrictions, that we will be able to deliver on all our planning.

Daniel Brine, Norfolk & Norwich Festival director, has confirmed the 2021 festival will go ahead. 

Daniel Brine, Norfolk & Norwich Festival director, has confirmed the 2021 festival will go ahead. - Credit: © Hugo Glendinning


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"We will be taking every responsible precaution, working with the local authorities and making the programme as safe and adaptable as we can.

"We will begin making performance announcements over the coming weeks and are sure there’s something within the programme that everyone will be able to enjoy.”

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The 14-day event is set to be a specially created one-off adaptation, including outdoor and socially distanced performances and a digital strand.

Mr Brine also revealed that the 2021 Festival organisers and partners will make the vast majority of the programme available on a free or ‘pay what you want’ basis.

He added: “This is just one of several radical changes we’ve made in 2021.

"We’re aware that it has been a tremendously difficult year for everyone, in all sorts of ways.

Stopgap Dance at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2019.

Stopgap Dance at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2019. - Credit: ©Mary Doggett

"While it’s not a sustainable business model beyond this year, the approach allows as many people as possible the chance to access and enjoy the festival.

"We’re able to do this in part due to the steadfast support of Arts Council England, Norwich City Council and Norfolk County Council and we thank a number of wonderful sponsors and supporters who share our ambitions.

We’re excited that we can begin our recovery from May 17.”

See all the latest updates at nnfestival.org.uk

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