Norfolk and Norwich Festival fun swings into Norwich Rail Station

The launch of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival with the Virtual Reality Playground at Norwich Statio

The launch of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival with the Virtual Reality Playground at Norwich Station. Festival artistic director William Galinsky. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

Norfolk and Norwich Festival fun has swung into Norwich Rail Station to herald the beginning of this year's annual arts extravaganza.

The launch of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival with the Virtual Reality Playground at Norwich Statio

The launch of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival with the Virtual Reality Playground at Norwich Station. Festival artistic director William Galinsky. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

From tomorrow 17 days of weird and wonderful acts will descend upon the city and county, and among them will be VR Playground by thrill engineer Brendan Walker which will see some quirky swings popping up around the city and taking people into bizarre virtual reality worlds.

As a curtain-raiser to tomorrow's opening day, one of the swings surprised rail passengers by appearing at the station this morning, and festival director William Galinsky was among the people to try the swing out.

'It's really what the festival is all about - art, science, fun in this particular piece, and I think it will give people an experience that they won't have had before,' he said.

'This is a free show and we have got six of these units that will be popping up all over the city. Anyone aged 11 and over can ride them and they are great fun. It's like art meets a playground meets a video game.'

NNF17. Shuttlecock, one of the world's created by thrill engineer Brendan Walker for VR Playground w

NNF17. Shuttlecock, one of the world's created by thrill engineer Brendan Walker for VR Playground which is at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Image: Brendan Walker. - Credit: Brendan Walker


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About this year's festival programme as a whole, he said: 'We have 17 days of great art and serious fun coming together celebrating life in Norwich through music, song, theatre, circus, playground swings and loads of other stuff.

'It's a great festival this year. There's a lot of quite unusual things that the festival has commissioned.'

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For more Norfolk and Norwich Festival stories click here

The launch of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival with the Virtual Reality Playground at Norwich Statio

The launch of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival with the Virtual Reality Playground at Norwich Station. Festival artistic director William Galinsky. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

The reason for the event at the station was to celebrate the festival's long partnership with the region's rail operator.

Paying tribute to the support the festival receives from its principal travel partner Greater Anglia, Mr Galinsky said: 'Norfolk and Norwich Festival as it is today wouldn't really be possible without the fantastic partnership we have had with the rail company for the last 27 years since 1990.'

Jonathan Denby, head of corporate affairs for Greater Anglia said: 'Our partnership helps the festival to go from strength to strength, with a fantastic annual celebration which is fun for audiences and the local community, whilst at the same time supporting the local economy and building Norfolk and Norwich's reputation. We hope that this year's festival is a great success.'

The launch of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival with the Virtual Reality Playground at Norwich Statio

The launch of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival with the Virtual Reality Playground at Norwich Station. Festival artistic director William Galinsky. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

The festival runs from May 12 to 28. Visit www.nnfestival.org.uk

ABOUT VR PLAYGROUND

Aeronautical engineer-turned-artist Brendan Walker is the creator of VR Playground which sees people don virtual reality headsets and swing into different worlds.

NNF17. High Roller, one of the world's created by thrill engineer Brendan Walker for VR Playground w

NNF17. High Roller, one of the world's created by thrill engineer Brendan Walker for VR Playground which is at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Image: Brendan Walker. - Credit: Brendan Walker

'The worlds I have created are going to challenge your body and mind,' he said.

'I have taken the forces of the swing and re-engineered or I reverse-engineered it to create four new virtual worlds where you believe that your body is doing four very different things other than swinging. One of them is bouncing like a shuttlecock across buildings, in another you feel like you are inside a giant wheel rolling through the street, in another you feel like you are a jellyfish undulating upwards in the water. In the last one you feel like you are a very small robot that grows to giant proportions as you are lumbering through the city. As a spectator you will think people are just on an ordinary swing but the experience for people can be as extreme as going on a rollercoaster.'

WHERE YOU CAN HAVE A GO ON VR PLAYGROUND

The launch of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival with the Virtual Reality Playground at Norwich Statio

The launch of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival with the Virtual Reality Playground at Norwich Station. Festival artistic director William Galinsky. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

CASTLE MALL:

Friday, May 12 to Thursday, May 18, 11am–6pm

SAINSBURY CENTRE FOR VISUAL ARTS, on the University of East Anglia campus:

Friday, May 12, 11am-5.30pm

The launch of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival with the Virtual Reality Playground at Norwich Statio

The launch of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival with the Virtual Reality Playground at Norwich Station. Festival artistic director William Galinsky. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

Saturday, May 13 to Sunday, May 14, 11am-4.30pm

Tuesday, May 16 to Thursday, May 18, 11am-5.30pm

ADNAMS SPIEGELTENT, in Chapelfield Gardens:

Wednesday, May 17 and Friday, May 19 to Thursday, May 25, 6pm-10pm

NNF17. Walker, one of the world's created by thrill engineer Brendan Walker for VR Playground which

NNF17. Walker, one of the world's created by thrill engineer Brendan Walker for VR Playground which is at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Image: Brendan Walker. - Credit: Brendan Walker

Friday, May 26, 10am-10pm

Saturday, May 27, 10am-5pm and 7pm-10pm

Sunday, May 28, 10am–6pm

CHAPELFIELD GARDENS:

The launch of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival with the Virtual Reality Playground at Norwich Statio

The launch of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival with the Virtual Reality Playground at Norwich Station. Festival artistic director William Galinsky. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21, 12pm–6pm

Saturday, May 27 to Sunday, May 28, 12pm-6pm

OUTSIDE THE FORUM:

Monday, May 22, 3pm-7.30pm

The launch of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival with the Virtual Reality Playground at Norwich Statio

The launch of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival with the Virtual Reality Playground at Norwich Station. Festival artistic director William Galinsky. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

Tuesday, May 23 and Wednesday, May 24, 12pm-7.30pm

Thursday, May 25, 12pm–5pm

Visit www.thrilllaboratory.com

NNF17. Jellyfish, one of the world's created by thrill engineer Brendan Walker for VR Playground whi

NNF17. Jellyfish, one of the world's created by thrill engineer Brendan Walker for VR Playground which is at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Image: Brendan Walker. - Credit: Brendan Walker

For more Norfolk and Norwich Festival stories click here

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