Photo Gallery: Magdalen-Augustine festival celebrates Norwich’s ‘creative quarter’
A colourful kaleidoscope of creativity lit up a northern Norwich neighbourhood during an event designed to celebrate the area's rich cultural and artistic diversity.
The third annual Magdalen-Augustine street festival showcased the city's 'creative quarter' with a series of shows and attractions around Magdalen Street, St Augustine's Street and Anglia Square.
Throughout the day on Saturday, the dizzying variety of entertainment spanned a range including storytelling, tandem rides, Caribbean food, drummers, belly dancers, art and Thai boxing.
Some of the city's finest musicians were on show too, with a stage set up in Anglia Square for American-influenced bands and singers, contrasting the classical recitals at St Augustine's church and the afternoon of acoustic music at the King of Hearts.
'Roaming acts' included a vintage city discovery trail, yarn-bombers, buskers and Morris dancers, while a pop-up Magdalen Memorial Cafe was set up at Epic Studios, harking back to Magdalen Street's past – including the return of the Dolls' Hospital which used to operate there.
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Under the flyover, artists, voluntary groups, political organisations and charities set up stalls to talk to shoppers and passers-by.
The event was founded to highlight the 'creativity, diversity and sustainability' of this part of the city – but also to recognise the community cohesion which has helped rejuvenate it after a period in the doldrums.
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Festival organiser Stefi Barna, a University of East Anglia lecturer who moved to the city from Los Angeles five years ago, said the current proliferation of vintage, second-hand and charity shops was a symbol of the area's resilience to tough economic times.
'Every city has a neighbourhood like this, and usually it is cherished,' she said. 'Here in Norwich, we have this funky and diverse place – it is like the city's Bohemian neighbourhood. We decided it was a good idea to have a street festival to celebrate it.
'Every year we have dozens of musicians, some of which are quite well-known professionally, who come out of the woodwork wanting to perform here, so the whole thing runs on just a few hundred pounds for insurance and leaflets.
'They turn up and perform for free because they like the idea that in a recession there is a community that is cohesive and tries to have a positive view on the future. That is what makes it such a resilient and vibrant neighbourhood.
'A lot of the shops are full now and we have a bigger concentration of vintage, second-hand and charity shops than you would find in most places outside London. Then there is all the ethnic restaurants and food shops.
'It is a really positive vibe. These are hard times, but people are really making a go of it in Magadalen Street and St Augustine's.'