What does the future hold for Norwich’s cultural scene?

PUBLISHED: 13:00 13 February 2019 | UPDATED: 13:37 13 February 2019

Norfolk and Norwich Festival director Daniel Brine. Photo: Claire Haigh

Norfolk and Norwich Festival director Daniel Brine. Photo: Claire Haigh

Claire Haigh

Be it dance, theatre or live music, Norwich boasts an eclectic and impressive mix of live performances. But what does the future hold for the city’s cultural scene?

Norwich Arts Centre director Pasco-Q Kevlin. Photo : Steve AdamsNorwich Arts Centre director Pasco-Q Kevlin. Photo : Steve Adams

Daniel Brine, director of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, which in 2022 will celebrate its 250th anniversary, said the festival’s upcoming birthday had given organisers pause for thought on the event’s role in the city.

He said: “[We’re] asking what a festival is and what a festival should be in the 21st century.

“When we look to the future I think things are going to change, I think that sense of community will be reflected more in the festival and by the artists in general.

“We have a really important place to bring really high quality artists to Norwich and Norfolk but at the same time we have to be inclusive to people in the community.”

The Norfolk & Norwich Festival Ragroof tea dance. Picture: Ian BurtThe Norfolk & Norwich Festival Ragroof tea dance. Picture: Ian Burt

Mr Brine also said he believed technology would change how people experienced the arts and how artists created work.

“Clearly there are going to be some changes around tech, across all of the arts, in that artists are changing the way they work,” he said.

“The arts experience is different, artists now talk about the experience of going to the arts.”

Pasco-Q Kevlin, director of Norwich Arts Centre, echoed Mr Brine’s views that the future of live performances lay in the experience.

He said: “Artists aren’t as bothered by genres as we are, many artists are working across disciplines and we need to find platforms for them.”

Mr Kevlin said he also wanted to see those working within Norwich’s music scene to continue to enable the city to foster great talent.

He said: “Live music is one of the many strengths of the city. I think there is the opportunity to make some big plans, make some new directions. [Norwich’s music scene] is one of the most vibrant scenes anywhere, it’s a really interesting scene and it’s a very supportive scene, that’s one of it’s great strengths, and I think that will become stronger.”

He said: “The best thing we can do working in the coal face is listen to young people and then make decisions based on what they are saying.”

• The Norwich Society and Evening News are holding a public debate about the future of the city at the Forum on Tuesday, February 19 at 6pm. Admission is free, but booking here is recommended.

• Our Future of Norwich takeover week is brought to you in association with Norwich City Council and Norwich Business Improvement District (BID).

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