Big surge in Norwich festival ticket sales and web interest

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival has had more interest than ever before from the rest of the country and overseas.

Tickets sales for the 16-day event are already up 10pc on a year ago and the festival website has seen a 150pc increase in hits.

A handful of events have already sold out, but organisers say there are still plenty to be had.

'What's brilliant is that our audiences trust us enough to take a chance and try something completely new while the festival is on,' said artistic director William Galinsky. 'The great thing is that there is a really strong free festival programme again this year, so even if you haven't got a ticket you can come along and enjoy the fun.

'We are really excited about the growing international profile. It's great that visitors are following us with interest from as far afield as China, Brazil and Australia.'

Cuban themed shows have been popular and Bonanfana Social Club, which is being staged in the Spiegeltent in Chapelfield Gardens the nine-piece ensemble from Havana, Sierra Maestre have already sold out.

'We're thrilled that so many events are selling fast,' said Mr Galinsky. 'But we want to reassure festival-goers that if they haven't got their tickets yet, it's not too late.

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'If you've missed Sierra Maestre come and enjoy some great world music at Theatre Royal in the second week such as Staff Benda Bilili or Mariza. If you've missed out on a ticket for Bonanafana there's still some fantastic late-night entertainment at the Spiegeltent on offer.'

Spiegeltent shows are selling very strongly, as are Cantina and burlesque nights.

Dining with Alice, Mariza, Staff Benda Bilili, John Williams and Richard Harvey, Hilliard Ensemble and Eliza Carthy are also selling well.

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival runs from May 6 to 21. For more information go to www.nnfestival.org.uk/nnf11, book by phone on 01603 766400 or you can buy tickets in person at the Theatre Royal box office.

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