Final countdown to the first-ever WOW Norwich festival

The launch party for Norwich's inaugural WOW Norwich festival.Photo: Kelly Robb

The launch party for Norwich's inaugural WOW Norwich festival.Photo: Kelly Robb - Credit: Kelly Robb

The final countdown has begun for Norwich's inaugural Women of the World Festival which takes place later this month.

Women of the World - known as WOW - is said to be the largest women's movement across the globe and its next stop is our fine city.

Norwich Arts Centre held a special launch party on Monday as a curtain-raiser to the event which will run from April 28 to 29 and both celebrate women and girls and also take a frank look at barriers that can prevent them achieving their potential.

While most of the WOW Norwich events will take place at OPEN, the event is being led by Norwich Arts Centre and the Southbank Centre and is funded by Spirit of 2012.

Much of the Norwich programme has also been inspired by the views of local people who attended a series of 'thinkins' ahead of the festival.

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Rosie Arnold, Norwich Arts Centre's executive producer and WOW Norwich programmer, said: 'It was wonderful to share the WOW programme with the Norwich community at the launch party and the crowd especially enjoyed performances from some of the artists appearing at the weekend event.

'We're very proud that Norwich helped to shape WOW right from the very start with the thinkin sessions and we're excited to present an eclectic, informative and celebratory festival programme in April.'

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The launch party included poetry from Molly Naylor, a reading from Sick by Shey Hargreaves, a performance extract from Dysney Disfunction by Michelle Sewell, music from Lucy Grubb, and poetry reading from Marcia X.

The full WOW Norwich programme - which was revealed on March 8 to mark International Women's Day - features a jam-packed line-up full of talks, debates, music, activism, comedy, workshops and more.Founded in 2010 by Southbank Centre's artistic director Jude Kelly, the WOW movement has already reached more than two million people in 23 cities worldwide.

Weekend tickets for WOW Norwich events at OPEN cost £20 (£15 concessions). Day tickets £12 (£8 concessions). For more on the full line-up at OPEN and to book tickets, visit or call 01603 660352.

A number of extra events linked to WOW will also be taking place across the city.

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