Norfolk & Norwich Festival confirmed to return in 2021 ‘come what may’

Daniel Brine, artistic director and chief executive, who has now announced the dates for the 2021 No

Daniel Brine, artistic director and chief executive, who has now announced the dates for the 2021 Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

The Norfolk & Norwich Festival will return in 2021, after it was cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the dates have now been announced.

The Garden Party in Chapelfield Gardens in Norwich, part of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival. Picture:

The Garden Party in Chapelfield Gardens in Norwich, part of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival. Picture: Dibs McCallum/contributed by N&N Festival - Credit: Archant

The event, which marks its 249th year in 2021, usually attracts over 80,000 people to theatres, venues and galleries across Norfolk and will take place from May 14 to 30.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, the festival next year will be adapted for social distancing and will follow the latest government guidance.

While the organisers are still hoping to hold indoor shows, in venues such as The Halls in Norwich, there will be a bigger focus on outdoor events.

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Stopgap Dance perform at a previous Norfolk & Norwich Festival Picture: Mary Doggett/contributed by

Stopgap Dance perform at a previous Norfolk & Norwich Festival Picture: Mary Doggett/contributed by N&N Festival - Credit: Archant

Daniel Brine, artistic director and chief executive of Norfolk & Norwich Festival, said: “We are so pleased to announce the 2021 dates and it feels like such a significant thing for us to do as it gives us a target to work towards, with the promise that there will be something.

“The most important thing about the festival is the spirit and the energy and we will make sure to capture that, while of course making sure it is safe, and will put something on come what may.”

Since the cancellation of the 2020 event, Mr Brine and his team have been keeping busy distributing free art materials across Norfolk and they also set up the Creative Individuals Norfolk scheme to financially support freelancers.

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Mr Brine added: “Lockdown was one hell of a shock and we did what everyone else did and moved quickly and managed to steady the ship financially. We don’t have a building to run so didn’t have those costs mounting up.

“We have been doing our bit over the summer, providing support and relief for some of those worst affected through creative projects across the region.

“Delivering a festival will provide a tremendous boost for the local economy and bring vital employment opportunities for artists, freelance crew and arts workers, all of whom have been heavily affected over the last eight months.”

The full programme will be announced in March 2021.