Rail staff become Norfolk and Norwich festival ambassadors

Kate ScotterAll aboard the Norfolk and Norwich Festival is the message being sent out to train passengers in a bid to boost audience numbers.Platform staff, conductors, buffet car attendants and ticket sales staff on National Express East Anglia trains have become 'Festival Ambassadors' to help attract audiences from across London and East Anglia to this year's event.Kate Scotter

All aboard the Norfolk and Norwich Festival is the message being sent out to train passengers in a bid to boost audience numbers.

Platform staff, conductors, buffet car attendants and ticket sales staff on National Express East Anglia trains have become 'Festival Ambassadors' to help attract audiences from across London and East Anglia to this year's event.

Armed with a factsheet of 10 things to know about this year's cultural extravaganza, the new 'ambassadors' will be aiming to get as many travellers on their trains as possible on board for this May's festival.

Jonathan Denby, head of corporate affairs at National Express East Anglia, said: 'There can be few places in the UK in which it is so appealing to live, work or holiday as East Anglia.


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'But there are still thousands of people that either live here or visit come here every year who are unaware of the breadth of what's on offer at the festival.

'Many of our Norwich-based customer-facing staff are in a prime position to spread the word about the festival - an annual cultural highlight - and help make 2010 the best year ever.'

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This year's Norfolk and Norwich Festival gets under way on May 7 and will run for 16 days.

The region's main train operator, now National Express East Anglia, has sponsored the festival since 1991 and became principal sponsor in 1995.

Jonathan Holloway, festival artistic director, said: 'I travel on National Express trains all the time, and they are a great place to think, to plan, to hear about something new.

'This year's Festival really will be the best one yet and we're thrilled to be supported by the staff at National Express in this year.

'The quality of life in Norwich and in Norfolk is second to none and for a long time it's been a bit of a secret.

'However, the recent short listing of Norwich to be the first UK City of Culture has thrown into sharp relief the brilliance of what's on offer in his part of the world.'

National Express East Anglia staff have also been invited to join the host of volunteers this year and have signed up as event assistants, crew members and stewards for some of the festival's 350-plus events.

Travellers on Cambridge and London lines will be able to pick up Norfolk and Norwich Festival brochures at selected staffed stations or pick up a tip or two about what's in store from platform staff, conductors, ticket sales and catering staff.

Top 10 things to know about NNF10:

1. The festival will be running from May 7-22.

2. Its programme includes a selection of classical and contemporary music, circus, visual arts and children's events.

3. It is the fourth largest city arts festival in the UK after Edinburgh, Manchester and Brighton.

4. There will be more than 350 performances in more than 50 venues.

5. More than 1,000 performers will be travelling to the county for the festival this year.

6. Under 25s can bag �5 tickets for more shows.

7. One of the region's biggest ever free firework events will be at Earlham Park on May 8.

8. More than 300,000 people are expected to attend the festival this year.

9. Performers and artists will travel from all over the world to be part of NNF10,

10. To make sure you arrive on time, make sure you have all necessary information with you by going to www.nnf10.org.uk or by calling 01603 766400.

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