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Head East – Festival Heaven

Festivals are officially up and running again – programmes chock full of classical and jazz intersected with talks and curated walks and some with a mix of music and arts to our fantastic Autumn and Winter festival line up across the region.  Attracting some big names to join them, wrap up warm and settle in for experiences in music, literature, comedy, illuminations and much, more.


Image credit: Primadonna Festival © Adam Ravzi


Rider Spoke

Running under the Norfolk Wonder banner and part of Norfolk County Council’s EXPERIENCE Project, Rider Spoke is an art project by Blast Theory, which mixes art, theatre, and location-based technologies. An audience favourite for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival (NNF) 2021, it invites you to cycle through the streets of the town. You will be guided by a smart phone attached to your bicycle, as you search for a hiding place and record a short message there. And then you search for the hiding places of others. Working in partnership with the GroundWork Gallery, King’s Lynn; The Little Theatre, Sheringham; and St. George’s Theatre, Great Yarmouth, the Festival will present Rider Spoke over six weekends in October and November 2021. Click here to find out more and book tickets for The Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2021.

(Across Norfolk; King’s Lynn, Great Yarmouth and Sheringham – at weekends between 8 October and 14 November)


THE INTERGALACTIC HANSEATIC LEAGUE (IHL) is a fictional sci-fi, time-travel adventure with Kate Dickie of Game of Thrones and Star Wars featuring in a fun, sci-fi, time-travel adventure, which focuses on climate change. The town-scale arts project sees visitors from King’s Lynn’s future making contact with 21st century Lynn with an urgent request for help. It includes nightly large-scale projections, outdoor interactive game and sound installations, live-action film in local cinemas and on high street screens and more!

There is a promo video ‘Transmission 1’ featuring the actor Kate Dickie, who will also be appearing on cinema screens directly addressing the town’s citizens!

(King’s Lynn, Norfolk. Runs from 1 to 31 October)


Altered Feast Comedy Fest We could all do with a laugh right now, which is why we’re holding our first Comedy Fest this autumn – packed with stars of TV and some of the best stand-ups touring the UK right now.
Altered Feast, Norwich’s favourite alternative comedy cabaret night, takes over The Garage with Clutterbuck’s Comedy Club (1 October). Organised and hosted by Tom Clutterbuck, Altered Feast ran at The Birdcage for five years before moving to Norwich Arts Centre in 2021. Expect the witty, the weird and the wonderful.

(The Garage, 14 Chapel Field North, Norwich. Runs from 1 October to 19 November)


UEA Live will bring together a stellar line-up of writers and change-makers from the worlds of literature, media and politics, to mark 30 years of UEA’s flagship literary festival. All events will be in-person in the UEA Lecture Theatre block from 7 to 8pm. There will be author Q&As and the opportunity to buy signed copies of the author’s books. All events will be online for those with a digital season ticket!  The programme includes; Lauren Groff, Bimini Bon Boulash, #Merky Books with Jade LB, Lemara Lindsay-Prince and Jyoti Patel; Elizabeth Day and many more.

(UEA LIVE, Norwich Research Park, Norwich.  Runs from 6 October to 17 November)


SPILL Festival of Performance Contemporary performance arts festival, SPILL, offers a packed festival programme of thrilling indoor and outdoor events, all taking place across Ipswich and themed around Memory. The festival is presenting works by artists from across the UK and from countries around the world, as well as projects that we have grown with people living locally. The SPILL OPEN returns and is full of surprises, and this year we have a strand of programming especially put together for the festival by a group of 17 and 18 year old SPILL Young Curators. There are some big treats in store!

(Various venues across Ipswich. Runs from 27 to 31 October)


Chalk*Clay*Sand*Salt – Autumn Art Festival This is a new and dynamic Arts festival in Cromer with a wide range of activities and events themed around the local natural and social environment. Come along, experience and celebrate the unique and lesser-known aspects of living and working in this inspirational area.

(Various venues, Cromer, Norfolk. Runs from 21 to 31 October)


Inventing The Future (theatre writing festival) Leading UK theatre company, HighTide, presents a festival of new work at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich in Suffolk, from Friday 22 to Sunday 24 October. Celebrating new, diverse voices of theatre, Inventing the Future is made up of two elements – a live programme of rehearsed readings, workshops and industry events for theatre makers in the East of England; and an online symposium in partnership with the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB). For a full list of festival events and for tickets please click here

(New Wolsey Theatre, Civic Drive, Ipswich. Runs from 22 to 24 October)

Wild Paths Festival, described as ‘A new breed of music festival’, with the organisers priding themselves on hosting and delivering unique festivals and live events. Confirmed headliners include Biig Piig, Emma-Jean Thackray, Flamingods, The Big Moon and many more.

Watch the Wild Paths promo video below.

(Various venues across Norwich. Runs from 14 – 17 October)


Suffolk Shorts Film Festival proves short films are the future! Suffolk Shorts was established as a Community Interest Company in 2019 with the aim of bringing exceptional short films to Suffolk as well as encouraging local filmmaking. The Suffolk Short Film Festival is a new festival.

(Ipswich Film Theatre, Ipswich, Suffolk. Runs 8 – 10 October)


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