Norfolk festivals, celebrations and carnivals - summer 2022

The African Choir of Norfolk

The African Choir of Norfolk - Credit: Supplied by Norwich BID

Food, theatre, countryside, carnival, sport and all kinds of music from pop to classical and electronic to folk are the focus of the fabulous range of festivals across the county through July, August and September

Norwich Lord Mayor’s Celebration, July 1-3 

This year’s theme is kings and queens and the royal knees-up will celebrate queens from Boudicca to Bimini Bon Boulash. See the Lord Mayor’s Procession on Saturday July 2 and the weekend will also include a traditional funfair, street food and music in Chapelfield Gardens, a city centre skate park and Gentleman’s Walk transformed into Norwich’s ‘Royal Mile’ with street theatre and performances.  

Festival Too, Tuesday Market Place, King’s Lynn, July 1-2, 8-9 

Will Young, Tim Burgess from the Charlatans and Heather Small of M People star in the free festival in the Tuesday Market Place. The final two weekends of the festival include a 90s night on Friday July 1 and musicians and DJ sets on Saturday July 2 and performers over the final weekend include Tim Burgess with a DJ set on Friday, and a Saturday night finale featuring Will Young and Heather Small.

A large crowd on the Tuesday Market Place for the finale of Festival Too.

A large crowd on the Tuesday Market Place for the finale of Festival Too. - Credit: Ian Burt

Will Young will perform at Festival Too 2022. 

Will Young will perform at Festival Too 2022. - Credit: Supplied by Festival Too

Heather Small of the M People will perform at Festival Too. 

Heather Small of the M People will perform at Festival Too. - Credit: KOSHMO PHOTOGRAPHY

Folk in a Field Festival, Bradmoor Woods, West Acre, July 1-3 

Enjoy two music stages, activities and workshops. 

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Great Yarmouth Wheels Festival, July 2-3 

The seafront will be packed with cherished classic and contemporary cars and bikes for the free festival including the UK’s oldest surviving Wall of Death, a motorbike stunt show and the Red Dragon Monster Truck. 

Great Yarmouth Wheels Festival

Great Yarmouth Wheels Festival - Credit: Great Yarmouth Borough Council

How Hill Theatre, July 3 and 9, August 21 

Sci-fi fun, Shakespearean comedy and musical theatre feature in three summer events at How Hill, near Ludham. See a comic open-air production of War of the Worlds by the Pantaloons on July 3 and hear songs from musicals and opera by soprano Zaira Palumbo, plus afternoon tea, on July 9. The Pantaloons return on August 21 with Much Ado About Nothing. All three events, organised by the Friends of How Hill, will raise money for environmental education at the Broads study centre. Tickets and information from mikeandjeanne@btinternet.com  

The Pantaloons perform War of the Worlds at How Hill on July 3

The Pantaloons perform War of the Worlds at How Hill on July 3 - Credit: Supplied by the Friends of How Hill

How Hill

How Hill - Credit: Supplied by the Friends of How Hill

Shakespeare Festival at Norwich Cathedral. 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' presented by The Lord Chamber

The Shakespeare Festival at Norwich Cathedral with The Lord Chamberlain's Men in 2019 - Credit: Bill Smith/Norwich Cathedral

The Shakespeare Festival, Norwich Cathedral Cloisters, July 8-9 

The cloisters will be transformed into the Forest of Arden as the Lord Chamberlain’s Men bring As You Like It to Norwich. Artistic director Peter Stickney, who grew up in Norfolk, said: "There is something particularly special about enjoying this story of the joys of nature and its powers of rejuvenation and rebirth whilst sat with grass under foot and a star-filled night sky above us.” cathedral.org.uk/shakespeare   

King’s Lynn Festival, July 17-30 

The renowned festival of classical music includes a celebration of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ links with Lynn – 150 years after his birth. The composer collected the folk songs he wove into his music from fishing families in the town. Norfolk Rhapsody: Ralph Vaughan Williams in Norfolk on July 17 at King’s Lynn Town Hall explores how the great composer was influenced by Lynn.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will play Vaughan Williams, Mendelssohn, Elgar and Beethoven on July 30 in the Corn Exchange.  

Other highlights include Michael Morpurgo leading Carnival of the Animals, a concert for children, the Skampa string quartet, violinist Chloe Hanslip, the Lynn Festival Chorus, music for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, folk duo The Unthanks and the Grimethorpe Colliery Band.   

Holt Festival, July 23-30 

Music, art, theatre, celebrity talks and history walks - from drama to art and walks to woodwork, the Holt Festival will bring painters, poets, television personalities, writers and audiences to the town. 

Television antiques expert Paul Martin will be speaking at The Venue, Kerridge Way, Holt, at 6pm on July 28. 

Poet, playwright, memoirist performer and broadcaster Lemn Sissay brings his talk My Name is Why, followed by a Q&A to Stage on the Field, Holt on Friday July 29.   

The Festival Art Exhibition, at Holt church from July 16 to 31, celebrates the centenary of the birth of painter John Craxton, pairing his pictures with ceramics by Pablo Picasso and works by artists Craxton knew including Lucian Freud, Graham Sutherland, Jacob Epstein and John Piper. A programme of linked events includes talks by Norwich’s Whitbread Award winning author DJ Taylor, and Craxton’s biographer, Ian Collins.  A documentary about Craxton by north Norfolk film director and musician Tony Britten and producer Anwen Hurt, and filmed in Greece, Berlin, London and Holt, will premiere on The Arts Channel in October.  

  

Lemn Sissay, Poet

Lemn Sissay, poet will be at this year's Holt Festival. - Credit: Supplied by the Holt Festival

Marian Keyes

Marian Keyes - Credit: Dean Chalkley

Marian Keyes has millions of readers around the world – and is hoping to meet some of them when she appears at Holt Festival, in conversation with Chris Gribble, chief executive of the Norwich-based National Centre of Writing. 

Her novels includes Rachel’s Holiday, Anybody Out There? and Grown Ups, which topped bestseller lists around the world and are known for their warmth and wit, relatable characters and plots tackling real issues and realistic relationships. 

Hear Marian Keyes in conversation with the chief executive of the National Centre of Writing at The Venue, Kerridge Way, at 3pm on July 28.   

The Mike King Collective brings uplifting soul, jazz, gospel and R&B to The Venue, Holt, on July 27.  

Music at St Andrew’s Church includes pianist Ivana Gavrić on July 28 and a mix of classical and world music from The Kosmos Ensemble on July 29. 

Hilary Boyd had her first novel published in her 60s. Her books, featuring the romantic lives of older people, have been described as ‘gran-lit.’ She will be in conversation with Norfolk novelist Raffaella Barker at the Venue on July 29 at 3pm. 


The final day of the festival brings music and fun to the Stage on the Field, Gresham's Pre-Prep School on Saturday July 30, including Maynard Flip Flap’s Fabulous Festival Fun for all the family at 3pm. An evening of music includes roots rock band Flats and Sharps and N’famady Kouyaté - a fusion of African, jazz, pop, indie and funk. 

The winners of the Holt Festival Art Prizes will be announced on July 24 at Adrian Hill Fine Art in Lees Yard in Holt – which hosts the exhibition of shortlisted works July 23-30. 


Maritime Heritage Festival, Wells-next-the-Sea, July 23-24 

A flotilla, model boats, activities and competitions are on the programme for the festival based at Tugboat Yard, East Quay. 

Head Out, Not Home, Norwich, Sunday afternoons, July 24 to September 4

The annual festival of free street entertainment brings theatre, circus and music ranging from harpists to jazz to the city centre. Enjoy alfresco shows by local, national and international performers at Millennium Plain, St Gregory’s Green, Gentleman’s Walk, Westlegate, Tombland, and Riverside. 

Acts each Sunday afternoon include world, classical, jazz, flamenco, blues and folk music, the UK street performer of the year, the African Choir of Norfolk and local favourite comedian Ben Langley. Full details at visitnorwich.com 


The African Choir of Norfolk

The African Choir of Norfolk - Credit: Supplied by Norwich BID

The Ulysses Street Show is part of Norwich's Head Out, Not Home festival

The Ulysses Street Show is part of Norwich's Head Out, Not Home festival - Credit: Supplied by Norwich BID

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a star of Norwich Theatre Royal's family festival

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a star of Norwich Theatre Royal's family festival - Credit: Pamela Raith


Norwich Theatre Royal Family Festival, July 26-31 

The theatre’s first ever Family Festival is packed with performances, workshops, activities, storytelling and free drop-in sessions for children and their families at the start of the school summer holidays. 

Learn how to beatbox, enjoy a poetry picnic and watch The Very Hungry Caterpillar munch its way across the stage. There is a comedy club for children at the Playhouse plus Mr Bubbles with The Bubble Show blending magic, storytelling and...bubbles. 

Wells Carnival, July 29 - August 7 

Traditional seaside activities include a sand-castle competition, town crier competition, gillying on the quay and food stalls.

Gorleston Clifftop Festival, July 30-31 

Free, family fun includes 40 hours of live music, a fun fair, stalls, birds of prey, a fun dog show, a strongman competition, comedy, wrestling, dog agility, living history, performances from local dance and stage schools and sports groups.

Worstead Festival, July 30-31 

The celebration of rural life for all the family will include heavy horses, vintage tractors, dog shows, circus shows and workshops, a climbing wall and even a steam railway, plus music arts and crafts, food and drink.  

Sheringham Carnival, August 1-7 

Highlights include the carnival parade on Wednesday August 3 and fireworks on Sunday August 7. 

Classic Ibiza at Blickling, August 6 

An open-air celebration of White Isle-inspired house music, reinvented by the Urban Soul Orchestra, live vocalists and headline DJs.  

Houghton Festival, August 11-14 

Electronic dance music festival in the grounds of the stately home near Fakenham.  

Holkham Festival of Sport, August 12-15 

The family sports festival founded by two ex-England rugby stars is aimed at children aged five to 17. Youngsters can enjoy new sports and receive world-class coaching. Sports include rugby, hockey, cricket, football, gymnastics, netball, tennis, rowing, athletics, trampolining, boxing and archery. There is also entertainment, camping, open-air cinema and sporting taster sessions for adults, wellness workshops, a family 5km run and fun sessions for under-fives. 

North Norfolk Music Festival, South Creake, August 12-19 

The festival of classical music at St Mary’s Church South Creake includes a Vaughan Williams gala concert on August 12 celebrating the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth. Hear The Lark Ascending and many of the tunes the composer collected in and around King’s Lynn. The festival also features classical singers, pianists, string quartets and trios and a concert by the Marion Consort with music celebrating the Virgin Mary from the Renaissance to the present day.  

Cromer Carnival, August 13-19 

The Red Arrows soar over the sea on Wednesday, August 17 – with the beach and cliffs the ideal vantage point. Carnival fun throughout the week will include fancy dress, competitions, stalls and entertainment. 

Treehouse Festival, Brandon Parva, August 15-21 

Camp around a reconstructed Iron Age round house and have a go at traditional crafts and skills such as blacksmithing, woodworking, glass blowing and weaving. Join in with the cooking and music at this festival for just 100 people.  

Maui Waui Festival, Gressenhall, August 25-28 

A family-friendly weekend of music, art, culture and all things creative including bands from around the globe, Americana, body painting, talent competitions, circus shows, theatre, DJs, and children’s entertainment.  

Great Yarmouth Festival of Bowls, August 28 - September 23 

More than 1,700 bowlers will compete in the four-week festival on the open-air Britannia Bowling Greens.  

Sundown, Norfolk Showground, September 2-4. 

Some of the UK's biggest pop and bass artists play at the Norfolk Showground – plus quirky art installations and fairground rides. 

The North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival, Holkham, September 3-4 

Watch charismatic experts at work at the Cookery Theatre, enjoy live music and browse the walled gardens, packed with local producers selling their delicious wares. The entertainment also includes children's activities.

Tiny Tipple will be at the North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival at Holkham in September

Tiny Tipple will be at the North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival at Holkham in September - Credit: Supplied by North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival

Wayland Agricultural Show, Watton, September 4 

One of the oldest one-day agricultural shows in the country includes main ring displays, livestock competitions, gardening and cookery, a dog show, vintage vehicles and tractors, a food hall and fun for all the family. 

The Foodies Festival, Earlham Park, Norwich, September 9-11 

See MasterChef finalist Tony Rodd in the Chefs’ Theatre with local food favourites Richard Bainbridge of Benedicts, Galton Blackiston of Morston Hall and Andrew Jones of Farmyard, plus an interactive kids’ cookery theatre, producers’ market, feasting area and music from Liberty X and S Club All Stars, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Scouting for Girls.  

Out There Festival, Great Yarmouth, September 16-18 

International circus and street arts on the seafront, in St Georges Park and around the town centre.  

Steam Back to the Forties. North Norfolk Railway. September 17-18. 

The railway’s popular 1940s weekend returns to Sheringham and Holt and other stops along the line.