Why was there a brass band playing at Norwich Train Station today?

Norfolk & Norwich Festival opening event at Norwich train station.

Norfolk & Norwich opening event at Norwich train station. Students from National Youth Jazz Orchestra. Ruby Barber, Ewan Parkin and Ucheena Cohen-Shah with Jonathan Denby, head of corporate affairs at Abellio Greater Anglia and Daniel Brine, festival director, Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

Bleary-eyed passengers heading on their morning commutes were given a jolly wake-up call at Norwich Train Station today.

A brass band tooted tunes on the concourse to mark the beginning of this year's Norfolk & Norwich Festival. 

The N&N Festival has returned for its 250th year - bringing with it events, shows and workshops for city folk to enjoy.

Crowds gathered around the National Youth Jazz Orchestra playing a new fanfare, called 'Invigorate', on May 12.

Norfolk & Norwich opening event at Norwich train station. Ruby Barber from National Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Norfolk & Norwich opening event at Norwich train station. Ruby Barber from National Youth Jazz Orchestra. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

Jonathan Denby, head of corporate affairs at Abellio Greater Anglia, said: "I'm delighted to continue our partnership with the N&N Festival which now stretches back 32 years.

"It remains a really successful collaboration which benefits the festival, Greater Anglia as well as the communities and businesses in the area.

"We're pleased to be playing a part in the 250th event where we get back to normal coming out of the pandemic."

Daniel Brine, Norfolk & Norwich festival director, Jonathan Denby, head of corporate affairs at Abellio Greater Anglia.

Norfolk & Norwich opening event at Norwich train station. Daniel Brine, festival director, Jonathan Denby, head of corporate affairs at Abellio Greater Anglia. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

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Mr Denby added: "The start of the festival is a curtain raise on proceedings before it starts properly - we have an opening to let people know it's starting, get them excited and perhaps raise some awareness to those who may not have heard of it before.

"Being 250 years makes it very special - it's stunning that it's lasted for so long."

Norfolk & Norwich opening event at Norwich train station. Students from National Youth Jazz Orchestra

Norfolk & Norwich opening event at Norwich train station. Students from National Youth Jazz Orchestra. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

In the past the festival has opened to acrobats and dancers taking over the station.

Daniel Brine, artistic director of the N&N Festival for the last four years, said: "Since it was established in 1772 the festival has been cultural highlight for the people of Norfolk and Norwich.

"We're not only an important cultural event but we also make considerable social and economic contributions to the community in which we live, work, learn and play.

"There's a lot of milestones this year.

"Not only is the 250th anniversary important but also coming back after Covid feels extraordinary.

Norfolk & Norwich opening event at Norwich train station.

Norfolk & Norwich opening event at Norwich train station. Ruby Barber, Daniel Brine, festival director, Jonathan Denby, head of corporate affairs at Abellio Greater Anglia, Ewan Parkin and Ucheena Cohen-Shah. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

"One of the great things we've done is adapted and changed throughout its 250 year history and this is just another example of how we can do that."

The 2022 festival runs from May 13 to 29.