Norwich Fringe Festival line-up revealed

Rob GarrattAs the buzz grows bigger every day for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, the programme has just been unveiled for its smaller, younger sibling.Support Norwich on FacebookOfficial Norwich 2013 bid websiteRob Garratt

As the buzz grows bigger every day for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, the programme has just been unveiled for its smaller, younger sibling.

Norwich's City of Culture bid has been dealt a boost as organisers of the Norwich Fringe Festival have revealed one of the largest and widest programmes to date.

The Fringe festival is a celebration of city music, poetry, comedy and other art events, and takes place during the same dates as its bigger brother.

While the countywide festival is renowned for bringing some of the best international performers into Norwich, the Fringe's aim is to draw people's attention to the plethora of events and talent that is already here.

Organizer Amy Wragg said: 'The Fringe is a very large part of the City of Culture bid - it's what's local and what's here anyway. A City of Culture should be about the people that live here all the time.'

Highlights of this year's event include a live reading of fairytale Life of Grimm, at The Forum on May 9, a fundraiser by residents and staff at Norwich's YMCA, Hands For Haiti at Norwich Arts Centre on May 14, and a visit by literary entertainers the Book Club Boutique to Norwich Arts Centre on May 22.

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The first Saturday of the festival, May 8, will see musicians converge on the city centre for a Big Busk, followed on the same day by a special club night at Norwich Waterfront where the DJ will spin music by city bands.

More music comes in the form of an informal percussion jam session, Drums Not Guns, at St Gregory's Centre for the Arts on May 11, and Folk Uke, an evening of music with the Norwich Ukulele Society, at The Ten Bells on May 7.

'We've gone all out this year; we really wanted to capture everything,' said Ms Wragg.

'The main thing is we're trying to show people who come to the city for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival what else happens here all year round, so that they come back in the future.

'We're trying to complement the main festival, and we're picking up where they left off. The vitality, quality and dedication of artists here is incredible and we want to share that.'

The Fringe festival, which runs from May 7 to 22 and is now in its eighth year, is put together by a committed team volunteers.

After the first team behind it had a year off in 2008, Ms Wragg lead a bid at the eleventh hour to relaunch the festival last May.

It resulted in a busy schedule with at least one event every day throughout the 16-day festival period, but with a whole year to plan this year's Fringe has more than double the number of events and a much wider scope.

The wheels are already in motion for an even bigger and better Fringe festival next year, with hopes for more theatre events in future.

Ms Wragg, 27, a YMCA support worker from Bury Street in the Golden Triangle, added: 'Norwich is a great place to live, particularly for art; every night that are three of four events on and there is always a choice.

'I love Norwich and I think it's incredible, it excites me and challenges me, and I really think we could win and become a City of Culture.'

Festival programmes will be available to pick up around Norwich in coming days. For more information go to

Support Norwich on FacebookOfficial Norwich 2013 bid website