Hopes outdoor music gig can kickstart the arts after lockdown

Maya Law performing at the Garden Sessions event at Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich, on May 29, 2021.

Maya Law performing as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival and Wild Paths Garden Sessions event at Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich, on May 29, 2021. - Credit: NEIL DIDSBURY

The duo behind a live outdoor gig hope it will help kickstart the creative scene across the country as lockdown eases.

Garden Sessions, which took place at Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich, on Saturday, May 29, and continues on Sunday, May 30, rounds off this year's amended Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

The Garden Session live music gig at Chapelfield Gardens on May 29, 2021.

The Garden Session live music gig at Chapelfield Gardens on May 29, 2021, organised by Wild Paths and Norfolk and Norwich Festival. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

And organisers James Hardie, music programmer for the festival, who joined forces with Wild Paths festival founder, Ben Street, said it was nice to see the "sheer delight" on people's faces in the audience.

Mr Hardie said: "You sense a renewed energy for people to see acts they have not seen before. It has been very moving see the interaction between artists and the audience. People have realised how much they have missed live music."

Audiences watch live music at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival Garden Sessions in Chapelfield Garden

Audiences watch live music at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival and Wild Paths Garden Sessions in Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich. - Credit: NEIL DIDSBURY

The gig on Saturday saw performances from four artists, including Norwich singer-songwriter Maya Law and critically acclaimed jazz drummer and producer Moses Boyd.

Sunday's socially distant event, taking place from 1pm to 5pm, will also star four acts and the maximum audience capacity each day is 500.

Members of the socially distant audience at the Garden Sessions event on May 29, 2021.

Members of the socially distant audience at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival and Wild Paths Garden Sessions event on May 29, 2021, at Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Mr Hardie added: "The Norfolk and Norwich Festival was one of the first live arts events out of the tracks. We are kickstarting the scene."

Music lovers enjoying the Norfolk and Norwich Festival and Wild Paths Garden Sessions live music event on May 29, 2021.

Music lovers enjoying the Norfolk and Norwich Festival and Wild Paths Garden Sessions live music event on May 29, 2021, at Norwich's Chapelfield Gardens. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Mr Street, who started Wild Paths Festival two years ago, said the main Norfolk and Norwich Festival and Garden Sessions were setting a precedent and could have ripple effects on the music scene across the country.

Wild Fields Festival organiser Ben Street, which is heading to the Norfolk Showground Picture: Suppl

Ben Street, founder of Wild Paths. - Credit: Archant

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"It is so important to create a strong creative community in Norwich," he added.

The Garden Sessions were the first time the pair had collaborated for the festival but they hoped to again.

They added the pandemic had also forced people to change the way creative events are run in the future with a focus on flexibility.

Audiences watch live music at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival Garden Sessions in Chapelfield Garden

A group of friends including Katie Colley (third from the right), from Norwich, enjoying the Garden Sessions event. - Credit: NEIL DIDSBURY

Katie Colley, 33, from Norwich, who works for mental health charity Mind, was enjoying Saturday's gig with her friends from Norfolk and London after months of not being able to see each other.

She said: "It is great to be out again. I don't see the harm in doing things like this."

Audiences watch live music at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival Garden Sessions in Chapelfield Garden

University students from the Durham area enjoying the Garden Sessions gig on May 29, 2021. (From left) Hannah Anson, 22, Karishma Sangtani, 22, Clara Knight, 22, and Evie Hill, 22. - Credit: NEIL DIDSBURY

Karishma Sangtani, 22, who was with her university friends from the Durham area, said: "It feels surreal to be watching live music."

Her friend Evie Hill, 22, said: "It is a really nice atmosphere."




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