Jam-packed line-up announced for 250th Norfolk and Norwich Festival

Daniel Brine, Norfolk and Norwich Festival director, ready to launch the programme for 2022 at the Assembly House. 

Daniel Brine, Norfolk and Norwich Festival director, ready to launch the programme for 2022 at the Assembly House. - Credit: Denise Bradley

From giant dominoes to the return of the Adnams Spiegeltent, the Norfolk and Norwich Festival will return bigger and better than ever.

The festival began as a cathedral service fundraiser for the new Norfolk and Norwich Hospital in 1772 and now in its 250th year is a multi-arts celebration, welcoming talent from across the world. 

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival celebrates its 250th year - pictured here in 1896. 

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival celebrates its 250th year - pictured here in 1896. - Credit: Supplied

It will run for 17 days from Friday, May 13 until Sunday, May 29 with more than 100 events, 18 new commissions and 40 free events across Norfolk, with the main locations The Halls and Chapelfield Gardens.

The festival will begin with a giant domino topple running from Anglia Square to The Forum at 6pm on May 13, with support from 200 volunteers. 

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival will begin with a giant domino topple.

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival will begin with a giant domino topple. - Credit: Tom Arran

250 Fanfares sees nine free and open-air commissions popping up over the opening weekend, featuring musicians from the National Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Chapelfield Gardens will once again become Festival Gardens, with the Adnams Spiegeltent and bar returning.

Highlights including Le Gateau Chocolat and Jonny Woo, Cirque Alfonse and Grace Petrie.

Cirque Alfonse perform in the Adnams Spiegeltent.

Cirque Alfonse perform in the Adnams Spiegeltent. - Credit: Frederic Barette

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Over the middle weekend on May 21 and 22, the free Garden Party returns from 12pm to 5pm, with eight new outdoor shows for families. 

Other highlights include Fairytales and Nightingales (May 23, St Andrew's Hall), with a musical programme celebrating Jenny Lind, and powerful political performance Peaceophobia in Rose Lane Car Park (May 18-21).

The City of Literature Weekend returns from May 27 to 29, featuring bestselling novelist, memoirist and literary activist Kit de Waal. 

Peaceophobia will be performed in Rose Lane Car Park. 

Peaceophobia will be performed in Rose Lane Car Park. - Credit: Karol Wyszynski

Highlights outside of the city include Signal on Sea, with a sound installation on Great Yarmouth's North Beach on various dates. 

Britten Sinfonia and Norwich Philharmonic Chorus close the festival on May 29 as they join forces in St Andrew's Hall to crown Festival 250 with Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Five Tudor Portraits.

The free Garden Party will return to Chapelfield Gardens.

The free Garden Party will return to Chapelfield Gardens. - Credit: Dibs McCallum

Daniel Brine, festival director, said: "It is a good excuse to get out with family and friends, see fantastic things and have experiences together.

"We are really going for it in our 250th year, with special projects and a lot of participation work with children and young people."

Booking opens on Wednesday, March 9 at nnfestival.org.uk where you will be able to see the full programme.