New festival offers a smorgasbord of music, culture and art

Hedingham Castle grounds at sunset

The first EA Festival will take place at Hedingham Castle, in Essex, from July 31 to August 1 - Credit: EA Festival

Head East, a new regional cultural tourism campaign, celebrates the rich diversity and quality of arts, culture and heritage found on our doorstep. Joanne Ooi, founder of the EA Festival, tells us more about this new festival. 

EA Festival is a new music, culture and art festival launching on July 31 at Hedingham Castle, in Essex. Rather than focusing on a single theme or art form, the festival is a true smorgasbord and covers everything from traditional arts and letters to sustainability and relationships.  

Speakers include Daisy Buchanan, Rowan Pelling, John Lloyd, Susie Dent, Mike Figgis, William Sieghart and John Lloyd. In addition, there will be a diverse set of musical performances, ranging from Roman Kosyakov, winner of the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition, to Talvin Singh, the renowned tabla player, and Tawiah, a leading exponent of alt-soul.  

Joanne Ooi, founder of the EA Festival

Joanne Ooi, founder of the EA Festival - Credit: EA Festival

On top of the talks and concerts in the main marquee, there will be an art exhibition of regional artists and a sculpture installation comprising 10 or so pieces placed amongst the grounds of Hedingham Castle. East Anglian sculptors Laurence Edwards and Maurice Blik will unveil bronze sculptures of a monumental size (8 ft), making this art installation one of the most large-scale and significant in the region.  

On Sunday, August 1 at 1.30pm, Adam Robinson, producer and curator of the project will lead a guided tour of the sculpture garden with the artists in attendance. The walk is free and unticketed.  

For those who are unable to attend EA Festival in person, the two-day event will be livestreamed in real-time, a first for any festival in East Anglia and one of the first such instances in the UK, courtesy of a purpose-built Superfast internet connection supplied by County Broadband, EA Festival's infrastructure partner.  

Purchasers of tickets to the real-life event will receive complimentary access to the livestream, while tickets for the virtual festival can be purchased on the festival website at

Stay up to date with new events by visiting and following the campaign on social media at #HeadEastUK or @HeadEast.UK 

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