New Head East campaign launched to celebrate arts in Norfolk and Suffolk

Norwich Theatre's Interlude is back for 2021 in a new location, pictured in 2020 in Chapelfield Gardens. 

Norwich Theatre's Interlude in the Close is one of the great events you can enjoy this summer. - Credit: Max Hilton

New tourism campaign Head East launches today and it will showcase the region's cultural gems and upcoming events. 

From coastal locations to rural and urban settings, over one year, Head East will highlight the region as a must-see cultural destination in the UK and encourage sustainable travel.

By highlighting a selection of events in 2021 and beyond, the campaign invites people to enjoy themselves as they reunite with loved ones.

The Head East campaign will support the recovery of Norfolk and Suffolk's cultural sectors. 

The Head East campaign will support the recovery of Norfolk and Suffolk's cultural sectors. - Credit: Head East

Head East is also demonstrating that culture is open to everyone, with campaign stories expected to range from grassroots events to high-end arts.

Whether people are long-term culture vultures or new to the scene, Head East will feature events such as the below, taking place this summer: 

GoGoDiscover's T.Rex trail will feature 20 Tyrannosaurus Rex sculptures across the city in aid of charity Break.

GoGoDiscover's T.Rex trail will feature 20 Tyrannosaurus Rex sculptures across the city in aid of charity Break. - Credit: Contributed

A Passion for Landscape: Rediscovering John Crome, Norwich Castle, Norfolk: Until September 5
Art Walk Ipswich, Suffolk: July 24 – August 15
Banksy at Moyse’s Hall Museum, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk: Until September 30
Bill Brandt | Henry Moore at the Sainsbury Centre, Norwich, Norfolk: Until August 22
Dippy, the Natural History Museum's iconic Diplodocus cast, Norwich Cathedral, Norfolk: July 13 – October 30
First Light Festival Lowestoft, various town locations, Suffolk: Until June 27
GoGo Discover T.rex trail, Norwich, Norfolk: July 12 – September 11
Head Out, Not Home, Norwich, Norfolk: July 11 – September 5
Intergalactic Hanseatic League, Kings Lynn, Norfolk: October 1
Interlude in the Close, Norwich Theatre, Norfolk: July 14 – August 30
Les Spaine – Godfather of UK Funk, Woodbridge, Suffolk: June 28
Power of Stories, Ipswich, Suffolk: June 26 – October 24
Pride in Suffolk's past: Sharing LGBQT+ stories past and present exhibition, Ipswich, Suffolk: Until July 4
Primadonna Festival, Stowmarket, Suffolk: July 31 – August 1
Summer at Snape, Snape Maltings, Suffolk: July 23 – August 31
Tony Cragg at Houghton Hall, Norfolk: Until September 26

Head East will also promote autumn and winter events to attract out-of-season visitors, who live locally or two to three hours travel time away from Norfolk and Suffolk.

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Launching as Covid-related restrictions gradually ease, the campaign also strives to support the recovery – and long-term growth – of Norfolk and Suffolk’s cultural tourism sector.

A Passion for Landscape: Rediscovering John Crome exhibition at Norwich Castle. 

A Passion for Landscape: Rediscovering John Crome exhibition at Norwich Castle. - Credit: Norfolk Museums Service

A key campaign goal is to boost sales, bookings and safe footfall.

Head East’s principal founding partners include the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership Culture Board (with funding from Arts Council England), Norfolk County Council, Suffolk County Council, Interreg EXPERIENCE Project, Norfolk Museums Service, University of East Anglia (UEA) and Visit East of England.

Chris Starkie, chief executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.

Chris Starkie, chief executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership. - Credit: New Anglia LEP

Chris Starkie, chief executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It’s fantastic to see this Head East campaign under way, promoting our important cultural sector.

"Our cultural sector is important for our local communities and a huge attraction for visitors.

"It helps to create the wonderful ‘sense of place’ which we all love about Norfolk and Suffolk and after such a challenging year, I look forward to seeing the sector, its innovative businesses and those who work in it have a successful summer.”

Stephen Crocker, chief executive and creative director of Norwich Theatre, is backing the new Head East campaign. 

Stephen Crocker, chief executive and creative director of Norwich Theatre, is backing the new Head East campaign. - Credit: Dave Guttridge

One of the Norfolk events to look forward to this summer is Interlude in the Close, Norwich Theatre's outdoor season in a big top tent in the Cathedral Close from July 14 until August 30. 

Stephen Crocker, chief executive and creative director of Norwich Theatre, said: "The impact of the pandemic has been deep and profound, and to return to the vibrant industry we truly are, we encourage the public to get out and about again, and to enjoy all that our wonderful sector has to offer."

Elsewhere in the region, the organisers of the 24-hour First Light Festival in Lowestoft, which launched in 2019 and takes place on the beach, have a range of projects running until June 27 as the main event was unable to go ahead due to the pandemic. 

The Beach of Dreams installation will be on Lowestoft South Beach until July 27, with 500 individually designed silk flags.

The Beach of Dreams installation will be on Lowestoft South Beach until July 27, with 500 individually designed silk flags. See the full list of events at firstlightlowestoft.com - Credit: Mark Massey

Genevieve Christie, director of First Light Festival, said: "The Head East campaign is really important, especially at this time, to champion the work fantastic organisations are doing in Norfolk and Suffolk and to remind people to engage with culture on their doorstep." 

Visit the Head East hub at visiteastofengland.com for inspirational itineraries, interviews and cultural highlights, and to sign up for the official newsletter and follow Head East on social media. 

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