Norfolk & Norwich Festival Release Its 250th Anniversary Book By Rob Mitchell Uncovering Its Long And Rich History
AHEAD OF THE 250th ANNIVERSARY, NORFOLK & NORWICH FESTIVAL ANNOUNCE THAT A BOOK IS TO BE RELEASED CHRONICLING THE FESTIVAL’S HISTORY
FESTIVAL FOR A FINE CITY BY ROBERT MITCHELL CELEBRATES THE RICH CULTURAL HERITAGE OF UK’S OLDEST SINGLE-CITY ARTS FESTIVAL
Ahead of Norfolk & Norwich Festival’s 250th anniversary celebrations next year a brand new book has been launched uncovering its long and rich history. With its origins going as far back as 1772, Norfolk & Norwich Festival is considered to be the oldest single-city arts Festival in the UK. Festival for a Fine City by Rob Mitchell is released today and available to buy online. Taking place each May for 17 days, the 2022 edition of the Festival runs 13 - 29 May.
Now recognised for transforming public spaces, city streets, performance venues, parks, forests and beaches the Festival began as a cathedral service fundraiser for the new Norfolk and Norwich Hospital in 1772. It quickly blossomed into an internationally renowned triennial music festival, and Mitchell traces the story of Norfolk & Norwich Festival’s development towards the exciting mixed music and arts celebration that it is today.
Exploring the city's links with world class virtuoso musicians and titans of the English music scene like Elgar, Britten and Vaughan Williams, Mitchell takes a whirlwind journey through 250 years that have shaped the city and the Festival, uncovering the tales of the pieces, people and places behind its evolution.
In recent years the Festival has collaborated with, and presented extraordinary local and internationally renowned artists such as Branford Marsalis, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson and Hugh Masekela, and is well known for its large-scale free, outdoor events.
Since Daniel Brine became Festival Director in 2018, the organisation has also made a move to working on more year round programmes within the local community and environment.
Author, researcher and local historian Rob Mitchell said “As a lifelong culture lover in Norfolk, I was keen to tell the compelling story of our county's biggest and oldest festival. From its beginnings providing funds for the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital the Festival has had a social and cultural role in civic life in the East of England. The celebrations that take place each springtime have their roots in a festival which has always given a platform to new talents, commissioned major composers, theatrical productions and art exhibitions. I look at some of the people that have made significant contributions as well as how the Festival remit has broadened over the last two centuries - often against all odds but always coming back stronger - and how it successfully morphed from a triennial feast of culture to the cutting-edge annual programmes of today.”
The programme for the 250th anniversary Norfolk & Norwich Festival will be announced next year.
Rob Mitchell is an independent local historian and researcher specialising in music and the arts. Rob lives and works in Norwich and has nearly twenty years of experience working in libraries and local archives. He has a passion for all music, but especially classical and jazz, and can occasionally be found playing piano for a swing trio in local pubs! He is a strong advocate of making music accessible to everyone. Festival for a Fine City is his first book.
About Norfolk & Norwich Festival
Norfolk & Norwich Festival shares exceptional arts experiences across East England. We lead and support celebration, creativity and curiosity in our community to make our part of the world a great place to live, work and play. The Festival takes place in Norwich and around Norfolk each May and increasingly works year-round on projects, with artists and communities, to explore the physical and cultural identities of our place.
The organisation has been an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation since April 2012 and is one of 10 Bridge Organisations with a mandate to develop arts and cultural opportunities for children and young people in the East of England. Norfolk & Norwich Festival is funded and supported by Arts Council England, Norwich City Council and the generous support of other sponsors and donors.