Norfolk and Norwich Festival launches book to celebrate 250th anniversary

Norfolk and Norwich Festival launches book to celebrate 250th anniversary

Norfolk and Norwich festival is launching a book to celebrate its 250th anniversary.

Festival for a Fine City by Rob Mitchell will uncover the event's "long and rich history" which goes back to 1772. Norfolk and Norwich Festival is considered to be the oldest single-city arts festival in the UK and takes place each May for 17 days. 

It is now recognised for transforming public spaces, city streets, performance venues, parks, forests and beaches, but began as a cathedral service fundraiser for the new Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. In his book, Mitchell explores the city's links with world class virtuoso musicians and titans of the English music scene like Elgar, Britten and Vaughan Williams, and uncovers the tales of the pieces, people and places behind its evolution.

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.”