Suffolk has a remarkable arts and heritage offering, from ancient historical sites to cutting-edge premieres by playwrights, choreographers, composers, poets, painters, sculptors, filmmakers and other artists.
Each year Suffolk’s cultural organisations:
• Sell more than 500,000 tickets to arts events.
• Reach more than 2m people through broadcasts of their work.
• Contribute more than £20 million to the economy of the region.
• Spend £4.7m with 1,400 Suffolk businesses.
• Work with more than 100,000 people in education and outreach programmes, both in Suffolk and across the UK, from children and young people to older people living with dementia.
Here on The Suffolk Coast, the cultural scene has never been busier, just a few of the cultural highlights include:
One Night Stands (January – April): A series of premieres at DanceEast, showcasing innovative and experimental new contemporary dance and inviting audience feedback over half-price drinks in the bar, including work from Liz Aggiss and Igor and Moreno. www.danceeast.co.uk
Pulse Festival (26 May – 4 June): Ipswich’s New Wolsey Theatre host 10 days of innovative performance from around the UK, including Pulse staples The Suitcase Prize and Scratch Day, with a free music event each night. This year’s festival includes a work-in-progress performance of Gecko Theatre’s newest show, The Wedding. www.wolseytheatre.co.uk
Somewhere in England, Eastern Angles (9 March – 4 June): A new play that charts a hidden wartime story amongst the thousands of US servicemen who set up home in East Anglia during the 1940s.
Aldeburgh Festival (10-26 June) highlights have just been announced, including a 20-hour-long centrepiece called Catalogue d’Oiseaux, starting at 3.30am at Snape, featuring a dusk concert on the BBC Springwatch stage at RSPB Minsmere and finishing at midnight lying in the dark. Other highlights include Illuminations, a staging for
Other highlights include Illuminations, a staging for singer, orchestra and circus performers of music by Benjamin Britten and others, and an invitation to everyone across the UK who has never studied the piano to take the Grade 1 Challenge and make an Aldeburgh Festival main stage debut in June. www.aldeburgh.co.uk
Felixstowe Book Festival (25-26 June): Two packed days of speakers and books by the sea. www.felixstowebooksfestival.co.uk
Latitude (14-17 July): 2015 acts included Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Portishead, Alt-J and a surprise secret performance from Ed Sheeran, but they joy of the festival is in its incredible depth and diversity, from poetry, dance and theatre to exciting bands across the musical spectrum. The 2016 line-up will be announced in the spring. www.latitudefestival.com
FolkEast (19-21 August): Fast becoming the UK’s premier folk musical festival, FolkEast will be taking over the grounds of Glemham Hall for its fourth edition. 2016’s festival promises to be three days of low-fi folk music and fantastic local food.
HighTide Festival (8-18 September): In this, its 10th anniversary year eleven days of new writing and compelling theatre productions on the Suffolk coast. HighTide will return for its second year based in Aldeburgh. www.hightide.org.uk.
SPILL Festival of Performance (w/c 24 October): Returning to Ipswich, SPILL will be in venues and outdoor sites across Ipswich October half term week. The festival will present international experimental work as well as the SPILL National Platform for early makers from across the UK and Ireland. Gigs, parties and a film programme will ensure that SPILL offers a broad range of style and content. Alongside this large scale offer for visitors from across the world, SPILL is developing exciting new projects specifically aimed at serving local people, including activities for families. www.spillfestival.com