• man and child on beach at First Light Festival
  • Children on beach at First Light Festival
  • Beach at First Light Festival

First Light Festival returns to Lowestoft's South Beach on 17 & 18 June

Lowestoft’s renowned free cultural, community focused event, ‘First Light Festival’ returns to South Beach, Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th June 2023.
After a triumphant weekend in 2022, Lowestoft’s free summer solstice celebration will return for 2023. Inspired by Lowestoft’s location as the most Easterly part of the country and therefore the first to receive sunlight, First Light Festival's programme has been curated to celebrate the cycles of the sun with events taking place throughout the weekend from sunrise to sundown.

Championing Lowestoft as a growing creative hub by showcasing and supporting new talent within the local community, alongside a full programme of events and activations to engage and excite – First Light Festival is the UK’s only free beach festival.


Sunlight Stage at First Light Festival
Taking to the Sunlight Stage will be DJ Paulette - 2022’s Winner of the DJ Mag Top 100 Lifetime Achievement
Award, DJ Luke Una - Cult club culture pioneer and one half of iconic duo, The Unabombers, Jembaa Groove - 2023 SXSW-approved, Berlin-based 7-piece band, FolkEast presents folk legend Eliza Carthy and many more.
First Light also features a strong showcase of local and emerging talent, and a diverse line up of East Anglia’s foremost DJs.

First Word Stage

First Word at First Light Festival

On the First Word stage, there's comedy, spoken word and performances curated by acclaimed poet Luke Wright. Highlights include Linton Kwesi Johnson - World renowned reggae poet and recording artist; Josie Long - Multi-award-winning comedian and television panel show regular; Joelle Taylor - 2022 TS Elliot-prize winning poet; Caleb Femi - Former Young People’s Laureate; Harry Baker - World Poetry Slam Champion and Jasmine Gardosi - Birmingham Poet Laureate and winner of the Out-Spoken Prize for Poetry. Plus Robin Ince will also be headlining a special evening event at The Seagull Theatre

Unique Dawn Experience

Sunrise at First Light Festival (c) Charlotte McGuinness
Gather by the water’s edge as the first sunlight creeps over the horizon for a programme of newly commissioned performance, music and feasting that mark the shifting of seasons. Come together with friends old and new and become an official member of the Sunrise Club: a special group that assembles once a year but creates memories that last a lifetime.

Shining a Light on Future Talent

New Dawn Stage at First Light Festival
Young and local musicians have been invited to play at the UK’s only free beach festival through New Dawn and Playbreak open calls. This year acts include rapper, producer and stereo warrior $ebbuku, Esme Emerson, Tiah Jean, Retro Firefly, Brayden Jay, Chloe Lupton and Jehenna. 

Planet Positive

Planet Positive Tent at First Light Festival

A cross-sector collaboration with Natural History Museum, Cefas, University of East Anglia, and Suffolk Wildlife Trust promotes the latest in climate research through an accessible programme of talks and activities.

Cultural Partnerships

Opening Parade at First Light Festival

First Light Festival will showcase three newly- commissioned works involving many local primary and secondary schools, artists from across the region and a choir of over 100 debuting new works from acclaimed theatre company HighTide. Also for 2023, a partnership with Historic England & Emergency Exit Arts, ‘Hi! Street Fest’, sees Lowestoft selected to launch the project, with a spectacular opening parade through the town to the beach.

Wellbeing by the Waves 

Yoga on the beach at First Light Festival
A hugely popular, accessible programme of meditation, yoga, breathwork and movement that takes place on the shore. 

Tides, Moons and Planets

Wild camping at First Light Festival

The 2023 Festival marks the anniversaries of 1953 and 2013 Lowestoft floods through imaginative programme of music, installation and large- scale community projects featuring Trinity Laban musicians, acclaimed sculptor Laurence Edwards and renowned climate photographer Gideon Mendel.

Cosmic Pirates

Cosmic Pirates at First Light Festival
An interactive kids zone encompassing storytelling, art & interactive activities, including The Old Green Time Machine with Coalesce Dance, Mask-making Workshop with Re-Utilise, Jellyfish Lantern-making Workshop with Willow Phoenix, Evening Shoreside Workshop, Book Folding Workshop with Woodworks Art Café and much more.

Check out the full line up and plan your visit at firstlightlowestoft.com

Things to see and do

First Light Festival 2024

First Light Festival 2024

First Light Festival returns to the golden sands and lush gardens of Lowestoft’s South Beach across the solstice weekend, Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June 2024. T

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