• Top 10 Festivals, Fetes and Carnivals on The Suffolk Coast

Top 10 Festivals, Fetes and Carnivals on The Suffolk Coast

Festivals, fetes, carnivals – the stuff of a typical British summer. And being British, we don’t let the vagaries of our weather spoil these fun family events.

Here’s our roundup of the Top 10 Festivals, Fetes and Carnivals on The Suffolk Coast.

1. First Light Festival

TTDA - First Light Festival

First Light Festival is a brand new FREE 24-hour multi-arts festival for the UK, celebrating Lowestoft as our most easterly town, where the first sunrise reaches the horizon every morning.

Running continuously across the summer solstice weekend, from midday on Saturday the 22nd of June, through to midday on Sunday the 23rd on Lowestoft South Beach through changing tides, light and darkness, sun and stars for a unique shared experience with music, dance, film, talks, walks, sports and workshops as well as the best local and regional food, drinks and produce. The festival site extends out across the promenades and gardens to offer arts, activities and entertainment in a beautiful seaside setting.

Headliners include celebrated tabla player and Mercury award-winning musician Talvin Singh and brilliantly eclectic BBC 6Music radio presenter and international club DJ Gilles Peterson.


2. Maverick Festival

Maverick Festival

Established in 2008, Maverick Festival is now the UK's leading Americana event showcasing the best roots music from both sides of the Atlantic.

Set amongst the restored Victorian barns and outbuildings of Easton Farm Park, nestled deep in the Suffolk countryside, the festival also hosts films, workshops and performances from over fifty different artists across six stages, indoors and out.

This year's festival takes place from 5th - 7th July with the line up including Chance McCoy, The Brother Brothers, The Crux, Rachel Harrington, Man About a Horse, Hannah Aldridge and Resonant Rogues to name but a few. 

For full line up and more information visit maverickfestival.co.uk

3. Felixstowe Carnival

Felixstowe Carnival Float - The Suffolk Coast

The Felixstowe Carnival has been running for over sixty years with many colourful and elaborate themes. And this year is no exception. The carnival weekend takes place on 26th, 27th and 28th July with celebrations across all three days including a Proms Concert, the main procession and fireworks. 

The theme for 2019 is ‘Decades of the 20th Century', Felixstowe town centre and promenade will play host to the procession which starts in Colneis Road before heading down to the seafront where there are tonnes of fun activities, music and entertainment for all ages to enjoy.


4. Snape Proms

Snape - The Suffolk Coast - credit Gill Moon-3

There is something for everyone at the Snape Proms with 30 fantastic summer nights out on the Suffolk Coast from 1st to 31st August 2019.

This year’s Proms will include everything from folk and jazz to world music, classical, comedy and poetry, with 31 concerts over 30 days celebrating music in all its diversity.

For every Snape Prom, more than 100 Prom tickets are sold at £7.50 for the closest view of the action. There’s always a chance to get tickets for sell-outs, as 20 Prom tickets go on sale at 10am on the morning of every concert at Snape Maltings Concert Hall’s box office.

The Concert Hall Cafe & Restaurant will also be open so come and take the opportunity of enjoying its breathtaking view of the Alde Estuary whilst you enjoy your dinner.

For more information and to book, visit www.snapemaltings.co.uk/season/snape-proms/

5. FolkEast

FolkEast green head

FolkEast is a multi-arts based festival for all good folk and their families to revel in three days of music, song and dance over eight performance stages. 

The extravaganza takes place in the lovely Glemham Hall Grounds from 16th - 18th August this year, hosted by the Halls owner Major Philip Hope-Cobbold. 

In the organisers own words, the festival provides ‘Space to breathe, room to roam, games to play and frolics to fro!’

This year's Festival boasts headliners Richard Thompson, Cara Dillon, Sharon Shannon Band, Carine Polwort Trio, John Smith, Calan and Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson Trio. 

And it’s a real family event – with activities aimed at all age groups including den building, animations workshops, Saturday afternoon sports day, very small folk play area and the mud kitchen.

For more information and to book tickets, visit www.folkeast.co.uk

6. Theatre on the Coast

Theatre on the Coast Hobsons Choice

Theatre on the Coast offers professional summer repertory theatre here on the Suffolk Coast at Southwold Arts Centre. With a broad mixture of comedies, thrillers and family drama.

This summer, the award-winning MTP theatre group will be presenting their summer programme, including; 'The End of the Line' from Patrick Marlowe from 10th - 20th July; 'A Bunch of Amateurs' by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman - from 23rd July - 3rd August; 'The Woman who Cooked her Husband' - by Debbie Isitt from 6th - 17th August and 'Hobson's Choice' from 20th - 31st August. 

On 7th & 8th August, kids can also get involved and enjoy a 2-day theatre workshop with magic, mystery, shipwrecks and fun with an actor from Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre!

For tickets and information, visit https://mtproductions.co.uk/

7. Aldeburgh Carnival

TTDE - Aldeburgh Carnival 2017

This year sees the 77th Aldeburgh Carnival take place from 17th - 19th August 2019; with a procession making its way through this picturesque seaside town.

Throughout the weekend there's plenty to see and do including a music day on Saturday 17th, silent auction, lollipop hunt, 10k mini-marathon, children's races, egg boat race, Chinese lantern procession, swimming races and the carnival procession. 

Stay for the day and soak up the atmosphere in the evening as the firework spectacular takes place over the sea!


8. Beccles Carnival

Beccles Carnival 2017

Beccles Carnival Beccles Carnival dates back to the 1900s, and is part of a whole host of events taking place on the 17th and 18th August 2019. The parade leaves Roys store at 1pm, making its way through the streets of the pretty market town.

Events across the weekend include a baby competition, fancy dress, children's races, dog show and arena displays, plus live music on Saturday evening. 


9. Thorpeness Regatta and Fireworks


Come to Thorpeness Meare for this sailing spectacular and regatta for children and grown-ups alike on 22nd and 23rd August 2019. 

The Meare opened in June 1913 and the first impromptu Regatta took place on the August Bank Holiday. The annual tradition continues with sailing events including canoeing and kayaking for children under sixteen years of age.

Don't miss the celebration of the summer and enjoy a live band plus BBQ and paella pans. Sit in the beautiful Meare gardens for front row seats to the magical lit boat parade at dusk and fireworks at 9pm.

10. Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival

Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival - Courtyard - The Suffolk Coast

Come and enjoy this fantastic Food Festival set within the grounds of Snape Maltings, Suffolk on 28th and 29th September 2019.

With over 90 food and drink producers from Suffolk, many from just a few miles away, all gathered to sell their produce including raw milk, organic vegetables, sourdough bread, award winning beer and spirits from sponsors Adnams, cyder from Aspall and delicious streetfood.

The Festival is truly family friendly with free tickets for under 15s. There’s also free children's activities and hands on cooking workshops.

Not only is there an amazing array of local produce but the festival also has 2 cookery demonstration stages hosting visiting and local chefs.

For more information and to book tickets, visit www.aldeburghfoodanddrink.co.uk

For more events taking place this summer, check out our 'What's On Guide'. 

Things to see and do

Snape Maltings

Snape Maltings


Snape Maltings is a place of energy and inspiration – a visitor destination of outstanding natural beauty and one of the world’s leading centres of music, founded by Suffolk-born composer Benjamin Britten. 

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