As summer approaches, the East is gearing up for another season packed with world-class cultural events.

CBSO 15 November 2016

Spring’s cultural tourism project, Look Sideways East, has drawn together its cultural highlights for the summer, bursting with must-see festivals, exhibitions and events for visitors from both near and far, and we thought we’d share them.

Here in the East you’re never far away from a celebration…


Pulse Festival – Ipswich. 1-10 June 2017. Part curated, part open application festival, offering inspiring contemporary theatre across a variety of genres, from theatre to dance and everything in between.

Aldeburgh Festival – Snape Maltings.   9-25 June 2017. The world famous Aldeburgh Festival turns 50 this year and celebrates with 17 packed days of classical music, walks, talks, films, exhibitions, over 30 non-classical events at The Pumphouse fringe and  free music every lunchtime on the beach.

Felixstowe Book Festival. 1-2 July 2017. Now in its fourth year, patron Esther Freud describes this bright, breezy and diverse literary festival by the sea as “a flourishing festival, with a programme to catch the imagination.” 2017 programming largely t.b.c. but will include Stella Rimmington and Louis de Bernieres.

Latitude – Southwold. 13-16 July 2017. Latitude Festival is now in its second decade and showcases world-famous artists alongside the hottest up-and-comers, plus a huge offering of family friendly theatre, dance, film, cabaret and literature.

FolkEast – Glemham Hall. 18-20 August 2017.  This independent celebration of world-class folk music at glorious Glemham Hall is full of heart and humour. “One of the best world music, roots and folk festivals in the UK” – Guardian.

High Tide Festival – Aldeburgh. 12-17 September 2017.  The renowned annual festival for world premieres by theatre’s most exciting, adventurous and diverse new voices.

Noirwich – Norwich.  14-17 September 2017. Britain’s boldest, bloodiest crime writing festival returns to the medieval lanes of Norwich – a killer chance to hear from and meet both the leading and top emerging names in crime fiction with talks, Q&A’s and workshops.

OutThere Festival – Great Yarmouth. 15-17 September 2017. Stunning, world class circus fills the streets of Great Yarmouth.

FlipSide Festival – Snape Maltings and Lowestoft.  6-8 October 2017.  The sister festival of FLIP, South America’s largest international literary festival.  The Latin beat comes to Suffolk as directors Liz Calder and Genevieve Christie mix music with literary debates and walks, poetry, art, film and food for all ages, plus a fantastic jungle trail for the youngsters and the famous FlipSide Friday night party.


God’s of Sport – Palace House, Newmarket.  Until 18 June 2017.  Celebrated photographer Chris Smith has devoted half a century to capturing the drama, beauty, challenges and elation of sport.  This exhibition celebrates his work on subjects including Muhammad Ali, George Best, Ayrton Senna, Seve Ballesteros, Lester Piggott, Sir Henry Cecil and the Olympic Games.

Paul Nash at the Sainsbury Centre – Norwich.  Until 20 August 2017.  From his earliest drawings to his iconic wartime paintings, this exhibition explores Nash’s central role in the development of modern British art

Richard Long at Houghton – Houghton Hall, Norfolk. Until 26 October 2017.  Houghton Hall hosts a major exhibition by Turner Prize-winning land artist Richard Long this summer, his largest since 2001’s Tate show. Long has created a series of site-specific works for the grounds, house and stables.

Gainsborough-Constable Trail.  Suffolk. Launched Spring 2017.  Both artists called Suffolk home and this new trail guides visitors around ten locations of historic importance and the landscapes that inspired them, including Gainsborough’s House, Flatford Mill and Christchurch Mansion.

Nelson at Norwich Castle. 29 July–30 September. A collection of the most extraordinary and potent objects connected to Admiral Lord Nelson, reflecting his naval victories, his relationships and above all his affection for his native county of Norfolk.

Rembrandt: Lightening in the Dark – Norwich Castle.  21 October 2017-7 January 2018.  An important new exhibition – featuring the collection of 93 Rembrandt etchings held by Norfolk Museums Service.

Russian Season at the Sainsbury Centre – Norwich.  14 October 2017–11 February 2018. Two major exhibitions –  Fabergé and Avant-Garde Russia – mark the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.