Pledge to make Great Yarmouth Arts Festival bigger and better

PUBLISHED: 07:10 22 August 2014

Carnival procession from the Market Place, along King Street to St George’s Plaza. 
The ‘sea and shore’ heritage-themed procession, part of the Great Yarmouth Arts Festival.

Picture: James Bass

Carnival procession from the Market Place, along King Street to St George’s Plaza. The ‘sea and shore’ heritage-themed procession, part of the Great Yarmouth Arts Festival. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2014

Organisers behind the celebration of Great Yarmouth’s arts scene are pledging to take the festival further, expanding into Gorleston and growing the carnival parade.

But despite the groundswell of public support for the raft of events laid on in June more bodies are needed to shoulder the burden of staging the festival inspired by an enthusiastic drive to share the town’s historic treasures and artistic talents with more people.

Festival chairman Hugh Sturzaker, said: “Putting on this festival involves a small group of people in a great deal of work and we really need some more helpers in the management of the festival.

“In particular we need people with experience in promotion and advertising and in raising funds so that we can bring bigger names and advertise the festival more widely and effectively. Apart from bringing a variety of high quality art to the local community we look upon this festival as a means of attracting more visitors to the town which will help the local economy.”

Next year’s festival will run from Friday June 5 to Sunday June 14.

Already plans are underway to host sections devoted to music, visual art, theatre, film and to promote the town’s wealth of heritage.

Also the carnival procession and its series of attendant workshops will be bigger and better and hopefully staged in better weather in 2015, a cruelly timed downpour doing nothing to dampen spirits as youngsters made their way from the Fisherman’s Hospital in an array of sea-themed outfits.

Over 1300 people visited the art exhibition in the Minster and over 1374 people participated in the various workshops.

As a result of the festival a film club is being started based at St George’s Theatre and Art on the Railings with music and dance will become a regular feature around the plaza.

Meanwhile the Shard of Great Yarmouth - a tower of shimmering fish - will be used as the gateway to the Maritime Festival in September.

The festival also boosted the ‘Follow the Herring’ project and was part of a national event calling at 13 places down the east coast of Britain.

The main venues will be the Minster, St George’s Theatre, the library and the Time and Tide Museum. Other venues are still being discussed and it is hoped to involve Gorleston next year.

In June festival celebrations focused on centenary celebrations for double Oscar winning cinematographer Jack Cardiff with a Cardiff cut-out trail, exhibition of memorabilia and screenings of his films.

There is an outline programme for the festival and Pakefield Singers are returning to give a performance of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana under their director Vetta Wise. People interested in promoting the festival or raising funds should leave their details at

For further information email


  • Totally agree with you Daisy Roots, money should be spent on the town and the surrounding area, not the seafront though, shop owners should be made to repair and paint their premises, look at the state of the Toy Shop in Kings Street, disgusting sight. There will also be another empty shop in King Street soon when Aladdins Cave second hand shop closes in the old Blockbusters and moves back to it's other shop in the bottom end of the Rows - river end where there are at least 4 second hand shops.

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    Friday, August 22, 2014

  • A community involvement in a carnival is a nice thing but the money spent on a flash in the pan arts event where the attendance is swollen by bemused holiday makers would be better spent on making the town centre within the walls a more pleasant place all the year round. I have eaten my hat about St George's Park-the turn around has made it a great asset and it seems to be heavily used by families. But we need all our streets cleaned and kept clean, building owners obliged to keep them in good repair not festooned with weeds and with water dribbling from broken gutters onto us as we walk the rows which are left, and everywhere made acceptable to the local and tourist alike. I note yesterday that the former Partners store looks as if it is about to become a second hand or charity shop. Perhaps someone else has counted but I make that at least a dozen around and within a few yards of the Market Place, and that does not include the shopping Rows. The Thornton outlet and Stead and Simpson are closing the double frontage former Select store remains empty and the Adams store remains boarded up after what-ten years? And soon the very large store occupied by Marks will be empty. Perhaps it would be easier to count the number of regular shopping outlets remaining for the shopper in Yarmouth and someone at GYBC will wake up to the fact that there is money in local pockets to spend, but it is all going to Norwich or to the retail park at Gapton, which the idiot planners thought would be a good idea. Use the arts money to save the town, not play while it is sinking.

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    Daisy Roots

    Friday, August 22, 2014

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