Today Norfolk & Norwich Festival has announced the cancellation of the 2020 Festival. Following Government advice on Monday 16 March and to protect the safety of audiences, artists and workforce the Norfolk & Norwich Festival Trust has decided not to proceed with the Festival.

Norfolk & Norwich Festival, which is approaching its 250th year in 2022, was scheduled to take place from 8-24 May. It usually attracts more than 85,000 visitors to theatres, venues and galleries around Norwich and across Norfolk, with a wide programme of free and ticketed events.

The Festival’s Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Daniel Brine said “It is with great sadness and disappointment that we will not proceed with this year’s Norfolk & Norwich Festival. We have listened to advice from the government and consulted with stakeholders, partners, colleagues and staff before taking this deeply regrettable but inevitable decision.

We wholeheartedly thank all staff, artists and volunteers for the hard work already put in to this year’s Festival. We deeply value our place in both the local and artistic communities and during this difficult period, we will unreservedly play our part in supporting the artistic sector. Over the coming days and weeks we will look at how we, as an Arts Council funded organisation, do the right thing by staff, artists and freelance workers.

If you have bought a ticket for a cancelled event, you are entitled to a refund, but please bear with us during this unprecedented and difficult time – we will contact you as soon as we can. We will keep audiences as up to date as possible via the Festival website, social media and email.

As a charitable organisation, we are immensely grateful for the support of our audiences, funders and sponsors. Ticket revenue, grants, sponsorship and donations are vital, and the impact of cancellation is financially significant to us. We ask that all those who value the Festival continue their support for us and work with us to ensure we are well placed to present future festivals.

Norfolk & Norwich Festival also manages Norfolk Open Studios which sees around 400 artists across the country open their studios to the public during May and June. The Festival is reviewing this initiative in light of current advice and investigating the viability of postponement until a later date.


Norfolk & Norwich Festival shares exceptional arts experiences across East England. We lead and support celebration, creativity and curiosity in our community to make our part of the world a great place to live, work and play. The Festival takes place in Norwich and around Norfolk for 17 days each May. The programme is multi-artform, contemporary, international and audience-centred. The Festival is distinctive because we collaborate with artists – from down the road and around the world – to explore the unique physical and cultural identities of our place and to make art which is meaningful to the lives of our audiences. The organisation has been an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation since April 2012 and is one of 10 Bridge Organisations with a mandate to develop arts and cultural opportunities for children and young people in the East of England. Norfolk & Norwich Festival is funded and supported by Arts Council England, Norwich City Council and the generous support of other sponsors and donors.

Principal Funders