Drummers’ station fanfare at Norwich station provides curtain raiser to Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2018

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Passengers at Norwich station will be serenaded by carnivalesque drummers Transe Express at Norwich at 10.30 this Thursday (10 May), as a curtain raiser to this year's Norfolk & Norwich Festival, which begins on Friday 11 May.

In addition to providing an unexpected performance for passengers using Norwich station, the occasion also marks the key partnership between Greater Anglia and the Festival.

Greater Anglia is the Principal Travel Partner for the major regional arts event, extending a relationship between the Festival and the region's train operator which now stretches back an impressive 28 years to 1990.

Over the last quarter of a century, the support of the local train operator has helped the festival expand from a medium size classical music festival, to an internationally recognised arts festival that is one of the four biggest in the UK – an annual celebration that includes jazz, theatre, dance, outdoor events, visual arts and classical music.

At the station on Thursday Jonathan Denby, Head of Corporate Affairs for Greater Anglia and the Festival's Artistic Director, Daniel Brine will briefly outline the benefits of the partnership and the highlights of this year's festival.

Jonathan Denby, Head of Corporate Affairs for Greater Anglia said: "Greater Anglia is delighted to be the Travel Partner for the 2018 Norfolk & Norwich Festival, extending a highly successful relationship between the festival and the region's railways.

“We’re also pleased to be holding a curtain raiser event for the festival at the station again.

“We have been actively helping to promote the festival, providing tickets for artists and taking a proactive role in this year's event, extending and expanding our partnership from our first links as Greater Anglia which began with the start of our franchise in 2012.

“In addition, one of our Class 90 locomotives used on the Norwich to London route continues to carry the Norfolk and Norwich Festival name.

“Our partnership helps the festival to go from strength to strength, with a fantastic annual celebration which is fun for audiences and the local community, whilst at the same time supporting the local economy and building Norfolk and Norwich’s reputation.

“We hope that this year's festival is a great success and that many people will travel to festival events by train."

The partnership, which began in 1990 with a locomotive train naming, has included a special train livery, previous "curtain raiser" performances at the station, community events, employee involvement in the festival, promotion and marketing of the festival to a wider audience, special rail travel offers, train tickets for artists, opportunities for corporate hospitality and building wider stakeholder links.

This year, brochures and posters promoting this year's festival programme have been on display at several Greater Anglia stations and the two organisations' marketing teams have been working together to promote the festival.

Greater Anglia is sponsoring two concerts during the event – Songs of the Sea with renowned tenor Mark Padmore at St Andrew’s Hall on 11 May and the Grand Finale music and dance performance by the choreographer, Hofesh Shechter at Norwich Theatre Royal on 15 May with another festival partner - Archant media group.

With direct train services to Norwich from London, Ipswich, Cambridge, Sheringham, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, festival-goers from across the region can take the train to Festival events. Late night trains operate on Mondays to Saturdays from Norwich to Cambridge (at 22.40), Lowestoft (at 22.40), Sheringham (at 22.45 - or 23.05 on Fridays and Saturdays), Great Yarmouth (at 23.00) and Ipswich (at 23.05), so the Festival and Greater Anglia are hoping that even more people will use the train to come into Norwich and enjoy this year’s 17 day programme of music, song, dance and performance.