Wire walker Chris Bullzini at Norwich station provides curtain raiser to 2019 Norfolk & Norwich Festival

Published on: Wednesday, 8 May 2019
Last updated: Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Passengers at Norwich railway station tomorrow will see wire walker Chris Bullzini performing as a curtain raiser to this year's Norfolk & Norwich Festival, which begins this Friday.

Greater Anglia is the Travel Partner for the major regional arts event, extending a relationship between the Festival and the region's train operator which now stretches back almost three decades to 1990.

Over that time, 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 from 10.45 on Thursday, Jonathan Denby, Head of Corporate Affairs for Greater Anglia and the festival's 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 2019 Norfolk & Norwich Festival, extending a highly successful relationship between the festival and the region's railways which now extends back 29 years.

“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 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 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.

There is also a Class 90 locomotive named "Norfolk and Norwich Festival", which powers trains between Norwich and London, promoting the festival through Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and in the capital.

This year, brochures and posters promoting this year's festival programme have been on display at a number of Greater Anglia stations.

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).