Norfolk Wonder Cultural Experiences From Norfolk and Norwich Festival This Autumn

Norfolk & Norwich Festival announces Norfolk Wonder, a series of activities across the county this autumn. From October 2021, across Brecks and Broads, coast and country audiences are invited to uncover something truly memorable in a trio of specially presented events. These include Blast Theory’s widely acclaimed cycling audio tour Rider Spoke, three brand new artist-led walks in towns on the coast, and a spotlight on the workshops, demonstration and trails at Norfolk Open Studios. The Norfolk Wonder programme is a part of EXPERIENCE, a Norfolk County Council initiative designed to attract audiences to Norfolk for experiential tourism in the autumn and winter.

On sale today, Rider Spoke (which was also part of the 2021 Festival) invites audiences on a cycle in search of the perfect place to hide a secret. Guided by a narrator and a delicate score, riders explore the local area by bike for an hour. The show premiered with a sold-out season at the Barbican in London and has since been shown in 22 cities worldwide. To take part in Rider Spoke, audiences are provided with a smartphone and mount to place onto their handlebars, (either bring a bike or borrow one of Blast Theory’s). There will also be a range of accessible options for non-cyclists.

Blast Theory Rider Spoke at NNF21. Photo Mary Doggett.

Three brand new Experience Packs inspired by King’s Lynn, Cromer and Great Yarmouth will take audiences on immersive journeys around the county. From learning about the distinct flora and fauna of King’s Lynn, to the historical significance of East Anglia’s restorative seaside towns right through to reinvigorating the good, old postcard tradition in Great Yarmouth. 

In the packs artists French and Mottershead explore how animals, plants, and fungi survive winter in Lull – A Walk for Winter, an audio walk that will help audiences prepare to do the same, delivered in partnership with Lynn Museum. Sarah Lowndes’ The Sea Curein partnership with Cromer Museum, invites audiences to follow in the breathtakingly beautiful Empress Elizabeth of Austria’s footsteps in Cromer, 1887, where she had come to convalesce, a spot that to this day people still come to from afar for restorative holidays, walking along the clifftops, hunting for fossils on the beach and bathing in the sea. In Great Yarmouth, Ela Orleans’ Postcard Memories, in partnership with Time and Tide Museum, presents music and soundscape interwoven with stories told by the locals all also presented on a beautiful printed map. The pack also comes with a box of stamped postcards with pictures from the memories walk.

Also part of Norfolk Wonder is Norfolk Open Studios, one of the most successful Open Studios schemes in the country. Makers and creators will open their studio doors across the county across 16 days in September and October. More than 320 artists will be taking part across 267 venues to share and sell their work. Artists of all disciplines and at all stages of their careers will be at work in their studios, garages, spare rooms, garden rooms, community spaces and schools. The free event annually attracts thousands of visitors and in 2019 more than 31,000 people flocked to studios across Norfolk to meet our county’s artists. As part of Norfolk Wonder artists will be offering events, demonstrations and workshops to share their skills and practice during the event.

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