We can’t wait to welcome you to the beach for this year’s Festival
Below you’ll find some useful links and information to help you make the most of your visit to Lowestoft.
Famous for being Britain’s most easterly point, Lowestoft’s idyllic setting amongst the beautiful Broads and the wide golden sands of the Suffolk coast has made the town a favourite beach holiday destination since Victorian times. It is one of the earliest settlements in European history, with evidence of human activity in the form of man-made tools dating back 700,000 years.
The award-winning Blue Flag beach is said to have been the inspiration for Benjamin Britten’s first masterpiece. The composer grew up on Kirkley Cliff Road in the house that is now the Britten Guest House. Elegant Victorian Gardens and colourful beach huts line the promenades along seafront of the South beach, whilst the historic Scores wind from the town centre and the historic High Street to the north beach, Ness Point and Sparrows Nest lighthouse. London Road South and the historic High Street are home to many independent shops and cafes, as well as national chains – all just a short stroll from the beach.
Lowestoft is an area of huge potential growth, with a focus on building on its unique location as the most easterly point in the Britain and making more of its heritage assets and maritime history. Lowestoft is traditionally a port town, which developed with the fishing industry. Now it is rapidly developing as a centre for renewable energy industry within East Anglia. The town is also currently undergoing significant changes with a variety of interesting and exciting projects underway, including the Gull Wing – a much needed new bridge and the creation of permanent new flood defences. With nationally significant events such as First Light Festival alongside other collaborations between councils, businesses and cultural organisations, and with the new Towns Fund award, Lowestoft is positioning itself as a youthful, engaging and modern destination.
During First Light Festival, the town will be alive with activity. We suggest that you make the most for your visit, and explore everything our beautiful seaside home has going on while you’re here.
DO I NEED A TICKET?
Almost all activities at First Light Festival are free and unticketed – you just need to turn up! The only ticketed events are the Screen on the Sands cinema, Mark Thomas at the First Word Tent, Our House presents: LTJ Bukem Afterparty, Wild Beach Camping and the Feasts (though the dawn feast is free!).
A full programme can be found on our What’s On page.
IS THE FESTIVAL JUST SATURDAY AND SUNDAY?
No! This year, we’re extending the weekend to include Friday on the Beach – a pre-weekend warm up that includes a pop-up cinema, feast on the beach and club night at the newly opened East Point Pavilion. Find out more about it here.
I WOULD LIKE TO PERFORM AT FIRST LIGHT PRESENTS LONGEST DAYS OF SUMMER!
While this year’s Festival has already been fully programmed, we are offering local musicians the chance to perform on our New Dawn Stage. Applications are currently open for this Apply to Play opportunity, that we’re running with our partners at Access to Music, BBC Radio Norfolk, BBC Radio Suffolk and Wild Paths Festival. Find out more here.
Although programming for 2022 is complete, we’d still love to hear about interesting activities and ideas that could be a part of future festival. If so please do get in touch. We read all our messages but unfortunately due to the sheer volume of enquiries we cannot respond to all of them.
CAN I HAVE A STALL AT FIRST LIGHT FESTIVAL?
We have already confirmed all food and drinks concessions for 2022.
We do still have some table space for artisans in our Makers Market. There are three time slots available as follows:
Saturday 17 June – 12pm – 5pm and 6pm – 11pm
Sunday 17 June – 7am – 12pm
If you are interested in being a part of the Makers Market, trading at a future festival, or at East Point Pavilion please do send us details about your business (with pictures if possible) to firstname.lastname@example.org .
We get a lot of interest about trading at the festival and unfortunately, we cannot accommodate or respond to everyone. Priority will be given to businesses from or within a reasonable distance of Lowestoft
Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate charity or general trader stands at the festival.
CAN I BRING MY DOG?
Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on that part of the beach in June so please leave your dog at home.
CAN I STILL SWIM IN THE SEA?
Of course you can! However, please note that lifeguards only cover part of the beach – please check public notices.
CAN I BRING MY OWN FOOD AND DRINK?
We’re curating an exciting line up of local vendors to keep you fed and watered over the weekend. We’re also hosting some exciting ticketed feasts on the beach, which you can find out more about here.
You’re also welcome to bring your own food and drink to enjoy on the beach. Help us keep the beach clean and safe for everyone by disposing of any rubbish using the bins available or take it home with you. Please note that bbqs or glass items are not allowed at the festival.
Lowestoft is also home to some brilliant local pubs, cafes and restaurants, which you can find out more about by clicking here.
WHERE CAN I STAY?
While our wild beach camping is the place to set up home for the weekend, we understand that camping isn’t for everyone. Lowestoft has plenty of lovely hotels, b&bs and guests houses for you to chose from. The Suffolk Coast website has some good recommendations for where to stay
IS THE BEACH ACCESSIBLE?
We’re working hard to make sure that the Festival is as accessible as possible.
Whilst our unique seafront setting is very beautiful, and we want to festival to be something everyone can experience and enjoy; the natural environment and Victorian infrastructure may mean it is not easy to navigate for everyone.
We have put together a handy access guide for the Festival site and venues to help you plan your visit and consider what support and/or equipment you might need to enjoy the festival.
Head to our access page for full information on access.
WHO ARE FIRST LIGHT FESTIVAL?
Thanks for asking! First Light Festival CIC was established in 2018 as part of the vision for South Beach and the regeneration of Lowestoft as a dynamic cultural destination, bursting with creative energy and innovation, and celebrated as Britain’s most easterly place.
We create unique, high quality and inclusive events and projects, collaborating with regional and national cultural partners to shine a light on our beautiful coastal setting, our communities and creative talent from Lowestoft and beyond. Find out more about us and what we do by clicking here.
The nearest post code for the festival site is Lowestoft NR33 0HY
We encourage you where possible to use public transport, walk or cycle to the festival site. Not only is it a very pleasant journey, better for your health and helps the environment – parking is very limited in the immediate area of the festival site.
The Way To Go Suffolk has a useful journey planning tool and cycle network and cycle parking maps.
CYCLE TO THE BEACH
There are excellent cycle routes to the festival site, including along the picturesque upper esplanade from the town centre. More information on cycle routes can be found on the Sustrans website.
Bicycle parking will be available on the Upper Esplanade.
GET TO THE BEACH WITH GREATER ANGLIA
There are direct train services running to Norwich and Ipswich, and on-going connections to Cambridge and London Liverpool Street. The last train from Lowestoft to Ipswich on Saturday is at 21:06. For Norwich, the last train departs Lowestoft at 23:30. For timetables, visit Greater Anglia.
Lowestoft train station is conveniently situated in central Lowestoft which is a pleasant 25-minute walk along the seafront to the festival site.
Address: Lowestoft Rail Station, Denmark Road, Lowestoft NR32 2EG
Lowestoft central bus station is a 30-minute walk to the event site and runs long distance services to London Stansted (Airport), London, Bury St Edmonds, Newmarket, Thetford, Norwich and Great Yarmouth. For local services the X1, Coastal Clipper 99 and 103 stop at Kensington Road.
Address: Gordon Road, Lowestoft, NR32 1LR.
From Norwich, follow the A146.
From Ipswich, follow the A12.
From Cambridge, take the A14 followed by the A143 or A11.
From London, take the A12 or M11 followed by the A11, A14 and A143.
Then follow signs to the South Beach.
Parking in the area is very limited so if you are able, please car share, take the train, catch a bus or walk to the site.
PAY AND DISPLAY
Usual opening hours and charges apply.
The following pay and display car parks are in the vicinity of the South Beach:
Claremont Pier, NR33 0BS – 105 spaces
Belvedere road, NR33 0PR – 80 spaces
Royal Green, NR33 0QL – 143 spaces
Clifton Road, NR33 0HF – 207 spaces
Please note that Kirkley Cliff Road, Pakefield Street, Pakefield Road and All Saints Road car parks will be closed to the public during the festival.
All East Suffolk Council car parks, including those on the seafront use the RingGo Cashless Parking Solution (myringgo.co.uk), which includes a navigation tool so you can select where to park before you set-off and be navigated to it. You can pay for parking through the app on arrival and even extend your parking session without returning to your vehicle in the likelihood you decide to stay with us a bit longer than expected… https://www.myringgo.co.uk/?style=m/
It hasn’t quite gone away yet…
Whilst we don’t require you to wear a mask or have a vaccine passport, we appreciate your support with keeping yourself, our staff and others as safe as possible during the festival by:
Staying at home if you or a member of your household have any symptoms or have tested positive for Covid-19 within the last 10 days.
Sanitising or washing your hands regularly;
Keeping your distance where possible
Using contactless payment where possible
Using contactless ticketing, for any ticketed events
We’re curating an exciting line up of local vendors to keep you fed and watered over the weekend, including:
We’re also hosting some exciting ticketed feasts on the beach, which you can find out more about here.
Beyond the festival site, Lowestoft is home to some brilliant local pubs, cafes and restaurants, which we’d encourage you to explore during your visit.
First Light Festival is inspired by Lowestoft’s natural environment – the beach, sun, sea, sky and stars.
We are committed to minimising our impact on the environment by ensuring we work to high environmental standards through our programming and production practices:
WHAT WE ARE DOING NOW
‘greening’ our programming and production by working with artists, suppliers and contractors who share our environmental ethos.
For 2022 we have created a Planet Positive zone with expert scientists who will share simple steps we can all take at home towards a carbon neutral world. This area of the festival will be powered by solar panels!
We prioritise working with artists, suppliers, and contractors from within at 60mile radius of Lowestoft where possible.
Work with East Suffolk Council to provide additional waste, recycling and glass bins plus extra collections throughout the festival period and ensure that compostable products are disposed of correctly therefore reducing waste to landfill.
We ask all traders to use sustainably sourced produce and to reduce meat consumption by offering a vegetarian and vegan option. All consumables will be reusable, compostable, and recyclable – no single use plastics will be sold on site
We will continue to assess the environmental impact of our current and likely future operations by monitoring key items (waste/ power use/travel) and reviewing our environmental performance annually to identify ways to reduce our carbon footprint
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Leave your car at home! According to the Suffolk Climate Emergency Plan, in 2018 transport accounted for over 35% of Suffolk’s Co2 emissions, therefore we are strongly encouraging people to walk or cycle to the festival or use public transport, thereby reducing carbon emissions to get to the festival. We are working with public transport providers such as Greater Anglia to minimise travel disruption over the festival weekend. We offer discounted camping for people not travelling by car and have set up a temporary bike park on the upper esplanade
Leave no trace – take everything you bring back home with you. Please do not bring in glass bottles or other prohibited items such as barbecues and paper lanterns.
Take part in one of our mass litter picks on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning
Use the recycling and waste bins around the site. Fun fact! Material collected in seafront bins is part of the 50,000 tons of material that is sorted and recycled annually – just remember to take care when throwing stuff away, if a recycling bin is contaminated with general waste it cannot be recycled.
Please don’t drop chewing gum, cigarette stubs and filter wrappers on the floor, they’re a pain to pick up.
Bring your own reusable water bottle, plates and utensils. We will have free water points around the site (if it’s a scorcher you’ll need that H2O!) and our traders are happy to save on disposable containers
Please use the proper toilets provided.