After a triumphant weekend in 2022, Lowestoft’s free summer solstice
celebration will return for 2023. Inspired by Lowestoft’s location as the most
Easterly part of the country and therefore the first to receive sunlight, the festival
programme has been curated to celebrate the cycles of the sun with events taking
place throughout the weekend from sunrise to sundown.
The celebration aims to champion Lowestoft as a burgeoning creative hub, providing a fresh perspective of the town as a growing, rich cultural tourist destination by showcasing and supporting new talent within the local community, alongside a full programme of events and
activations to engage and excite – First Light Festival is the UK’s only free beach
2023 CONFIRMED LINE–UP & FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
– DJ Paulette – 2022’s Winner of the DJ Mag Top 100 Lifetime
– DJ Luke Una – Cult club culture pioneer and one half of iconic duo,
– Jembaa Groove – 2023 SXSW–approved, Berlin–based 7–piece band
– Eliza Carthy – Folk legend (presented by FolkEast).
First Light also features a strong showcase of local and emerging talent, and a
diverse line up of East Anglia’s foremost DJs.
FIRST WORD – Comedy, spoken word and performances curated by
acclaimed poet Luke Wright. Highlights include:
– Linton Kwesi Johnson – World renowned reggae poet and
– Josie Long – Multi–award–winning comedian and television panel
– Joelle Taylor – 2022 TS Elliot–prize winning poet
– Caleb Femi – Former Young People’s Laureate, director (BBC,
Channel 4, Bottega Veneta and Louis Vuitton) and poet
– Harry Baker – World Poetry Slam Champion
– Jasmine Gardosi – Birmingham Poet Laureate and winner of the
Out–Spoken Prize for Poetry
– Robin Ince will headline a special evening event at The Seagull
Extending the celebrations until dawn will be an extraordinary shoreside gathering
featuring new collaborative commissions, music and free communal feast
as the sun rises.
To shine a light on future talent, young and local musicians have been
invited to play New Dawn and Playbreak open calls.
Cross–sector collaboration with Natural History Museum, Cefas, University of East Anglia, and Suffolk Wildlife Trust will promote the latest in climate research through an accessible programme of talks and activities.
The Festival will also showcase three newly–commissioned works involving many local primary and secondary schools, artists from across the region and a choir of over 100 debuting new works from acclaimed theatre company HighTide. Also for 2023, a
partnership with Historic England & Emergency Exit Arts, ‘Hi! Street Fest’, sees Lowestoft selected to launch the project.
The festival opens 12pm noon to sundown (9.30pm) on Saturday
and from 10am – 4pm on Sunday, with a dawn sunrise programme of arts from3.30am on Sunday morning. Additional late–night events will take the celebration to several different Lowestoft venues.
“We’re thrilled to announce our 2023 dates, along with exciting news on some of our
upcoming projects. We hope that everyone in Lowestoft will have the chance to get involved
with this year’s First Light, whether that is contributing to our parade, playing on a stage
or soaking up the festival atmosphere and all it has to offer.” Genevieve Christie, CEO of First Light Festival CIC