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Latitude Festival sign (c) Sam Neill

THE 35 BEST FESTIVALS IN SUFFOLK

Festivals in Suffolk are more varied than anywhere else in the country. From the UK’s leading music and arts festival to a festival celebrating Brazilian culture and another dedicated entirely to seafood, there’s a Suffolk festival for every interest. With so many festivals to choose from, we simply haven’t been able to mention them all, but here are 35 of the very best to get you started:
Snape Maltings Concert Hall (c) Matt JollyThe Snape Maltings Concert Hall is home to several Suffolk festivals
Photo (c) Matt Jolly

MUSIC FESTIVALS IN SUFFOLK

ALDEBURGH FESTIVAL
10th – 26th JUNE

Founded by Suffolk-born composer Benjamin Britten, Peters Pears, and Eric Crozier in 1948, the Aldeburgh Festival is a bastion of classical music at home on the beautiful Suffolk Coast. Each year the 17-day festival goes from strength to strength, with a programme that presents classical music in increasingly innovative ways.

MAVERICK FESTIVAL
1ST – 3RD JULY

With a programme that spans the Atlantic, Maverick Festival brings roots and americana music to Suffolk in what’s been hailed as one of the “friendliest, most sincere festivals in England,” and the number one UK festival for any lover of Americana.

PETTAFIESTA
8TH – 10TH JULY

This tiny festival takes place in a beautiful moated garden in Pettaugh, Suffolk. Run by music industry veterans Andy Corrigan and Jane Dyball, Pettafiesta features young and up-and-coming musicians, giving them a chance to play with a full production spec.

LATITUDE FESTIVAL
14TH – 17TH JULY

Twice winner of the UK Festival Award for Best Line-Up, Latitude Festival has already proved itself to be one of the best festivals in the country. Featuring an eclectic mix of literature, comedy, theatre, dance, poetry and some of the world’s greatest musicians, Latitude simply has it all, and a beautiful lakeside setting on The Suffolk Coast to boot.

BOOM BAP FESTIVAL
29TH – 31ST JULY

As the UK’s only dedicated hip hop festival, Boom Bap is truly unique. This hip hop and grime weekender is held in Mildenhall, and celebrates many aspects of hip hop culture, from rap battles to graffiti art. Acts include hip hop and grime veterans from the States and the UK.

SNAPE PROMS
29TH JULY – 28TH AUGUST

30 summer nights, 30 concerts in the world-class Snape Maltings Concert Hall on The Suffolk Coast. The Snape Proms feature musicians from all over the world playing a spectacular mix of genres and styles, with a little bit of poetry and comedy thrown in.

FOLKEAST
19TH – 21ST AUGUST

Folk music and culture is deeply ingrained in Suffolk, and FolkEast festival celebrates this ancient link like no other. A unique combination of folk music, food and crafts, all “suffused with good vibrations” has won FolkEast it’s place among the UK’s top folk festivals, a position that’s wholeheartedly deserved.

RED ROOSTER,
2017 DATES T.B.C.

Replicating the soulful atmosphere of the American deep south, Red Rooster brings the finest rhythm and blues, americana, blues, soul, roots and country musicians to Suffolk for a weekend of nothing but great music, great food and great times.
 
Click here to discover more Music Festivals in Suffolk.
Kids at Latitude Festival (c) Marc Sethi / Latitude FestivalKids love Latitude Festival, and who could blame them?
Photo (c) Marc Sethi

LITERARY FESTIVALS IN SUFFOLK

FELIXSTOWE BOOK FESTIVAL
25TH – 26TH JUNE

Among the newest literary festivals in Suffolk, the Felixstowe Book Festival has a love for reading at its core. With talks from writers and novelists hailing from many different genres, it describes itself as a festival ‘for those who always have their head buried in a book and those who haven’t yet fully experience the wonder of reading.”

ALDEBURGH POETRY FESTIVAL
6TH – 8TH NOVEMBER

Founded in 1989, the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival is one of the oldest and most rewarding events of its kind in the country. The packed weekend programme includes not just poetry readings from some of the world’s finest poets, but discussions, close-readings, poetry workshops and more, allowing you to get closer to poetry than ever before.

WAYS WITH WORDS
10TH – 14TH NOVEMBER

This 5-day festival in Southwold, Suffolk attracts bookworms, literature lovers, writers and intellectuals with an engrossing programme of events, from discussions of art, politics and history to fiction readings and literary dinners.

LAVENHAM LITERARY FESTIVAL
2017 DATES T.B.C.

Britain’s Best-Preserved Medieval Village provides a magical backdrop for this literary festival, which features readings and discussions from a wide range of authors, and across a broad range of genres. History meets crime writing, biography meets fiction, writers meet readers, and all are left inspired.

ALDEBURGH LITERARY FESTIVAL,
2017 DATES T.B.C.

The Aldeburgh Literary Festival takes place across three days in a small hall in Aldeburgh, an intimate setting that allows for intellectual discussion and thoughtful conversation to arise from talks and readings by a range of top writers. Combine inspiring literature with sharp thought and fresh sea air, and you see why the Aldeburgh Literary Festival is so popular.

FLIPSIDE FESTIVAL
2017 DATES T.B.C.

A festival like no other, FlipSide makes Brazilian and British culture collide in an explosive 3-day party on The Suffolk Coast. Alongside talks and readings from the best Brazilian and British novelists, festival-goers can dance to Samba, taste Brazilian food, admire art and take part in various workshops.
The Scallop on Aldeburgh beachIt's no surprise Aldeburgh is the spiritual home of poetry in Suffolk

VISUAL ARTS FESTIVALS IN SUFFOLK

SOUTHWOLD ARTS FESTIVAL
25TH JUNE – 2ND JULY

Every summer, Southwold plays host to artists, poets, writers, actors and musicians for a week-long showcase of the arts that fills the streets and venues of this seaside town.

ART ON THE PROM
4TH SEPTEMBER

Felixstowe’s annual art festival takes place on the town’s seafront promenade, where over a hundred artists display and sell their original artwork for over 20,000 visitors.

ALDEBURGH DOCFEST
4TH – 6TH NOVEMBER

This rich documentary festival has been running for over twenty years, and is a must-visit for anyone interested in documentaries and filmmaking. Documentary films from all over the world and covering a range of illuminating topics are screened at Aldeburgh Cinema, each followed by an in-depth discussion with the filmmaker.
SPILL Festival (c) Luca Del Pia"Cutting edge, crackpot theatre" – The Guardian review of SPILL Festival
Photo (c) Luca Del Pia

PERFORMING ARTS FESTIVALS IN SUFFOLK

SPILL FESTIVAL OF PERFORMANCE
26TH – 30TH OCTOBER

Curated by the visionary Pacitti Company, SPILL is a bi-annual festival of experimental theatre taking place in Ipswich, Suffolk’s county town, and in London. It brings daring new works of performance by new and established artists to the fore – at times challenging, and always thought-provoking.

HIGHTIDE FESTIVAL
8TH – 18TH SEPTEMBER

Every year, HighTide brings stunning works of new theatre to Suffolk over the course of a 10-day festival on The Suffolk Coast, including world premieres of plays by hand-picked playwrights. It’s billed as “adventurous theatre for adventurous people,” and doesn’t disappoint.

BURY ST EDMUNDS FESTIVAL
2017 DATES T.B.C.

The Bury St Edmunds Festival offers 10 days of music, theatre, film and exhibitions in the heart of one of Suffolk’s most historic towns. With concerts and performances happening in various locations around Bury St Edmunds, festival goers have a chance to see internationally renowned artists and local talent, and do some sightseeing!

PULSE FESTIVAL
2017 DATES T.B.C.

Curated by the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich, Pulse Festival offers up a delectable selection of new plays, including a “Scratch Day” of works in progress, during which plays at various stages of composition are performed before the audience, who can then give the artists feedback.

INK FESTIVAL
2017 DATES T.B.C.

This springboard festival taking place at the New Cut Theatre in Halesworth champions new writing. Over the course of an unmissable weekend, you’ll get to see brand new works of theatre performed live and back-to-back, as well as films and live music.

FOOD FESTIVALS IN SUFFOLK

BURY ST EDMUNDS FOOD & DRINK FESTIVAL
18TH – 29TH AUGUST

At this free food and drink festival in Bury St Edmunds, foodies can sample some of the delicious treats Suffolk has to offer, meet and buy from local producers, and watch live cookery demonstrations by Michelin-starred and critically-acclaimed chefs.

ALDEBURGH FOOD & DRINK FESTIVAL
24TH – 25TH SEPTEMBER

Recognised as one of the top food festivals in the country, Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival attracts foodies from far and wide to Suffolk for a hedonistic weekend of tasting, talking about and discovering the rich variety of East Anglian produce. Following the main festival weekend are three weeks of fringe events, ranging from chocolate-making workshops to pop-up restaurants.

THE WOODBRIDGE SHUCK
6TH – 9TH OCTOBER

Lovers of seafood should not miss out on the annual Woodbridge Shuck, a shellfish festival that takes place in Woodbridge by the beautiful River Deben. Expect fresh Suffolk seafood in various international dishes, safari suppers, seasonal markets and more.

FRAMLINGHAM SAUSAGEFEST
8TH OCTOBER

This autumnal festival in Framlingham takes the humble sausage to all new heights. Alongside numerous workshops, activities and entertainment is the all important sausage trail, on which festival goers can hunt out delicious sausage samples from competing local producers, and vote which sizzler should be crowned the winner.

WAVENEY VALLEY FOOD & DRINK FESTIVAL
10TH – 11TH OCTOBER

The fine produce exported from the Waveney Valley is reason enough to celebrate, which is exactly what the Waveney Valley Food & Drink Festival is all about. With the local producers out in force, and plenty of cookery demos, live music and kids entertainment, this festival is a great way for a foodie family to spend a weekend.

ALDE VALLEY SPRING FESTIVAL
2017 DATES T.B.C.

This four-week celebration of food, farming, landscape and the arts may sound eclectic, but its really quite simple: taking place at White House Farm, the festival brings together an exhibition of work by 40 artists with a programme of events ranging from artistic and literary talks to home-cooked farm suppers, and even the odd record-breaking picnic.

LAVENHAM FOOD & ARTS FESTIVAL
2017 DATES T.B.C.

Lavenham is a foodie town through and through, boasting some of Suffolk’s best restaurants, a produce-filled farmers’ market, and year-round food and foraging workshops. As you would expect, its food festival is a sumptuous event, incorporating cookery demonstrations, producer stalls, art exhibitions and art trail, and live music.

TASTE OF SUDBURY FOOD & DRINK FESTIVAL
2017 DATES T.B.C.

At this charming food festival in the historic town of Sudbury, the food stalls range from a mouth-watering champagne and salmon bar to a stalls chock-full of handmade ice-creams. A Taste of Sudbury also boasts a fun programme of events, often including Guinness World Record attempts and demonstrations by much-loved local chefs.
Alde Valley Spring Festival (c) Rob HaworthAlde Valley Spring Festival celebrates food, farming and the landscape
Photo (c) Rob Howarth

CRAFT FESTIVALS IN SUFFOLK

BRECKS FEST
2017 DATES T.B.C.

Set in West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village, a working replica of a 1,600-year-old settlement in The Brecks, Brecks Fest is an annual celebration of all things Anglo-Saxon. Expect historical re-enactments, a Saxon Bake-Off, Saxon tools demonstrations, archery, hands-on crafts activities, and lots of fun for little ones.

WEIRD & WONDERFUL WOOD
2017 DATES T.B.C.

Festivals in Suffolk don’t come more extraordinary that Weird & Wonderful Wood, a two-day event that brings together anyone and everyone with a passion for woodwork. You’ll be able to meet over one hundred artists and craftspeople, and watch them as they work their magic, shaping wood into extraordinary creations. And of course, there’ll be workshops for you to have a go yourself!

SPORTING FESTIVALS IN SUFFOLK

THE MÖET & CHANDON JULY FESTIVAL
7TH – 9TH JULY

Newmarket’s July Festival is one of the most prestigious and thrilling sporting events in the country. Over an adrenaline-fuelled weekend in which punters, bookies, fashionistas and the hierarchs of the horse racing world all rub shoulders together, you can watch the world’s greatest jockeys and racehorses thunder round the July Course in a series of season-defining races.

THE EAST ANGLIAN DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL
2017 DATES T.B.C.

The ancient Chinese tradition of Dragon Boat racing has boomed in popularity over recent years, and at this festival in Oulton Broad, you can join several thousand other spectators to watch around 40 crews battle it out on the water in an attempt to become Suffolk’s Dragon Boat champions.

THE SUFFOLK WALKING FESTIVAL
2017 DATES T.B.C.

What better way to get to know Suffolk than exploring its loveliest landscapes on foot? Taking place over three weeks every spring, the Suffolk Walking Festival offers thousands of walkers the chance to join guided walks across the county, through countryside, forests, heaths, towns and villages, and along 50 miles of coast.
Ladies Day at the July Festival in NewmarketDress for the occasion at Newmarket's July Festival

IS YOUR FAVOURITE SUFFOLK FESTIVAL ON THE LIST?

There are countless other festivals in Suffolk that we haven’t been able to include in this list. If there’s a Suffolk festival that you think is worth a mention, tell us all about it via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!