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Will Latitude Festival, Newmarket Nights, Ladies’ Day, and Suffolk’s big events still be happening this summer?




The Government’s announcements that all Covid-19 restrictions will be dropped by June 21 has filled Suffolk festival-goers with cautious optimism that summer may not be spent stuck inside after all.

Mass crowd restrictions are among the last to be lifted as part of the ‘roadmap’ to return the UK to some sort of normality. But while Glastonbury has been cancelled, there is hope Suffolk’s big events may still take place.

The announcement has sparked a spike in ticket sales with Ticketmaster seeing a 600 per cent rise in traffic. The Association of Independent Festivals has also reported a huge demand since Boris’s conference.

Missing this? Crowds might be a thing this summer. Yes, really!
Missing this? Crowds might be a thing this summer. Yes, really!

Here is your guide to what is on in Suffolk:

Please be aware all information below was correct at the time of writing and may be subject to change - although we really hope it all goes ahead!

1. Whitsun Fayre

What is it: Fun over the May Bank Holiday weekend with stalls, games, and activities for families to enjoy in Bury St Edmunds.

Starring: Market stall holders, donkeys, a beach, and face paint.

When is it: May 30-31

Chances of it going ahead: Organisers Our Bury St Edmunds have confirmed they are looking to stage the event as planned.

2. Forest Live at Thetford Forest

What is it: Over four nights a different act will perform at the forest’s High Lodge.

Starring: Rag’n’Bone Man (June 17), Keane (June 18), Madness (June 19), Jess Glynne (June 20).

When is it: June 17-20

Chances of it going ahead: The gigs have all been booked before the June 21 easing of restrictions, so keep an eye out for changes. Forestry England has said: “We are assessing the relevant government guidance and will respond as appropriate. If anything changes that affects our Forest Live concerts, we will publish information on our website and contact customers directly.”

Back for more? Jess Glynne performed in 2019 at the venue. Picture by Lee Blanchflower.
Back for more? Jess Glynne performed in 2019 at the venue. Picture by Lee Blanchflower.

3. Newmarket Nights

What is it: Huge names in pop music will perform over several summer nights after a session of horse racing at Newmarket.

Starring: Brian Ferry (July 16), The Script (June 18), Rick Astley (June 25), Olly Murs (July 30), Pete Tong’s Ibiza Classics (August 13).

When is it: June-August

Chances of it going ahead: All dates apart from The Script are after the Government’s restrictions end for gigs.

4. Ipswich Jazz Festival

What is it: After being cancelled for 2020, the festival is back with a top line up and affordable ticket prices for 2021.

Starring: Acts are still to be confirmed.

When is it: June 26-27

Chances of it going ahead: Organisers are keen to bounce back from a hard year. The dates are however not long after the floodgates open for events - and there is little margin if the government delays its road map proposals.

5. Bury Folk Festival

What is it: A fun family day out at Nowton Park in Bury St Edmunds. Oh, and there is some folk music involved!

Starring: Brooks Williams, Elsi, Folk in the Road.

When is it: June 27

Chances of it going ahead: Organisers have confirmed it will happen as planned.

Hats’ off: Ladies’ Day is as much about fashion as horse racing for many. Picture by Mark Westley
Hats’ off: Ladies’ Day is as much about fashion as horse racing for many. Picture by Mark Westley

6. July Festival at Newmarket Races

What is it: Ladies Day (July 8), Gentleman’s Day (July 9), and Darley July Cup Day (July 10) comprise the famous horse racing festival.

Starring: Hats, horses, and betting slips.

When is it: July 8-10

Chances of it going ahead: Sporting events should be in full-swing by July, and horse racing is already proceeding. Organisers will hope that crowds can be there to witness the pinnacle of the flat racing season.

7. Latitude Festival

What is it: Henham Park welcomes back some of the biggest names in the business.

Starring: Lewis Capaldi, Bastille, First Aid Kit, and Snow Patrol will headline with many more names still to be announced.

When is it: July 20-25

Chances of it going ahead: Tickets are on sale but no announcements have been made recently.

Days are gone? Sister act Haim were set to play at the cancelled 2020 Latitude. They are not, yet, on the bill for 2021. Picture submitted.
Days are gone? Sister act Haim were set to play at the cancelled 2020 Latitude. They are not, yet, on the bill for 2021. Picture submitted.

8. Red Rooster

What is it: Cajun, soul, rock’n’roll and blues flavours from Euston Hall, Suffolk.

Starring: Line-up to be announced.

When is it: August 27-29

Chances of it going ahead: Organisers have confirmed it is ‘full steam ahead’. Festival director James Brennan said: “Since the Government’s roadmap was announced and since we announced Red Rooster, we’ve been inundated with enquiries about the festival, so if you want to join us, now’s the time to jump on board.

“For those still a little worried about attending the festival with everything going on, feel confident that we can create a safe space. An event is a secure and managed environment, with much greater sanitation than a supermarket that you frequent weekly even since the beginning of the pandemic. We are fully outdoor, with a much larger site than the usual festival with our numbers of attendees.”

9. MyWish Soapbox Derby

What is it: After being cancelled in 2020, the fundraiser is set to return this year in Bury.

Starring: Businesses competing in homemade go-karts for charity.

When is it: September 4

Chances of it going ahead: Most recent announcements suggested the event will return.

10. Maverick Festival

What is it: Easton Farm Park the UK’s ‘first and finest’ Americana music festival.

Starring: David Banks, Hank Wangford, Rachel Harrington

When is it: September 3-5

Chances of it going ahead: As good a chance as any. Organisers have retained many of the performers who were down to play in 2020.

Bury St Edmunds Christmas lights switch on is one of the biggest events of its kind.
Bury St Edmunds Christmas lights switch on is one of the biggest events of its kind.

11. Christmas Light Switch on in Bury St Edmunds

What is it: Our Bury St Edmunds hosts its traditional festival to light up the town centre.

Starring: Christmas, lights, and Christmas lights.

When is it: To be decided, but you don’t need us to tell you when Christmas is!

Chances of it going ahead: Cancelled in 2020, but a better chance this time around.

Still to be decided

Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

What is it: Hundreds of stalls. One of the biggest Christmas markets in the East.

Starring: Thousands of people!

When is it: November 2021

Chances of it going ahead: West Suffolk Council cancelled the 2020 edition in March last year and is aware the task is a big one. There has not yet been an announcement for 2021.

Cancelled

Unfortunately not all events will be possible in 2021. Among those to have already been cancelled are Bury Festival and Suffolk Show.

Read more: All the latest news from Suffolk