The First Light Festival

November 22, 2022

The First Light Festival

The First Light Festival is a free 24-hour multi-arts festival set on the beautiful sandy beach at Lowestoft on the Suffolk coast.  The inaugural festival took place in 2019 and was a huge success and the festival has now secured funding to continue each year.

The festival was created to celebrate the summer solstice as Lowestoft is the most easterly point of the UK, so it is the first to welcome the sun each day. With Lowestoft’s sandy beach it makes it the most perfect place to celebrate the longest days of the year.

The First Light Festival is the brainchild of Wayne Hemmingway and is an integral part of East Suffolk Council plan to rejuvenate the seafront and invigorate the town’s tourist and leisure attractions.

The highlight for me and many others was The Pakefield Man, a giant metal sculpture commissioned for the festival and created by Tobias Ford. The Pakefield man stood majestically on the shoreline creating a breathtaking backdrop to the festival and a moving experience to be near. The Pakefield Man is filled with straw and set alight at midnight as part of the program of festivities throughout the night.

The Pakefield Man at sunrise

There are a vast array of activities and entertainment to enjoy for every age. The festival spreads along the beach, the promenade, and the ornamental gardens above.

The Sunlight main stage on the beach and the Pakefield man are the focal points of the festival.

The sunrise is welcomed in by atmospheric music and in 2019 local fishing boats came ashore to land local fish, which was then cooked on a BBQ for festival-goers to enjoy.

All of our holiday cottages are just a few minutes walk away from the festival site, making them an ideal base for festival-goers!