Popular Sea Fever festival announced to return to Norfolk this summer

The Wells maltings. Picture: Supplied by the Maltings/Sarah Toon Photography

The fifth incarnation of the Sea Fever poetry and prose festival will take place at Wells Maltings in late June - Credit: Archant

A literary festival, celebrating all forms of the written word inspired by the coastline, is set to return to North Norfolk this summer.

The fifth incarnation of the Sea Fever poetry and prose festival will take place at Wells Maltings in late June and aims to celebrate the country's emergence from the pandemic. 

Sea Fever is North Norfolk’s festival of poetry and prose, was launched in 2018 as a predecessor to the established Poetry-next-the-Sea festival and to coincide with the re-opening of Wells Maltings.

Since its launch, the festival has attracted an impressive roster of poets, writers, artists and critics including Matthew Hollis, Roger Law, Peter York, C.J. Driver and Sir Andrew Motion.

And, the 2021 festival, which has been postponed from April to make the most of coronavirus restrictions easing, promises to continue the tradition.


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Intended to be the cornerstone of Wells Malting's new season, the celebrations will kick off on Saturday, June 12, with the opening of an exhibition of film and photography by two local artists inspired by the Norfolk coast.

The main festival will then take place on Friday, June 25 and Saturday, June 26.

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While the final line-up is yet to be confirmed it is expected to include Professor Patrick Barwise on his ground-breaking book on the BBC, Norwich-based poet Laura Scott, historian and travel writer Justin Marozzi and Professor Bart van Es on his bestseller The Cut-Out Girl.

The two-day event will also include a schools’ poetry competition, several book launches and a special event focussing on racism and colonialism as seen through the lens of Joseph Conrad.

Ian Scott, the newly appointed chair of the festival, said: "This promises to be a wonderful line-up.

"The festival will be a real sign of things getting back to normal. I think people are going to flock through the Maltings’ doors."

Tickets for the festival will be on sale from early June, through Wells Maltings and online.

The government's current roadmap out of lockdown states the majority of indoor attractions and hospitality will be able to reopen from May 17, followed by all remaining venues, including festivals and theatre performances from June 21.

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