The major plans and events for Lowestoft in 2022

The First Light Festival in Lowestoft in 2019, captured at night.

The First Light Festival in Lowestoft in 2019, captured at night. - Credit: Mick Howes

Much like the 12 months before, 2021 proved to be a difficult and unexpected year for many.

With 2021 having once again been dominated by the coronavirus crisis, it led to lockdowns, restrictions, working from home, furlough, social distancing and many events being cancelled.

So, with 2022 having much in store for Lowestoft, Southwold and the East Suffolk district, here are some of the exciting events and decisions coming up this year.

First Light Festival

The popular First Light Festival in Lowestoft is set to return in June 2022.

The inaugural First Light Festival on Lowestoft's South Beach in 2019

The inaugural First Light Festival on Lowestoft's South Beach in 2019 - Credit: Kate Ellis

The 24-hour, innovative arts festival - which takes place on Lowestoft’s South Beach - was last held in 2019 with more than 30,000 people attending.

Organised by First Light CIC, plans for the 2022 festival are still being developed but it is hoped that the event will be even larger than 2019, with a focus on young people.

Some of the crowds at the First Light Festival in Lowestoft in 2019.

Some of the crowds at the First Light Festival in Lowestoft in 2019. - Credit: Mick Howes

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The programme is expected to include a mix of music, international DJs on the main stage, a larger Beach Club Bar, a showcase for talented new musicians and writers, comedy, dance and a late-night silent beach cinema.

Latitude Festival

Returning once more, the ever-popular Latitude Festival will take over Henham Park once again in 2022.

Latitude Festival 2022 will take place from July 21 to July 24 in Henham Park, Suffolk.

Latitude Festival 2022 will take place from July 21 to July 24 in Henham Park, Suffolk. - Credit: Archant

With Latitude hitting Henham, near Southwold, the festival will be held between Thursday, July 21 and Sunday, July 24.

Bill Bailey Latitude festival in Henham Park

Festival-goers watch Bill Bailey perform at the Obelisk Arena at Latitude festival in Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk. - Credit: PA

In 2021, headliners Wolf Alice, The Chemical Brothers and Bastille topped the bill, so expect more star studded acts for this year's Latitude.

Saturday night of Latitude festival 2021.

Saturday night of Latitude festival 2021. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Nearly Festival

It is a family-friendly festival that attracts music fans and partygoers to a popular park.

People having a dance at the 2021 Nearly Festival in Oulton Broad.

People having a dance at the 2021 Nearly Festival in Oulton Broad. - Credit: Mick Howes

And a leading tribute band festival will return to the stage in Oulton Broad, Lowestoft in June.

The Oulton Broad Nearly Festival 2022 will be showcased on Nicholas Everitt Park over the weekend of June 25-26, 2022.

A special kinda Madness at Nearly Festival 2021.

A special kinda Madness at Nearly Festival 2021. - Credit: Mick Howes

Southwold Arts Festival

After being cancelled for the past two years, hopes are high that the seventh Southwold Arts Festival will be held in 2022.

Georgie Fame at Southwold Arts Festival 2018.

Georgie Fame at Southwold Arts Festival 2018. - Credit: Ian Lomas

Festival organisers are planning for the festival to be held from Saturday, June 25 to Saturday, July 2.

The Suffolk School of Samba with a new recruit at Southwold Arts Festival 2018.

The Suffolk School of Samba with a new recruit at Southwold Arts Festival 2018. - Credit: Ian Lomas

Starting with a street festival in Southwold High Street on June 25, the festival will be a mix of local, national and international performances - with something for everyone offered.

Heritage Open Days Lowestoft

One of the largest heritage festivals in the country is set to return in September.

Rob Harbord and Lyn Tupper, from IBTC, wire eye splice making at the Lowestoft Maritime Heritage Fair.

Rob Harbord and Lyn Tupper, from the International Boatbuilding Training College, wire eye splice making at the Lowestoft Maritime Heritage Fair. - Credit: Mick Howes

After almost 120 free to explore events were held across town in September 2021, organisers of the Lowestoft Heritage Open Days Festival revealed that more than 18,000 visits took place last year.

John Mallett, Blacksmith, at the Lowestoft Maritime Heritage Fair.

John Mallett, Blacksmith, at the Lowestoft Maritime Heritage Fair. - Credit: Mick Howes

The award-winning 10-day celebration of Lowestoft’s culture and heritage will be held once more between September 9 and September 18, 2022.

Other events

Across Suffolk this year, a series of events will be held to mark the Queen's platinum jubilee.

The Festival of Suffolk, involving communities across the county, will take place to highlight the Queen's 70-year reign.

Between May 16 to May 27, a Festival Torch will be carried around Suffolk as part of a torch relay to celebrate local communities and to honour local heroes.

Beacons will be lit across Suffolk on June 2 between 9.15pm and 11pm, with Lieutenant Lady Euston lighting the first beacon in Suffolk - on the beach at Lowestoft - ahead of big lunches, pageants and Suffolk Day also being held in June.

Hoping to make a welcome return this year, after previously being cancelled for the past two years, the Scores Race 2022 will hopefully return for its 25th anniversary.

The Christmas Day swim in Lowestoft 2019.

The Christmas Day swim in Lowestoft 2019. - Credit: Mick Howes

Similarly, organisers hope that the Lowestoft Christmas Day Swim will be held once more in December.

A new 'celebration market' - incorporating a mini-festival feel - is hoped to be held in Lowestoft, as markets are set to be staged in Halesworth and Beccles this year. 

Gull Wing works 

After construction of Lowestoft's long-awaited third crossing began last year, work is continuing in 2022 with building over the railway and work on the southern approach.

Works are continuing as part of the £126.75m Gull Wing bridge in Lowestoft.

Works are continuing as part of the £126.75m Gull Wing bridge in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

The new bridge will cross Lake Lothing and link Waveney Drive to Denmark Road and Peto Way.

Town's Fund

After East Suffolk Council was awarded £24.9m of funding from the government last year through the Town's Fund, more than £2m has been earmarked for seafront projects - with priority projects set to be identified and worked up further this year.

Flood defences/Tidal Barrier

Construction is continuing on the tidal floodwalls on Hamilton Road and Waveney Road in Lowestoft, with the second phase of works starting soon around the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club and South Pier.

Beach Huts

Work as part of a £2.6m scheme to install 72 new beach huts on Jubilee Parade in Lowestoft is set to be completed in March ahead of its scheduled opening this year.

A CGI visualisation of the new Lowestoft Jubilee Promenade beach huts

A CGI visualisation of the new Lowestoft Jubilee Promenade beach huts - Credit: East Suffolk Council

East Point Pavilion

East Point Pavilion in Lowestoft.

East Point Pavilion in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

Work to transform the East Point Pavilion into a "unique destination" for Lowestoft seafront is set to start soon - with the organisers of Lowestoft’s First Light Festival the new operators for the pavilion.

An artists impression of the restyled East Point Pavilion in Lowestoft.

An artists impression of the restyled East Point Pavilion in Lowestoft. - Credit: East Suffolk Council