Comedy, poetry, performance and dance will delight the crowds as the UK's only free beach festival returns next month.

Lowestoft Journal: Laughs aplenty at the First Light Festival. Picture: First Light FestivalLaughs aplenty at the First Light Festival. Picture: First Light Festival (Image: First Light Festival)

New works have been unveiled and famous performers are set to debut at the First Light Festival as it hits Lowestoft's South Beach on Saturday, June 17 and Sunday, June 18.

With tens of thousands of people set to flock to Lowestoft, organisers First Light CIC have announced that HighTide Theatre will kick off the weekend of celebration as they present Herring Girls: greater than we are alone, a new song cycle featuring a 100-strong community choir cast that celebrates the inspiring legacy of the 1936 pay protest by Lowestoft herring girls.

Lowestoft Journal: HighTide will present Herring GirlsHighTide will present Herring Girls (Image: High Tide)

Performed on the same beach that the protest took place almost 100 years before, HighTide’s artistic director, Clare Slater, said: "We're so excited to share this beautiful new song cycle with audiences at First Light Festival.

"Our community choristers, who live in and around Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth, have worked with leading theatre-makers to create this special piece about the joy and power of coming together to make positive change."

Lowestoft Journal: Linton Kwesi JohnsonLinton Kwesi Johnson (Image: Linton Kwesi Johnson)

Alongside new work, the festival’s First Word tent will see famous comedians, poets and theatre makers perform across the weekend - including world-renowned poets Linton Kwesi Johnson and Joelle Taylor.

Lowestoft Journal: Joelle Taylor. Picture: Roman ManfrediJoelle Taylor. Picture: Roman Manfredi (Image: Roman Manfredi)

Comedians Josie Long and Harry Baker will perform, while acclaimed comedian Robin Ince will perform his latest show, Weapons of Empathy, at

Lowestoft Journal: Robin Ince. Picture: The Cosmic Shambles and Monika S JakuboswkaRobin Ince. Picture: The Cosmic Shambles and Monika S Jakuboswka (Image: The Cosmic Shambles and Monika S Jakuboswka)

the Seagull Theatre in Pakefield as part of the festival’s Sundown Events - a series of ticketed events taking place across Lowestoft once Saturday’s beach programme finishes at Dusk.

Lowestoft Journal: Harry BakerHarry Baker (Image: Harry Baker)

The festival’s MoonDance and Cosmic Pirates zones feature a busy line-up of performances and workshops for children and adults.

First Light Festival CEO Genevieve Christie said: "We’re thrilled with our world-class line-up that brings some of the most brilliant talent around to Lowestoft."

For more information on the line up, visit