Tens of thousands of visitors are set to descend on Lowestoft this weekend as the UK's only free beach festival makes a welcome return.

First Light Festival 2023 will see international soul stars, folk favourites, prominent DJs and talented acts from across the region taking centre stage to put on a feast of free live music.

Lowestoft Journal: First Light Festival. Picture: Mykola RomanovskyFirst Light Festival. Picture: Mykola Romanovsky (Image: Mykola Romanovsky)

But it is not just about music - some of the UK’s foremost artists, scientists, performers, poets, comedians and dancers will also delight the crowds on Saturday and Sunday - June 17 and 18.

With 35,000 people attending First Light Festival 2022, more than the inaugural event in 2019, organisers First Light CIC have announced something for everyone will be available this year - with new timings and new festival venues off the beach and across the town.

Lowestoft Journal: First Light Festival 2022.First Light Festival 2022. (Image: Sonya Duncan)

Whether you have been to Lowestoft before, or this is your first time visiting, here's all you need to know about this year's family-friendly festival.

Where is it?

The festival takes place on Lowestoft's South Beach, as well as at Kensington Gardens, the Upper Esplanade and Jubilee Parade.

Lowestoft Journal: The First Light Festival in Lowestoft 2022.The First Light Festival in Lowestoft 2022. (Image: Sonya Duncan)

There are a number of music and event sites around the beach, while events will also be held at Mossy's nightclub in Lowestoft, the Seagull Theatre in Pakefield, St John & St Peter’s Church in Kirkley, at the Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht Club in Lowestoft and at East Point Pavilion in Lowestoft.

Do I need a ticket?

First Light is free and unticketed.

Lowestoft Journal: First Light Festival 2022First Light Festival 2022 (Image: Mykola Romanovsky)

The only time you’ll need a ticket is if you want to attend one of the festival's Sundown Events on Saturday night once the free beach programme finishes at 9.30pm.

Which events are ticketed?

Luke Una afterparty 9.30pm to 2am Mossy’s Nightclub: The cult DJ and counterculture pioneer spins an eclectic melting pot of feel-good sounds.

Moonlit Soundscapes 9.30pm to 2.30am St John & St Peter’s Church: This will feature dreamy performances from Arcani Ensemble, Ensemble Variances, Jake Raywood, Noel Vine’s #ClassicalChill, Stevie Wishart, Tom McRae and Trinity Laban.

Pangaea 9.30pm to midnight Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht Club: A globally-inspired contemporary take on groove-orientated jazz.

Robin Ince - Weapons of Empathy 9.30pm to 11pm Seagull Theatre in Pakefield: The celebrated comedian and ‘Infinite Monkey Cage’ podcaster brings his latest show to the Seagull Theatre.

Silent Disco - The Intergalactic Get Down 9.30pm to 2am East Point Pavilion: Get ready for blast-off with DJs Alina, LU and Purple City.

Tickets cost £10 via firstlightlowestoft.com/ticketed

You can also book places to wild camp on the beach or pull up your campervan to the festival's pop-up cliffside.

What are the festival timings?

This year’s festival follows the cycles of the sun.

From noon to 9.30pm on Saturday, you can hit the beach for a packed first day of free entertainment.

Lowestoft Journal: Thousands descended on Lowestoft for First Light Festival 2022.Thousands descended on Lowestoft for First Light Festival 2022. (Image: Mick Howes)

From 9.30pm on Saturday to 2.30am on Sunday, the party moves off the sand and into venues around Lowestoft for ticketed Sundown Events.

From 3.30am to 5am on Sunday, gather on the shoreline and join the Sunrise Club for an unforgettable free dawn experience of new dance and music with the rising light.

From 10am to 4pm on Sunday, the festivities continue.

What is the weather forecast?

After a sunny arrival on the Friday, the best of the weather is expected for Saturday - with temperatures forecast to reach 22°.

Sunday is forecast to be cloudy, with expected to reach 20°.

How do I get to Lowestoft?

Visitors are asked to travel by public transport, walk or cycle to South Beach in a bid to reduce congestion and pollution in Lowestoft.

Regular trains and buses will be running to and from the town throughout the weekend.

Car parking is set to be "very limited" around South Beach and the festival site.

For more information on the line-up, visit firstlightlowestoft.com