First Light Festival 2022: Your guide to music performances

First Light Festival in 2019.

First Light Festival in 2019. - Credit: First Light Festival

From honouring Lowestoft's heritage to world-renowned artists, there will be musical performances for everyone at this year's First Light Festival.

With performances split across multiple stages, the festival will showcase a range of talent over the 24-hour event.

To launch the festival, an opening parade 'Winds of Change' will march from Claremont Pier to the Sunlight Stage from 11.30am on Saturday morning, featuring banners made by local schools and the community.

John Ward Band

John Ward Band - Credit: First Light Festival

This will be followed by a rousing, large-scale community performance at midday of The Light Returns by local folk musician, John Ward, in celebration of Lowestoft’s history and the joy of open-air singing.

Sunlight Stage

The majority of cross-genre music acts will take place across the 24-hour period on the Sunlight Stage.

Multi-award winning group Slide Action Trombone Quartet will take to the stage at 1pm on Saturday, followed by The Kosmos Ensemble at 1.45pm, who will be playing a combination of tango, jazz, gypsy, Balkan and music from the Far East. 

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The winner of the festival's New Dawn callouts Mosiah Levi will perform a short set at 2.45pm, before Nic Pendlebury performs his critically acclaimed transcription of Steve Reich's Electric Counterpoint at 3.15pm.

Juanita Euka

Congolese vocalist and the London Afrobeat Collective’s frontwoman Juanita Euka - Credit: First Light Festival

At 3.35pm, FolkEast presents Sam Kelly and the Lost Boys, while Congolese vocalist and the London Afrobeat Collective’s frontwoman Juanita Euka will take to the stage at 5.15pm.

Manchester’s jazz-funk collective Secret Night Gang

Manchester’s jazz-funk collective Secret Night Gang - Credit: First Light Festival

At 6.30pm, world-renowned jazz saxophonist Andy Sheppard will perform his new East Coast project, while Manchester’s jazz-funk collective Secret Night Gang will perform an hour later.

DJ Les Spaine

DJ Les Spaine - Credit: First Light Festival

DJ Les Spaine, known as the Godfather of UK funk and former head of Motown UK, will take to the stage at 9pm, before headliner DJ LTJ Bukem performs a set at 10pm which recalls his days as a teenager clubbing in the 1980s.

First Light Festival headliner LTJ Bukem

First Light Festival headliner LTJ Bukem - Credit: First Light Festival

Performances will also herald in the dawn, with Andy Sheppard returning to the stage at 4am on Sunday morning, which will see him duet with guitarist John Parricelli and then together with bassist Dudley Philips and drummer Nic France.

World-renowned jazz saxophonist Andy Sheppard

World-renowned jazz saxophonist Andy Sheppard - Credit: First Light Festival

At 5.30am, Nic Pendlebury will perform his interpretation of Terry Riley's Dorian Reeds, while the First Light Ensemble returns for 2022 at 6.15am to play a selection of classical music pieces.

At 7.30am, feel-good adult contemporary choir Pop Chorus will perform their take on songs by artists including Elton John and Lizzo, before the Art Deco Trio perform at 8.30am.

The Longshore Men of Lowestoft and the Silver Darlings will perform shanties at 9.45am, before Coronation Kings will perform a set of self-penned material at 10.45am.

The curtain will be closed on the stage with a final performance by youngsters from Britten Pears Arts' Group A at 11.45am until midday.

Mosiah Levi

Mosiah Levi will perform on the Sunlight Stage at 2.45pm, before headlining the New Dawn stage at 9.15pm. - Credit: First Light Festival

New Dawn Stage

New for 2022, the New Dawn Stage is the stage for the freshest, boldest sounds that East Anglia has to offer.

A line-up of young, emerging talent has been selected by a panel of experts - with new music from headliner Mosiah Levi (9.15pm), John Green (4.05pm), Tyler Nathaniel (3.40pm), Maple Ward (4.35pm) and others over the festival weekend.

Helen Hayes, First Light’s music co-ordinator said: “Throughout the pandemic we've been working with local young musicians providing online workshops and artist development support.

"It feels so good that we’ve been able to come together with Access to Music to put together this fantastic showcase for the New Dawn Stage.

"Mosiah Levi was selected to headline the stage from around 80 applicants and we are so grateful to BBC Introducing, Wild Paths and Catch 21 Records for supporting us in the selection process, which I can tell you was not easy because we had so many fantastic acts apply to play.”

Turkish pianist, composer and singer Firdevs Eke

Turkish pianist, composer and singer Firdevs Eke - Credit: Nick White

The Gardens Stage

Located in the beautifully atmospheric Kensington Gardens, the Gardens Stage will offer an eclectic range of mostly acoustic musical performances - with community ukulele playing, soulful sounds of the blues and the ethereal qualities of the harp.

Among the performances will be Turkish pianist, composer and singer Firdevs Eke at 4.15pm on Saturday.

The Fishers Gin Beach Club

For those who want to dance the 24 hours away, the Fishers Gin Beach Club will offer an exciting line-up of national and regional DJs playing hip hop, dub, Latin beat, soul, Balearic, jazz and more across the 24-hour period.

LTJ Bukem After Party

For those seeking yet another late-night clubbing experience, Saturday night will also include an 'Our House presents LTJ Bukem After Party' which is taking place at Mossy’s nightclub on the seafront. This is one of the few ticketed events.

Silent Disco

The concept of silent discos originated as an arts project that re-shaped the dancefloor and changed the way DJs read the crowd, with DJ channels playing radically different styles of music.

First Light takes the concept back to these roots, with a line-up of distinguished DJs known for playing different styles.

People will be able to switch between dancing to the best in Northern Soul, Afro House, Electro Swing, Jazz Funk, Latin, Detroit Techno, Hip Hop, Broken Beat and Disco.