The 2014 Norwich Lords Mayor’s Celebrations 5 July, and The Lanes Fayre, 6 July
Along with the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, the Lord Mayor’s Celebrations and Lanes Fayre weekend is one of the highlights of the calendar in the city. It seems to get bigger and better each year with more events over a larger area. This year we had stages outside the Forum, in Chapelfield Gardens, a brilliant Bo Nanafana stage in Brigg Street and an Epic stage on the Walk, with other performances scattered around the city centre, as well as the procession itself and the evening fireworks too of course.
Bo Nanafana presented a variety of cabaret acts, the Drink ‘n’ Jive DJs and DJ78, with two sets from London’s jazzy Shirt Tail Stompers. At one surreal moment they pointed out a passing steampunk hippo and photographed it from the stage! They were even playing a song called “Norwich” at the time!
The numerous street theatre acts provide some of the lovely surprises and there seemed many on offer this year, and once again Chapelfield Gardens has a funfair with BBC Introducing hosting sets from the Bandstand.
On Sunday the brilliant Lanes Fayre this time also included Upper St Giles, and a rather special performance from The Neutrinos. Bo were relocated to Bedford Street, graffiti artists were at work on Pottergate and there were stages inside and outside The Birdcage.
Despite some morning rain (which thankfully cleared) St Benedict’s was absolutely packed, with street vendors, stalls, food outlets, lots of music, and much fun. The Norwich Arts Centre had live music in the bar, including Woodland Creatures, Echoes in the Well, and Girl in a Thunderbolt, St Margaret’s Church of Art had an exhibition running and live music and poetry inside the church as well as an outside stage. By the time the sun showed itself and The Piratones had started the front lawn was packed, with people of all ages sitting and listening or dancing along. We had music throughout the day from The Piratones, Matt Watson, Stromm, Andy Sacre, Shane O’Linski, Andy Butler, Elena, Johnny Steinberg et al. Many thanks to all who took part and came along, especially the performers and Ruski, Kevin, and Paul.
This weekend is such a special occasion, with so much on offer, I only wish I were able to see/hear/enjoy more of it, but I had a great time.
Amazingly, by 7:30pm the streets had been entirely cleared with only the bins to be emptied in the morning. Great work Norwich!
The Sunday evening wind-down from a wonderful weekend was spent with a few friends in a very chilled and relaxed Ten Bells for a jazz jam. Perfect!
Many thanks to all the acts, artists and organisers, Ruski, Paul, Kevin, as well as Dickie and Jenny. The Art of Norwich exhibition continues at the Church of Art until Saturday at 5pm.
words and photos, richard shashamane 2014