Suffolk

Lowestoft First Light Festival: New event gets under way

People at the First Light Festival
Image caption The First Light Festival in Lowestoft aims to celebrate the summer solstice at Britain's most easterly town

A new 24-hour festival which aims to "shine a light" on a "neglected" seaside town is under way.

The First Light Festival in Lowestoft kicked off at midday on Saturday.

It has been designed to celebrate the summer solstice at Britain's most easterly town and organisers hope it will help regenerate the area.

Fashion designer Wayne Hemingway, who helped organise the event, said the festival had beaten "all kind of expectations".

Image caption The straw "Pakefield Man" will be set alight at 02:00 on Sunday

He said: "It's to shine a light on Lowestoft and also more than Lowestoft, seaside towns around the UK.

"One of the things we've got in the UK is amazing beaches like this and, mainly to do with my generation, we fell out of love with them and we all started to travel to places and lie on beaches in the Costa del Sol.

"Thankfully that's gone out of fashion considerably now with a younger generation who are living a bit more thriftily but enjoying staycations and also re-evaluating what Britain is."

Image caption The festival includes live music

The two-day event includes films, readings, music, performances by young people and a community feast.

Film director Danny Boyle is due to introduce his film Sunrise on a big screen and Hemingway will host a silent disco.

Sculptor Tobias Ford's giant iron and straw "Pakefield Man", in reference to the earliest humans found in Britain, will be set alight at 02:00 on Sunday.

Co-organiser Genevieve Christie said: "It's a beautiful place and we're shining a light on somewhere that's been rather neglected."

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