King’s Lynn Festival chairman Alison Croose is pictured beside a portrait of festival founder Ruth, Lady Fermoy, restored in time for this summer’s 70th festival. Picture: Ian Burt

The organisers of King’s Lynn Festival are promising “nothing but the best” as this year marks the 70th anniversary of the prestigious event.

The two-week programme of music, arts and more was launched on Wednesday and chairman Alison Croose said: “We stand by the mantra of the festival’s founder, Ruth, Lady Fermoy: Nothing but the best for King’s Lynn.

“We believe the packed programme of 36 events featuring a host of famous names, truly  offers something for everyone. The festival attracts people from far and wide and does much to put Lynn on the national map, as well as enriching the lives of local people.”

Staged from Sunday, July 19 to Saturday, August 1, the festival kicks off with free music and activities at the Tuesday Market Place during the day and a peal of bells at St Nicholas’ Chapel.

The opening evening performance by the European Union Chamber Orchestra and Lynn Festival Chorus will be at the chapel.

The programme reflects festivals past and also features rising stars of the future.

It will see a return of some favourites including the Academy of Ancient Music, festival vice-president pianist Freddy Kempf, singer Clare Teal with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, the Brighouse and Rastrick brass band and Scottish folk group, Blazin’ Fiddles.

Concert will be held in  some of Lynn’s finest buildings including St Nicholas’ Chapel, The Minster, All Saints Church and St George’s Guildhall.

The Guildhall will be the setting for the Lady Fermoy Concert with the renowned Skampa Quartet. It will also host illustrated talks by art expert Andrew Graham-Dixon and a celebration event dedicated to singer Kathleen Ferrier, who featured in  early Lynn festivals.

Expert David Greening will remember conductor and musician Sir John Barbirolli who also featured in early festivals.

The organisers said they are delighted to welcome back popular guitarist Craig Ogden this time with classical accordionist Milos Milivojevic and guitarist John Etheridge is also set to return.

This year will also see the organisers stage a concert at the historic Houghton Hall with violinist Robert Ruisi and pianist Sten Heinoja.

The exhibition in the Fermoy Gallery will feature artists and artefacts from past exhibitions. The centrepiece will be the restored portrait of Lady Fermoy by British artist Thomas Anthony Devas. The restoration work has been paid for by West Norfolk Council.

This year’s festival will also see a masterpiece by J.M.W. Turner on display in Lynn as part of an East Anglia tour.

Turner’s Walton Bridges, acquired by Norfolk Museums Service, will be on display at Lynn Museum in July as part of the festival.

As well as the packed music and arts programme, the festival will feature a series of coffee concerts, walks, talks and films.

A previous popular event, an afternoon coach tour of three Fenland churches, is being revived this year.

Bringing the festival to a close will be the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Corn Exchange.

Find out more about the programme and how to book at