“Did you get tickets?” That’s the most frequently asked question of the week.
Were you using fingers and toes to simultaneously refresh eight screens on four devices to be one of the lucky 25,000 people?
Radio 1’s Big Weekend tickets were certainly on Norwich’s most wanted list this week with bookings announced as FULL in just 40 short minutes.
The Norwich weekender will see 50,000 people dancing to Taylor Swift & Florence & the Machine alongside other big names in Earlham Park over the two days of 23rd and 24th May.
If you did get tickets, congratulations! It’s never too soon to start preparing for a short break in Norwich so I’ve put together a Big Weekend Guide to the city for VisitNorwich.
From your festival fashion must-haves to finding accommodation and the best places to eat and drink while you’re here, we’ve got it covered.
Norwich will be jumping to the beats of the world’s biggest stars when BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend comes to the city next month.
Not a patch of grass will be left visible in Earlham Park as 50,000 music fans dance their way through the weekender which has become the largest ticketed festival in Europe.
Norwich has plenty to keep both the stars and fans entertained in the run up to the Weekend, so arrive early to make the most of your stay in the city.
We have your essential Big Weekend Guide to help you plan your trip. Take a look at the links on this page for ideas on where to stay, the best places to eat, drink and shop and a guide to local attractions that are worth checking out while you’re here.
Norwich is a very student-friendly city so have your ID card with you and look out for special student offers and discounts.
Not familiar with the city? Download a visitor guide to see what it’s all about.
Where to stay
When it comes to where to stay, the question you have to ask yourself is – do you love luxury like Taylor Swift and want to treat yourself to a hotel complete with robe, fluffy slippers and a spa? Or, do you want to save the pennies for beer money and bag yourself a campsite plot?
Norwich, South Norfolk and the surrounding areas have a wide range of accommodation for all budgets but, with 50,000 people heading to the event, make sure you book early to secure your stay.
Radio 1’s Big Weekend is taking place in Earlham Park, three miles west of the city, next to the University of East Anglia. Norwich and the surrounding area has good links for public transport so don’t worry if you are unable to find a place to stay in the heart of the city.
Festival fashion – where to shop
No festival-goer worth their wristband heads out to Radio 1’s Big Weekend without full-on festival fashion. Whatever the weather, cover all eventualities with dark sunglasses and a colourful poncho. The key to festival dress success is to bring layers; add more as the evening cools down and peel them off when the dancing warms you up.
Norwich is a UK top 10 shopping destination; best of all, 40% of the retail is independent – perfect for creating a bespoke festival outfit without the danger of seeing someone else rocking the same look.
Festival food and drink
Before you get your fill of festival food, make sure you visit the city for a huge selection of cuisine, from well-priced pub food to independent restaurants and big chains.
If you want to dine like the stars, you’ll be pleased to know that Norwich has a number of celebrity chefs heading up restaurants. Visit Roger Hickman’s, Delia’s, Carluccio’s or Jamie’s Italian before heading out for a drink.
Norwich was once famed for having a pub for every day of the year, there may be fewer than that these days but you’ll still be spoilt for choice. Whether you want a relaxed pint or pre-party cocktails, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in and around the city.
When it comes to finding the right club for the after-party party, you’ll find a lively nightlife scene at Riverside and along the Prince of Wales Road. For a more chilled-out atmosphere head to The Lanes and the Cathedral Quarter.
Things to See and do
However long you’re staying in Norwich, you won’t have time to get bored. Hop on the sightseeing open-top bus to get your bearings and then head out to explore.
The city has two cathedrals and a stunning Norman Castle. It’s home to the largest, permanent undercover market in England and is the most complete Medieval city in the UK.
If you want to get outside of the city, you can visit the coast from just 30 minutes’ drive, the bustling market towns of South Norfolk or spend a day enjoying the Norfolk Broads where you can hire a day boat.
There are many great attractions to experience from wildlife parks to halls and gardens.
For money-saving fun, relax in one of the city’s parks and green spaces or take the picturesque Riverside walk where you can see Cow Tower and Pulls Ferry.
Find your way around with the free VisitNorwich Map
- So, did you get tickets? Have to been to a Radio 1 Big weekend before?