Beginnings

Creating Cultural Projects in Norfolk Since 2010

The HOSTRY FESTIVAL, Autumn Festival of Norfolk is a not-for-profit, community interest project. Uniquely independent, we have commissioned over 100 original events and projects over the past 10 years.

We staged our first ever production in Norwich Cathedral’s Hostry building back in 2010 and have been delivering ambitious programming ever since.

From Night of the Iguana & The Rainmaker to Beethoven's 10th...

The story of the Hostry Festival begins in 2010, when professional actor and director STASH KIRKBRIDE (Bristol Old Vic Theatre School) joined forces with long-time friend, actor and philanthropist PETER BARROW to create the PBSK Partnership with the aim of producing creative projects in Norfolk.

Under the PBSK Partnership, Stash produced the first ever performance to take place in the brand new Hostry building at Norwich Cathedral, costing £10 million and inaugurated by none other than the Queen herself. Night of the Iguana was performed at the Hostry just four months after it was opened. Directed by Stash, it starred Peter alongside a stellar cast.

Spurred on by the success of the the PBSK Partnership set their sights on creating a festival to bring the arts to Norfolk on a larger, more permanent scale. Not ones to shy away from a challenge, the first edition of the Hostry Festival took place in October 2011. The Rainmaker was the first official Central Production.

The festival has since flourished into a rich programme of events showcasing the work of artists, musicians, dancers, and writers from  across the county and beyond, creating a much-needed platform for the arts in Norfolk. The Central Production continues to be a highlight.

Our Central Production for 2021 is BEETHOVEN’s 10th, the perfect choice for our 10th Anniversary Year. The production is set to run at the Hostry, Norwich Cathedral, from 25th – 30th October 2021.

Signature Projects

We are to champion 4 signature projects, each established under the umbrella of the festival: Total Ensemble Theatre Company, The Norfolk Arts Awards, The African Choir of Norfolk & Paint Out. Each one creates waves across the county and beyond, flying the flag for the arts in Norfolk. From free workshops to plein air painting events, our Signature Projects have something for everyone.

Festival Team

The Hostry Festival’s Artistic Director STASH KIRKBRIDE works closely throughout the year with a core festival team and talented group of volunteers. Together, they deliver a a diverse programme of stunning events. The festival simply wouldn’t be possible without the generous support, enthusiasm and passion of our team.

Find out more about the Hostry Festival core team and volunteers here.

PETER BARROW - Co-founder of the Hostry Festival
STASH KIRKBRIDE - Co-founder & Artistic Director of the Hostry Festival
Hostry Festival Team & Supporters | Launch Night 2019