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Guide to the Aldeburgh Festival

About the 2022 festival

Aldeburgh Festival has something for everyone. Established artists and new, emerging talent. Soloists, chamber ensembles, orchestras and choirs. Opera, films, visual art exhibitions and walks.

The Festival is back with an especially extended, 24-day celebration of music and the arts. Time hasn’t stopped over the last two years, but our sense of time and its regular rhythms do seem to have been disrupted. The disappearance of time is a key element in Tom Coult and Alice Birch’s opera, Violet, which opens the Festival, and running out of time is the motivation for a number of large-scale works about the climate crisis.

Programming strands include Britten and Women and a celebration of the Britten Pears Young Artist Programme at 50, and there are also events marking the Platinum Jubilee of HM The Queen. 

Our featured artists in 2022 are violinist Nicola Benedetti, Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, cellist Laura van der Heijden, organist Anna Lapwood, clarinettist and composer Mark Simpson, percussionist Vivi Vassileva, and composer and conductor Ryan Wigglesworth. Featured composers include Laura Bowler, Tom Coult, Bushra El-Turk, and Gavin Higgins. Our exhibitions include Britten and Women at The Red House and artworks by Paul Benney, Laurence Edwards, Kiki Smith and John Craxton at Snape Maltings.

Where is it?

The festival takes place across different venues in the beautiful, rural countryside & seaside of East Suffolk.

How to get there?

By car: From the A12.

By train: The closest station is Saxmundham (4 miles) which is on the East Suffolk Ipswich - Lowestoft train line.

By bike: Trains on the Ipswich to Lowestoft line can accommodate a limited number of bikes free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. On the London – Norwich intercity train line you will need to book a cycle reservation.

Venues

We have multiple venues, most of which are indoors – all are seated. There are plenty of transport options available from venue to venue.

Dress code

The Aldeburgh Festival has a casual dress code. We would recommend coming prepared for all eventualities as the weather can change on the day. 

Local accommodation

There is a wide-range of accommodation available in the area, but it is a popular tourist destination in June, so we recommend booking well in advance!

Food & drink

There are a wide range of food & drink options available throughout the festival. At our main site of Snape Maltings we have the River View Restaurant – with unbeatable views and local produce as the focus of the menu, our talented chefs allow the ingredients to speak for themselves. This summer also sees the return of The Tipi, where you can enjoy delicious stone-baked pizzas in the sun, accompanied by live music. 

The seaside town Aldeburgh is well-known for its array of delicious dining spots - you will no doubt be spoiled for choice. 

We do recommend booking restaurants in advance, as the Suffolk coast is a popular tourist destination in June.

Why visit the festival?

The Aldeburgh Festival is much more than a classical music festival – it is a 24 day celebration of music & the arts, in one of the most breath-taking and beautifully preserved locations in the UK.

What can tourists visit nearby?

We are in a prime spot for places to visit. Head to Sutton Hoo to discover the incredible Anglo-Saxon royal burial ground or explore Orford Castle and get lost in the maze.

Looking back