Maybe it was the posh tourists and their demanding tastes, or maybe it was the sea and its romance and beauty, but Lowestoft has always had a strong interest in the arts.
Throughout time music has been especially encouraged and enjoyed and we have had a wide variety of native musicians from Benjamin Britton to The Darkness to Lil' Chris. The Victoran tourists listened to music on the beach and bandstand throught the summer and right up until the '60's and 70's every pop and rock band of renown played here. I can't close off this section without mentioning the pirate radio stations, sailor's songs like "The House of the Rising Sun".
Amatuer and professional theatre were and are popular and Lowestoft had several venues that put on productions. Today we have the Seagull Theatre, The Marina Theatre and the Bethel Theatre putting on productions. You can go to the theater and see a high quality production almost every day of the year.
Painters, sculptors and photographers have been through or lived in the town and you'd be surprised to hear some of the famous names that have worked here. J.M.W. Turner, one of England's most revered artists, spent time here drawing and painting. Other artists include illustrator Michael Foreman and Mark Burrell.
Famous writers include Thomas Nashe, George Borrow, Jayne-Marie Barker, and I'd be very surprised if Charles Dickens didn't make a trip here on one of his visits to Great Yarmouth and Blundeston. I'd like to be able to document that.
Lowestoft seems to have something in the water that brings out the romantic, artistic soul in us. We need to encourage the arts in Lowestoft. The arts makes the town richer in so many ways, both in real money as a varied arts scene encourages tourism and in uplifting the daily life of the people who live here.