I Looked East event information

Outline of programme

Events start on the Friday night, when there will be an opening reception followed by pub sessions – details will be sent to those who buy weekend or day tickets. Events take place in a number of different venues around the town, and the main concerts are in the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts. For further information regarding ticketing, visits our Tickets page.

On the Saturday there will be two presentations – “In Julia’s Own Words” (Matt Cranitch) and “Handing on the Legacy” (Billy Clifford with Bryan O’Leary, Gerry Harrington and Peter Browne) plus a musicians’ workshop and a set dance workshop, an afternoon fiddle concert and “The English Years” – with an amazing gathering of people who knew Julia reminiscing and tracing her life in the UK, particularly in East Anglia.

This is followed on Saturday evening by the grand “I Looked East and I Looked West” concert featuring all the listed Irish guests and a couple of amazing surprises! Tickets for this can be bought separately or as part of the “all-inclusive” weekend ticket. (Update 9.3.19 – the evening concert has now sold out.)

On Sunday there is an informal late morning gathering “A Song, A Tune, A Step and A Story”, a talk from Peter Browne entitled “Radio Recordings from Sliabh Luachra”, archive film of Julia Clifford at the National Folk Festival in 1987, a set dance workshop and “The Gathering” concert featuring as many of the Irish and English guests as we can cram into the 3.30-5pm slot! This concert is included in the daytime ticket. We are also planning a musical tribute at Julia’s grave in Thetford in the morning, details will be circulated to anyone interested.

Details of the pub sessions will be given to ticket holders on arrival.

Information about the main artists may be found here.

Ticket information

Advance tickets available are:  weekend (daytime) –  £47 /  Saturday only (daytime) – £26 / Sunday only – £26. You can also buy a ticket for the set dance workshops separately – £8 per workshop. There is no admission to any event without a ticket.

We have now sold out of all-inclusive weekend, and Saturday evening concert tickets. If you would like to be put on the waiting list for returns,  please email us at ilookedeastatgmail.com (just change the word at for the symbol @).

There may be single event tickets available on the door for the other daytime events – space permitting,  and we may be able to release some in advance. Please check back here nearer the time.

Click here to book your tickets 

Getting here

Stowmarket is on the main rail line between London Liverpool Street and Norwich. There are also trains from Cambridge, Ely and Peterborough, linking with the main East Coast line. It is a few minutes off the A14 trunk road and approximately one hour’s drive from Stansted Airport, and 2-3 hours from Heathrow or Gatwick. It is also on National Cycle Route 51 and you can hire bikes from the station.

Local taxis: Stowmarket Taxis (Station Yard) 01449 – 677777 / Gold Star (town centre) 01449-676767.


The two nearest places are now fully booked: Verandah House (walking distance; contact 0044 1449 676104) and Best Western Cedars Hotel (less than a mile;  0044 1449 612668).

The next nearest is the Travelodge (Ipswich/Stowmarket), which is just 3 miles from the centre of town: we will try to ensure there is late night transport available!

There is another Travelodge at Ipswich/Beacon Hill which is only about 6 miles away on the main A14 road, a Premier Inn (Ipswich North) a mile or two further  on the same road, and of course, a number of nice country B&Bs.  There’s also another Premier Inn in the centre of Bury St Edmunds which is about the same distance but will take a little longer to drive in and out of the town. There’s a list of further accommodation options  here, which you might find helpful if you’re unfamiliar with the area, as it is based on distance and ease of travelling into Stowmarket. You could also look at Air B’n’B, which we haven’t included here.

The nearest campsites are Lakeside Caravan Park at Onehouse, Stowmarket, or Red House Farm at Haughley (the latter has limited facilities). Unfortunately neither of them is in walking distance or on public transport routes.

Shortcut back to the I Looked East and I Looked West home page.