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From the deep south to Mid Norfolk - thousands turn out for Dereham Blues Festival

PUBLISHED: 12:03 11 July 2017 | UPDATED: 12:03 11 July 2017

Andy Fairweather Low performing at the 2017 Dereham Blues Festival. Picture: Doreen Aitken.

Andy Fairweather Low performing at the 2017 Dereham Blues Festival. Picture: Doreen Aitken.

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The Dereham Blues Festival has enjoyed another stellar year, with thousands flooding to the mid Norfolk market town to enjoy bands from across the country.

Dove and Boweevil band at the Dereham Blues Festival. Picture: Doreen Aitken Dove and Boweevil band at the Dereham Blues Festival. Picture: Doreen Aitken

It was the fifth year for the festival, which kicked off last Thursday, and it is now well established in the local calendar.

The line-up featured around 50 different acts, all taking place in 15 venues around Dereham.

It launched with a concert from Andy Fairweather Low, supported by The Dove and Boweevil Band, organised by the volunteer group Friends of Dereham Memorial Hall.

Chairman Tim Cara said they were “delighted” to have signed a leading British blues act.

Andy Fairweather Low at the Dereham Blues Festival. Picture: Doreen Aitken Andy Fairweather Low at the Dereham Blues Festival. Picture: Doreen Aitken

“He is a class act, hugely in demand in his own right as a performer as well as having played with the very best on the world music scene,” he said.

“It shows that Dereham and the blues festival can attract some of the very best acts in the UK to come and play here.”

And acts came from far and wide too. Committee member Jim Niven said: “We had local acts as well as bands from the south, from Nottingham, from Newcastle.

“With the exception of the opening concert the rest of the event was free, and we were treated very favourably by the weather which helped.”

Dereham Blues Festival. Picture: Doreen Aitken Dereham Blues Festival. Picture: Doreen Aitken

The four day festival was founded by Stewart and Doreen Aitken, who soon found that the festival was so popular they needed more help running it.

Mrs Aitken said she was able to “enjoy” the festival for the first time as she had more volunteer help with the organisation.

“It was lovely to walk the town and for hour after hour see it full of happy smiling folk,” she said.

As so many people were taking photos of the various gigs she has decided to run a best photo competition on the festival’s Facebook page.

Dereham Blues Festival. Picture: Doreen Aitken Dereham Blues Festival. Picture: Doreen Aitken

Mr Niven added: “We don’t really know how busy it was this year because as it’s a free event we don’t know how many tickets would have been sold. What we do know from looking around Dereham town centre is that it was full and very busy.

“You could walk from one venue to another. We even had a performance on the Dereham Station train platform!”

Preparations will soon be underway for next year’s show. Mr Niven added: “We’ll start looking at next year’s show pretty much as soon as this one is finished.”

* To see more photos and videos by Adam Gooch Media go online here.





















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