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Organisers cancel Dereham Blues Festival

PUBLISHED: 09:19 23 March 2020 | UPDATED: 09:38 23 March 2020

A scene from the Dereham Blues Festival, which has been cancelled for 2020 because of the coronavirus outbreak. Pictures: David Bale

A scene from the Dereham Blues Festival, which has been cancelled for 2020 because of the coronavirus outbreak. Pictures: David Bale

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Organisers of one of Dereham’s most popular events are urging people to “foster a sense of community” after cancelling.

Dereham Blues Festival, which attracts thousands of music lovers and performers to the mid Norfolk market town every summer, will not be going ahead this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A statement from the committee said it was “very disappointed” but the safety of its festival goers was paramount.

It read: “The Dereham Blues Festival Committee has unfortunately had to make the difficult decision to cancel this year’s festival which was due to run from July 8 to 12.

“The committee is incredibly disappointed to have to make this call but also unanimously agree that the only thing more important than staging a successful festival is looking after the people who are responsible for making the event what it is - and that is the festival goers.

Hamilton Loomis performing on the opening night of Dereham Blues Festival, July 10, 2019. Picture: Colin Collis/DBFHamilton Loomis performing on the opening night of Dereham Blues Festival, July 10, 2019. Picture: Colin Collis/DBF

“In the meantime, and true to the spirit of the festival, the committee would like to encourage everyone to foster a sense of community spirit amongst family, friends and neighbours.

“Look after those who need it, offer assistance if you are able, and together Dereham can get through this difficult time together.”

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Dereham Blues Festival was founded in 2013 by local blues aficionados Stewart and Doreen Aitken, and has since grown from strength to strength.

The event had been heading into its eighth year, and typically sees town centre restaurants, pubs, bars and other venues brimming with music-lovers as they enjoy some of the world’s finest blues acts.

The 2019 festival extended over five days for the first time - an evolution that was due to be repeated in 2020.

Organised and run each year by a dedicated group of volunteers, the musical showcase is unique in the way each venue holds its own programme of free gigs.

Despite the setback, the committee has vowed to be “bigger and better than ever” when it returns next year.

- People who have already purchased tickets for the opening concert on July 8 will be eligible for a refund and are encouraged to visit www.ticketsourece.com for more details.


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