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Dereham Blues Festival set to be ‘better than ever’

PUBLISHED: 11:49 02 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:49 02 July 2018

The Mojo Preachers performing at the Dereham Blues Festival. Picture: Ian Burt

The Mojo Preachers performing at the Dereham Blues Festival. Picture: Ian Burt

Guitars have been re-stringed, set lists prepared, and pub cellars restocked, as a mid Norfolk market town prepares to come alive with the sound of the blues.

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

Dereham has played host to the popular mid summer music festival since 2013.

And this year the town is once again preparing to welcome more than 40 acts and several thousand attendees, as festival organisers have said the show is set to be ‘better than ever’.

The opening numbers will be played on Thursday, July 12 and the festival runs until Sunday, July 15, with acts performing in 12 town centre venues, and 45 bands, trios, duos and solo performers to entertain the blues enthusiasts expected to descend on Dereham.

The opening gig on July 12 features jazz and blues icon Georgie Fame at the Dereham Memorial Hall, with refreshments available before the show.

The Dereham Blues Festival opening concert 2017. Picture:  Jim NivenThe Dereham Blues Festival opening concert 2017. Picture: Jim Niven

The musical legend has released more than 20 albums and 14 hit singles, including several number ones, and collaborated with artists including Muddy Waters and Eric Clapton.

And over the following four days town will come alive with a top line-up of local, regional and UK blues acts filling the venues.

Entry to all the gigs apart from the opening night is free throughout the festival.

Mr Collins said: “This year’s Dereham Blues Festival is going to be better than ever.

The Mojo Preachers performing at the Dereham Blues Festival. Picture: Ian BurtThe Mojo Preachers performing at the Dereham Blues Festival. Picture: Ian Burt

“So come on down and join the crowd in the town.

“You will be most welcome and you will have a fantastic time.”

This year’s festival will also see several jam sessions held on the Sunday afternoon, with all welcome to take part at The Cherry Tree, The George, the Gemini and The King’s Head Hotel beer garden.

Five years ago the festival attracted 500 people, and by 2017 had 50 acts performing, a third of which were home grown talent from Norfolk and East Anglia, with the rest travelling to the festival from around the UK.

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

And organisers expect around 2,000 blues fans to attend this year’s event.

Dereham Blues Festival is run by an volunteer group of eight Norfolk blues enthusiasts and is supported by the Norfolk Blues Society.

For an up-to-date program of the four day festival visit the website.

Printed programmes will be available in local venues.

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