Beautiful weather brings out the crowds for annual Dereham Blues Festival

Automatic Annie at the Dereham blues festival. Pictures: David Bale

Automatic Annie at the Dereham blues festival. Pictures: David Bale - Credit: Archant

It's shaping up to be another great day at the sixth annual Dereham Blues Festival.

Polymer 5 at Dereham blues festival. Pictures: David Bale

Polymer 5 at Dereham blues festival. Pictures: David Bale - Credit: Archant

Thousands of people are expected to attend the three-day festival, which is one of the biggest events of the year in the Mid Norfolk town.

The event is run by a committee of volunteers and held in pub gardens and at the Mid Norfolk railway station platform.

Committee member Jim Niven said: 'It gives a psychological as well as an economic boost to the town. It's all free and it's grown each year. Bands come not just from the region but from Surrey and Scotland. The word is spreading. The atmosphere is great.'

A crowd gathered at the railway platform this afternoon to watch Automatic Annie perform blues standards including I Can't Quit You Baby.

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Meanwhile, the biggest pub garden venue, The King's Head was packed as families and people of all ages enjoyed the beautiful weather. They were entertained by Polymer 5 whose repertoire included Baby, Let me Follow You Down.

The pub's landlord Geoff Fossitt said: 'We have held it in our garden every year since it started. Just look at the crowds here. It would be hard to get everyone inside the pub.

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'We have extra bars and get more staff in. The Robin Bibi Band were brilliant last night. He was terrific and a great entertainer.'

Two of the fans enjoying the day were Gill and Kevin Osborne, from Cromer.

He said: 'We've been to every one of these festivals. We also saw After Hours yesterday, and they were great.'

The hugely popular event started on Thursday and finishes tomorrow.

The town is welcoming more than 40 acts and several thousand attendees, as festival organisers have said the show is set to be 'better than ever'.

Acts are performing in 12 town centre venues, with 45 bands, trios, duos and solo performers expected to entertain the blues enthusiasts.

The opening gig featured jazz and blues icon Georgie Fame at Dereham Memorial Hall.

For more information, visit Printed programmes are available in local venues.

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