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Organisers announce music-packed line up for Dereham Blues Festival

PUBLISHED: 18:00 01 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:21 02 May 2018

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

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

Jim Niven

Music fans are in for another big year in Norfolk as the organisers behind the Dereham Blues Festival have announced the line-up for this summer’s four-day event.

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.

This year’s festival has attracted applications from more than 100 blues musicians and the programme is packed with top blues performers, including music icon Georgie Fame who will play the festival’s sell-out opening concert on July 12.

Tickets for the opening concert, organised by Friends Of Dereham Memorial Hall, sold out just weeks after going on sale, a response that the chair of the group, Tim Cara, called “fabulous”.

Mr Cara said: “We had enquiries from all over the country, from Scotland to the south coast, for tickets. It just shows that concerts at the hall can really put Dereham on the map and it is a fantastic start to the Dereham Blues Festival. It’s going to be quite a gig.”

However, those who weren’t lucky enough to get tickets to the opening concert won’t miss out on the music as performances will also be taking place in cafes, bars and clubs across the town and they will continue over the next four days.

Sixties rhythm and blues legend Georgie Fame will open Southwold Arts Festival this yearSixties rhythm and blues legend Georgie Fame will open Southwold Arts Festival this year

In total there will be 45 bands, trios, duos and solo performers who will be playing at 12 venues and entry is free, except for at certain ticketed events.

The festivals will come to an end on the afternoon of July 15 with a series of traditional outdoor blues jam sessions and BBQs at several venues.

Festival Chairman, Harry Collins, said: “Now in its sixth year, the Dereham Blues Festival keeps on getting better and better and attracts more and more fans.

“This year’s festival will be yet another tremendous event. Band slots were again massively oversubscribed. It is just a pity that we cannot give an opportunity to everyone that applied to play, such is the quality of acts.”

Last year the festival attracted thousands of visitors to the town and was one of Dereham’s biggest events of the year.

It brings with it a major economic boost, with visitors making use of hotels, B&Bs and local restaurants.

Extra camping facilities will also be provided by the town council on the central recreation ground. Bookings will be made through the Norfolk Blues Society on behalf of the council.

The Festival takes place between July 12 and July 15. For more information visit www.derehambluesfestival.org.uk.

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