International feel to a popular Dereham Blues Festival

Mud Morganfield is opening the Dereham Blues Festival

Mud Morganfield is opening the Dereham Blues Festival - Credit: Archant

It's no joke - tickets for this year's Dereham Blues Festival will go on priority advance sale next week, Wednesday April 1, for members of the Norfolk Blues Society.

The general public will be able to buy tickets from Wednesday, April 8.

The festival in July, which is being kicked off by blues maestro Mud Morganfield, son of Muddy Waters, will take part in a dozen Dereham venues meaning it is the only festival in the UK who can legitimately brand itself as being 'Twelve Bars of Blues'.

The venues are The Gemini, The Cherry Tree, The George, Heroes Sports Bar, The Red Lion, The Plough and Furrow, The Bull, Number 40, The Kings Head, The Railway Station, The Royal Standard and the Railway Tavern.

Extra venues mean more bands are needed but organisers Doreen and Stewart Aitken said thanks to the success of last year's festival they have been inundated with bands wanting to take part.

'We have been able to take our pick of these,' they said. 'In addition to the high quality Norfolk blues circuit favorites we have acts coming from Glasgow, Manchester, London, Southampton and, to make us international, Croatia and Israel. The wonders of the internet have allowed us to view the acts and get a really good feel for what would suit our event. All the bands will are paid for by the venues so seeing them all will not cost blues fans a penny.

'Norfolk Blues Society (NBS) is also sponsoring The Dereham Blues Festival Community Choir, led by Lauren Dove. It was very popular last year and gave the festival a great fun atmosphere as Saturday lunch time shoppers were serenaded in busy Dereham town centre locations.'

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To prepare for this year's public performance there will be four two-hour workshops which are open to everyone especially those who have never sung before. Each workshop will be held at Toftwood Scouts Hall on June 11, 18 and 25 and July 2 at 7.30pm.

Fees for the first 25 subscribers will be subsidised by NBS reducing the cost by half to £5 each session. Booking a place can be done online at or over the counter at The Little Gallery next to the Memorial Hall.