Dereham Blues Festival: the first street music event announced

Published:
11:34 PM April 29, 2022



An outdoor street event will take place for the first time as part of this year’s highly anticipated Dereham Blues Festival.

After a two-year absence, the musical extravaganza will return to the city of central Norfolk from July 6-10.


A scene from the Dereham Blues Festival in 2016
– Credit: Archant

Organizers said this year’s edition, with even more venues and dozens of top blues bands, will be “bigger and better than ever”.

And now an exciting new event sponsored by the Nofolk Blues Society (NBS) has been announced for day three of the festival.

The NBS ‘Blues Busk’ will feature an array of seasoned buskers, as well as up-and-coming local blues talent.

Eight solo artists, duos and bands will entertain revelers at Ellenor Fenn Garden in Dereham town center throughout Saturday afternoon.

The company is keen to get young people involved in the Blues Busk given its role in encouraging young musicians to engage in blues music.


The Ellenor Fenn Garden opened in Dereham in September 2021

The Ellenor Fenn Garden opened in Dereham in September 2021
– Credit: Keith Mindham Photography

Doreen Aitken, secretary of the NBS, said: “The blues is at the heart of most modern music and provides a foundation for understanding the basics.

“The Blues Busk will be a fabulous chance to hear from these new young artists, who will ensure that this region – and Dereham in particular – continues to be at the heart of both traditional and innovative live blues music.”

The Blues Busk kicks off at 1pm with Dereham’s own Rockavox Choir, who are old festival favorites and have performed at many Memorial Hall opening concerts.

Each of the other street performers will then play a 20-30 minute unplugged set.


Jamie Roe Band performing Strikes in Dereham.  Photo: Ian Burt

A scene from the Dereham Blues Festival 2015
– Credit: Archant

Terry Bunting, a music teacher at Reepham College who mentors one of the young groups of buskers, added: “This is such an important opportunity for these young musicians.

“Young bands so rarely get such a professional chance to perform in public.”

The Blues Busk is hosted by Percy Paradise, who organized the busking events at the famous Swanage Blues Festival.

Although NBS is sponsoring the event, performers will be rewarded in true street style by downtown tossing cash into a bucket.

Ten percent of funds raised will be donated to the upkeep of Ellenor Fenn Garden, a community pocket park that opened in September.


Scenes from the Dereham Blues Festival 2014 - The Blue Crew perform at the Railway Tavern.  Picture: Carpet

The Blue Crew playing at the Dereham Blues Festival 2014
– Credit: Matthew Usher

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