Dance festival kicks off at former PM’s home today

The former Norfolk home of Britain's first prime minister has been wired up to host its first electronic dance festival, which starts today.

About 5,500 people are expected to attend the Glade Festival at Houghton Hall, near Fakenham, over the next three days.

Despite it being hastily organised in just five weeks, festival director Anselm Guise said he has had an enjoyable and stress-free experience putting the show together.

He said: 'It's been really great and much less stressful than it has been putting together Glade Festivals of previous years.

'The people at Houghton Hall have been amazing. The police have been helpful and the local community have been inquisitive. I guess they don't know what to expect. But we very much want them to be happy with us and to come back next year.

'We have a lot of supporters from London and the Bristol area and also some people coming from abroad. People are starting to arrive today and I'd anticipate the crowds will be turning up gradually and I anticipate there won't be any major traffic problems.'

The Glade Festival was due to be held at Mansion House, Biggleswade, in Bedfordshire but that arrangement fell through and it was moved to Houghton Hall, the former home of 18th-century politician Sir Robert Walpole.

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The festival originated from the Glade Arena at Glastonbury Festival and it became a festival in own right in 2004.

For the first five years it was held at the Wasing estate in Berkshire, and some 16,500 people attended the 2007 festival. It was held in Winchester in 2009 but was cancelled last year because of money troubles.

Mr Guise said: 'We've got some great underground music and this is a wonderful natural setting so this should be a fantastic event.'

Headline acts include Trentemoller, Drumcode Records, Global Communication and Andrew Weatherall,

Meanwhile, the Thetford Forest summer gigs season got under way last night as rock legends Status Quo entertained a crowd of thousands at High Lodge.

A review of the gig will be on our website later today and in the EDP tomorrow.

Erasure is playing in the forest tonight and tomorrow the first half of the summer season ends with a concert by Simple Minds.

Reviews will be on the website on the day after the gigs and in the EDP on Monday.