K Fest set to rock Lowestoft for final time

Painted Soul perform at a previous K Fest at Claremont Pier. Picture: MICK HOWES

Painted Soul perform at a previous K Fest at Claremont Pier. Picture: MICK HOWES - Credit: Archant

Bands will be gathering in Lowestoft later this month at an event set up in memory of a popular musician.

Karen Sturgess. Photo: Courtesy of the Down family

Karen Sturgess. Photo: Courtesy of the Down family - Credit: Archant � 2008

For the tenth consecutive year, K Fest will see a selection of the region's finest bands performing in memory of Karen Sturgess.

When Karen – known as Kay – lost her long battle against cancer aged 39 in June 2008, one of her last wishes was for a fundraising music festival to be held each year in the town.

K Fest. Photo: The Aquarium

K Fest. Photo: The Aquarium - Credit: The Aquarium

Bands and performers from across the region have gathered in Lowestoft to take part in the one-day festival which raises funds for good causes in her memory.

And as Karen's musical legacy continues to raise money to help others, this year marks the 10th anniversary of K Fest – but it will also be the last time the festival takes place. The festival will be held at the Aquarium on the Claremont Pier in Lowestoft on Sunday, May 28, and will feature 20 local bands playing on two stages. Entry is free, with music starting at noon.

Roy Down and Clare Chenery-Down presenting a cheque to staff from the Sandra Chapman Centre. Picture

Roy Down and Clare Chenery-Down presenting a cheque to staff from the Sandra Chapman Centre. Picture: James Paget University Hospital - Credit: Archant


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After organising and taking part in the first K Fest, which was held at the Globe Inn just weeks before she died, the festival has gone on to raise thousands of pounds for good causes, including the Sandra Chapman Centre.

Last month Kay's father Roy Down and her sister Clare Chenery-Down, who organise K Fest, visited the centre to present a cheque for a further £2,000 – and see how a new IT system is helping staff care for patients at the James Paget University Hospital. Development of the new 'dashboard' system at the Sandra Chapman Centre has been funded by donations from K Fest – and Roy and Clare were able to see the new system just days after it was switched on for the first time.

Roy Down and Clare Chenery-Down being shown the new system by IT developer Nathan Grimmer. Picture:

Roy Down and Clare Chenery-Down being shown the new system by IT developer Nathan Grimmer. Picture: James Paget University Hospital - Credit: Archant

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IT staff Nathan Grimmer and Tara Haines, who developed the system, gave them a demonstration of the equipment, which links more than 15 computers in the centre to large screen dashboards. The dashboards show the status of every patient, so staff can see real-time updates – and no longer have to rely on hand-written information on whiteboards.

Consultant haematologist Dr Shalal Sadullah said: 'The new system means that information about patients is shared more efficiently by our staff, who really appreciate its speed and ease of use. We would like to thank Roy and Clare for their continuing support of the Sandra Chapman Centre. 'The donations from K Fest over the years have really helped us provide quality care to our patients.'

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