Lowestoft Carlfest is a great success

IT may have lacked the big names of Reading or Glastonbury.

But hundreds of people gathered at the Mariner's Rest pub in Rotterdam Road, Lowestoft, for a five-day music festival that raised thousands of pounds for good causes.

As previously reported, Carlfest was set up by Dean 'Carl' Lawson, who is dying from cancer.

The festival, which saw 20 acts performing between last Friday and Tuesday, was raising money for the charity Care and Real Lovin' (CARL), which was set up by Dean to generate money for good causes in the Lowestoft area.

With money still coming in, organisers say they have raised at least �4,000 – and they are hopeful of breaking through the �5,000 barrier.

One of the main reasons so much money was raised was because Dean – who has been told he has only months to live – inspired people to make donations as he went round the pub on all five days, holding a collection bucket.

Speaking at the festival on Saturday, Dean, 37, a former welder who hails from Middlesbrough, said: 'I am so glad everyone came along – all my friends and families, as well as people I don't know.

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'It is nice how much money people have donated to the charity.

He added: 'Everyone knows I am going to die shortly, and yet we are still able to have a laugh and a joke.'

Carlfest, which also included a family fun day at Mariner's Rest on Saturday, was held at the pub after Dean became close friends with its landlord Shaun Underwood and his partner Gemma Searby.

The performers included: Jamos, Eastview, Big Red Boat, Ian Messenger, Lee Chapman, Coral Cross, Jonathan Marriott, The Figures, Dirty Havana, Nevacain, Second Hand Blues, Jeff Long, Jasmine Hope, Tyler Darrington, The Bricktops, Gnu, Ben Lever, Pete and Matt & Gail.

Darren Steger-Lewis, a trustee of the CARL charity, booked the acts.

He said: 'It was a very busy five days. Saturday's fun day was very popular. We are still counting up all the money and we have reached about �4,000 so far. We should go over �5,000 I think.'

? For more information about the Carl charity or to find out how you can support it, email Carlcharity@hotmail.co.uk or contact Mr Steger-Lewis on 07790 765260.

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