Picture Gallery: Jelly Festival brings 3,000 to South Creake

While more than 3,000 revellers sang themselves hoarse at this weekend's Jelly Festival, the high-decibel fun was a bit too much for one four-legged music fan.

But Sparkles the spotted pony was able to enjoy the show at a comfortable volume – after concerned organisers equipped their sensitive neighbour with ear defenders.

The event was held at Compton Hall in South Creake, near Fakenham, on land owned by Anna and Chris Gardner next to the field where Sparkles is kept by their six-year-old granddaughter Lilly.

But while welcoming the tents and wellies of the gig-going crowds, the farming family realised they needed to take steps to ensure their animals were not disturbed by the noise from bands and DJ performances.

'We have to be concerned about the festival-goers, but there is also the welfare concern for the animals,' said Mrs Gardner. 'As Sparkles lives next door, we have to look after her interests.


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'She loves wearing the ear protectors, and chewing them. She knows it is very important to protect her hearing, to not sit too close to the TV and to not have the radio on too loud.

'It has been a brilliant weekend, and the attendance has been very good. Sparkles will be down here later with her dancing gear on to do a turn in the dance tent – reggae is her favourite.'

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Eight-year-old Sparkles lives next to the festival site with five lambs, which had also been kitted out with headphones to stop them bleating about the noise.

The two-day Jelly Festival, held on Friday and Saturday, was organised by the Gardners' son Ben and is now in its fourth year.

It has grown in popularity by mixing family fun during the day with an eclectic range of entertainment into the evening, ranging from electronic dance music to film screenings and poetry readings.

The all-inclusive – and slightly silly – atmosphere is captured by the enigmatic festival mascot the Jelly Monster, brought to life by co-organiser Graeme Aldridge in a spray-painted pink sumo suit.

Mr Aldridge, said: 'This is the first year we have done two nights. We were not sure how it was going to go but when we got 1,300 people in the arena on Friday we knew it was going well.

'We aimed to put on a family event, with a wide range of music and something to suit everybody. In the evenings there is a lot of dance music and electronica, while during the day we've got things like gipsy jazz, folk and reggae. 'We want a local family festival that people can bring their kids to, and it is nice for the adults to be able to enjoy themselves into the evening while the kids have gone to sleep.'

The jelly theme was continued with a jelly cocktail bar and cups of jelly were handed out in exchange for donations to the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

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