Reepham rocks for two-day festival

Reepham's Summer Festival was a near sell-out this weekend as it expanded to become a two-day event for the first time.

All but around 50 of the 1,500 tickets for the music events on Saturday and Sunday were snapped up, while many more people also came along to enjoy free music in the evenings and art, craft, food and drink stalls during the day.

Gill Bendall, PR manager for the festival, said it had been 'absolutely brilliant'. She said: 'I think this year everyone's in to the festival atmosphere. It rained all morning Saturday, but people were still arriving with their wellies, their tables and chairs. They were going to enjoy themselves no matter what.'

The festival combines a mixture of ticket-only music performances – which this year will included sets by Buster James, the Wendy Benefer Band and headliners From the Jam in the Rookery Meadow – and free entertainment in Reepham's Market Place and Station Yard.

Ms Bendall said the free events were the organisers' way of saying thank you for letting them hold the festival.

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She added: 'It's very much a community event. It's a Reepham event for local people. At the end of the weekend, once all the money is paid out, the remainder goes to local charities.'

East Anglian band Buster James has been at the festival for the past three years and has seen it grow considerably.

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Front man Roger James said: 'This is our third year and we've already been asked if we will play next year. The band really enjoy themselves.

'What I'm so pleased about is that people who have come have either come again or come off the back of what people have told them about the festival.'

The festival teamed up with the restored Whitwell Station for the first time this year to widen the offering for families and provide a camp site for visitors wanting to make a weekend of it.

Organisers said the event had become a joint venture and it was really important to them to support the station.

When the festival began it had about 1,000 visitors in the first year and built up to nearly 2,500 for the one-day event in 2010.

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