After a two-year covid related absence, this year’s Dereham Blues Festival is returning on 6th July through to Sunday 10th July and will be bigger and better than ever. In addition to more venues and over 60 top blues acts the Festival will have a brand-new open air event sponsored by Norfolk Blues Society (NBS) . The NBS ‘Blues Busk’ will feature a non-stop afternoon of seasoned buskers and up and coming, young, local, blues talent.

Eight solo, duos and bands will be busking in the Ellenor Fenn Garden in the centre of Dereham on Saturday afternoon 9th July. The Blues Busk will start at 1:00 pm kicking off with Dereham’s very own Rockavox choir, who are past favourites of the festival, and have appeared at the Memorial Hall before many of the Festival’s opening concerts including this year’s for which tickets have and are being sold at a record rate.


Following Rockavox the busking acts will each play a 20 – 30-minute unplugged set, Although Norfolk Blues Society is sponsoring the event, in true busking style, the acts will be rewarded by the town centre audience throwing money into a bucket. 10% of raised funds will be donated for the upkeep of the Ellenor Fenn Garden, a community pocket park which opened in September 21 as a result of collaboration by About Dereham, with Breckland Council and Dencora. The Blues Busk will allow Dereham shoppers, passersby and those who are not able or accustomed to attending licensed bars to also experience the inclusive and entertaining atmosphere of the 2022 Dereham Blues Festival.


Norfolk Blues Society are keen that young people should be included in the Blues Busk as the Society has a charitable remit to encourage young musicians to engage with blues music. NBS Secretary Doreen Aitken said ‘Blues is at the core of most modern music and provides a bedrock for understanding the basics of modern music. The Blues Busk will be a fabulous chance to get to hear these new young acts who will ensure that this region and Dereham in particular will continue to be at the heart of live blues music both traditional and new innovative styles.’

Terry Bunting music tutor at Reepham College who mentors one of the young bands said ‘’ This is such an important opportunity for these young musicians as young bands so rarely get such a professionally run chance to perform in public.’’

The Blues Busk is facilitated by Percy Paradise who has organised the busking events at the famous Swanage Blues Festival. Norfolk Blues Society Chairman Dan Earp said ‘’ It is a real boon to have Percy and all his know-how for this “first ever’’ Blues Busk of the Dereham Blues Festival. DBF organisers have long wanted an event like this but until now it has always been beyond our resources and we lacked a suitable location but now with the new Ellenor Fenn Garden everything has fallen into place and we are grateful to Dencora Properties, About Dereham and Breckland Council for helping to make this possible.’’

It is planned that the buskers will also be free to roam the festival venues in order to perform during the changeovers from one band to the next. DBF Chairman Harry Collins said ’’ Be sure to make a note in your diary of Saturday 9th July in the Ellenor Fenn Garden for a chance to hear and see a whole lot more than twelve bars of blues. See you there!’’