Photo Gallery: Wymondham Music Festival hits the right note with festival fans and music lovers

Jazz Picnic - audience participation at the Wymondham Music Festival. Photo: Anna Meek Jazz Picnic - audience participation at the Wymondham Music Festival. Photo: Anna Meek

Tuesday, July 8, 2014
9:00 AM

With cultural offerings from Africa, India, the Balkans, Italy and America, this year’s Wymondham Music Festival lived up to its reputation for variety.

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And today organisers hailed the success of the 19th annual event, which saw more than 4,000 visitors flock to the town during its lively festival fortnight, from June 21 to July 6.

A rain-spattered teddy bears’ picnic pleased younger audiences, while performances from singer-songwriter Edwina Hayes, Baroque ensesmble London Telemann Collegium and young musicians from Wymondham hit the right note with music lovers.

Richard Elliott, festival chairman, said: “The impession has been very much that the festival was a great sucess. People have come and supported us and they have enjoyed the usual diverse range of music. We have had some superb concerts in the Abbey.”

More than 1,000 festival-goers grabbed their umbrellas and braved a heavy downpour to attend the jazz picnic, a highlight of the fortnight. Dereham jazz band Dixemix, hot off their stadium tour supporting Rod Stewart, kept the drenched audience happy with an array of upbeat tracks.

An open-air event celebrating music from around the globe made its debut this year, with melodies from Africa, India and eastern Europe.

Mr Elliott described the addition as a hit, and added that it brought together old and young to “enjoy colourful dance and a wonderful of musical styles”.

Although it’s visitors mainly reside within Norfolk’s borders, this year saw festival fans from further afield journeying to Wymondham.

Doncaster couple Doug and Pat Dale stumbled on the festival last year during their holiday. This year, they recruited four friends and travelled the 145-mile journey back to south Norfolk for the full fortnight.

Mr Dale said: “We discovered the festival by chance. There’s nothing like this where we live. We stayed at Rose Cottage Caravan an Camping Site at Wicklewood and before we went home last year, we checked the dates for the 2014 festival and booked the whole fortnight.

“We also arranged for four friends to join us - we have had a great time and were lucky enough to get tickets for Pasadena Roof Orchestra, just before the concert sold out.”

The festival began in 1996, after a small series of concerts quickly expanded into dozens of events spread across the historic market town.

Now, it is a source of pride for the tight-knit community and boasts thousands of visitors each year.

Although Mr Elliott insisted the hard-working committee would now put their feet up, he said they would begin planning 2015’s event next month.

He added: “As well as serving the local community, we are very keen to extend our reach and get more of a travelling audience.

“I would particularly like to thank all of our volunteers who give thousands of hours in the run up to and during festival fortnight, along with our patrons, sponsors and supporters who play a vital role in making it possible to stage such a diverse programme of music.”

Did you visit the Wymondham Music Festival? Email reporter Lauren Cope on Lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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