by Adam Aiken
The headline acts for this year’s Dereham Blues Festival have been announced.
Toby Lee will open the event along with blues-rockers Catfish, at Dereham Memorial Hall on Wednesday, July 10.
Lee, 19, has been playing the blues since he was just eight. He’s already won a string of awards, including last year’s Young Blues Artist of the Year gong at the UK Blues Awards (for the second time).
He has played with the likes of Buddy Guy and Walter Trout and has been part of Joe Bonamassa’s Keeping The Blues Alive At Sea cruise in the Med.
Catfish have also been turning heads and are regulars on the touring circuit in the UK, Europe and the US.
They are another outfit who’ve being flying high over the past few years. They’ve picked up five UK and British Blues awards, including two for frontman and guitarist Matt Long as instrumentalist of the year.
After the opening night, there’ll be several days of free gigs held around the town until Sunday, July 14.
The first festival was held in 2013 and attracted a few hundred people, but it now regularly draws in 2,000-plus visitors.
There will be a return of the acoustic busking event in the Ellenor Fenn Garden, which was introduced last year, and this year will see the introduction of a series of educational, practical, blues and soul music workshops, which will be open to all.