April 16 2014 Latest news:

The head of the organising team for Dereham Festival 2012 this week issued a new “bums on seats” rallying cry to people to support the event as telephone and walk-in bookings got under way.

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Festival chairman Jim Stebbings said bookings had now topped £12,000, but the organisers still had quite a way to go to reach the £27,000 break-even point.

He said: “Everything is going smoothly in terms of the preparations. But I am concerned that we meet the event targets, and we do need to get bums on seats – for people to come along and prove to us that we can get the audiences to justify providing high-quality entertainment.”

Dereham Festival begins on Saturday. May 19 with a procession from Cherry Tree car park, through the town centre and on to the Memorial Hall, and Mr Stebbings said this week that he was still keen to hear from any more groups, schools and individuals keen to take part.

He said most of the seats for the Saturday, May 26 concert by globetrotting harmony act Blake had now been sold, but there were still plenty of tickets available for one of the other headlining events: the visit on Saturday, June 2 by magician Paul Daniels.

Also on the festival bill before the final curtain on Saturday, June 16 is a mix of classical, rock, jazz, folk and nostalgic entertainment as well as a varied Community Festival involving some 30 events and activities.

From Tuesday this week, people have been able to buy their tickets at Dereham Memorial Hall, the focal point for much of the festival. A bookings desk is being set up either in the hall itself or at the adjoining @thegallery on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays between 10am and 3pm, although it is not being manned today, Good Friday.

Telephone bookings will also be taken on those days and between those times on 07780 769606.

Online, credit card bookings continue at www.derehamfestival.org.uk until the end of the festival.

To register an interest in taking part in the festival procession call Mr Stebbings on 01362 693277.

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