Happing Festival set to return

Plans are already being put in place for the return of one of north Norfolk's biggest community events which will take place later this year.

The Happing Festival includes events from the world of art, music and drama, which are put on across the Stalham and Happing area.

This year, events will run from June through to August, rather than September as organisers say they are aware finding funding will be difficult.

Last year, the organisers of the festival, which had world-renowned keyboard player Rick Wakeman, who lives at Scole near Diss, as its headline act, made a desperate appeal for help and warned they could be forced to cancel some of their main events, because of a lack of funding.

But after securing grants from Norfolk County Council and Norfolk Community Foundation, the festival shows were saved.

This year, organisers say they are looking to make the festival better than ever, and said they have already started applying for funding.

Actress Judi Daykin, right, who is chairman of Happing Partnership, said: 'We are ploughing ahead. We know there has been a decline in funding for the arts, but we are aiming to buck the trend.

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'We are trying to create connections with local people and promoters, that way we hope to be able to carry on even if we do not get any funding, by doing things on a voluntary basis.'

Acts already lined up include Paul Jones and Dave Kelly, who will be presenting an acoustic blues evening at St Mary's Church in Stalham on Wednesday, June 29, and an evening with the East Anglian Film Archive.

They have also secured performances from folk singer Bob Fox and local storyteller Hugh Lupton and a performance from Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Orchestra, as part of Orchestras Live, at Ludham Church on Saturday, July 2.

Tickets for the events will go on sale in early March, and the organisers of the festival are also asking for anyone with a community event, which can be included free of charge in the festival brochure.

l More information can be found at www.happing.co.uk.