Needham festival draws the crowds

FROM schoolchildren to professionals, musicians of all ages took to the stage at the first ever Music by the Lake festival in Needham Market.The festival, organised by Debenham Entertainments, kicked off with a bang yesterday.

FROM schoolchildren to professionals, musicians of all ages took to the stage at the first ever Music by the Lake festival in Needham Market.

The festival, organised by Debenham Entertainments, kicked off with a bang yesterday.

More than 1,000 people showed up to the 12-hour long event, which featured craft stalls, workshops and music of all kinds.

Money was raised to help children set up bands and also for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and Heartbeat.

The event was held in memory of Debenham musician James Vinten, who, aged just 43, died last year of a heart attack while on his boat.

The first band to take to the stage was Soul'd Out, featuring James Vinten's sons, Ben, 14, and Charlie,11, as well as their fellow band mates.

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A host of other acts also performed – from teen band Volatile Tone to Nashville folk singer Clive Gregson.

Children also took part in workshops – from making masks and drums to learning how to play percussion instruments.

They could even perform their own songs on the acoustic stage.

The youngsters had a chance to put their new skills in practice in a percussion tour led by band Sambatura towards the end of the day.

Rod Tallowin, of the directors of Debenham Entertainments, said: "This is the first time the festival has been run and it went well.

"When people who didn't come realise what they have missed, I am sure they will come next year!"

Debenham Entertainments is a not for profit company set up to encourage children to develop their musical talents.

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