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Plans already being made to expand Cromer 1960s Festival

PUBLISHED: 13:55 01 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:00 01 April 2019

Cromer Pier 1960s Festival, which has been hailed a resounding success by organisers.
Picture: KAREN BETHELL

Cromer Pier 1960s Festival, which has been hailed a resounding success by organisers. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

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Organisers of Cromer Pier’s 1960s Festival are hatching plans for a “bigger and better” event next year, after crowds turned out in their thousands at the weekend from as far afield as Yorkshire, Leicester and Lincolnshire.

Cromer Pier box office and retail manager Deb Lewis (left) takes a break for a coffee with friends during Saturday's 1960s festval.
Picture: KAREN BETHELLCromer Pier box office and retail manager Deb Lewis (left) takes a break for a coffee with friends during Saturday's 1960s festval. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

They are considering running the festival over two days and are coming up with a five-year plan to ensure it continues to grow.

Pier box office and retail manager Deb Lewis, who led the team organising the festival, said Saturday’s event had exceeded all expectations.

Cromer Pier 1960s Festival, which has been hailed a resounding success by organisers.
Picture: KAREN BETHELLCromer Pier 1960s Festival, which has been hailed a resounding success by organisers. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

She said: “It was always our intention to make the festival a whole-town event.

“I’m hoping that now businesses have seen the benefits it can bring, more and more people will want to get involved.”

Ali Ewank, of Happy Feet children's shoe shop, was just one of the town traders who decked out their shops for Cromer's 1960s Festival.
Picture: KAREN BETHELLAli Ewank, of Happy Feet children's shoe shop, was just one of the town traders who decked out their shops for Cromer's 1960s Festival. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

The pier is now working on a five-year plan, Ms Lewis added, with future festivals spread over two days and including more theatre shows and more attractions on the pier and promenade.

“What we want to do is to have a whole weekend event,” she explained. “There is a lot of scope to expand and what we are also looking at is having something with a real ‘wow’ factor on the pier.”

Sixties-inspired shows at the end-of-the-pier Pavilion Theatre were almost completely sold out, with festival-goers lining the promenade to browse vintage stalls and see hundreds of classic scooters, cars and motorcycles.

Local business owners reported doing a roaring trade, with coffee bars and restaurants packed to capacity and the town’s car parks bursting at the seams.

Ms Lewis said: “I was elated at how well it went. The turnout was spectacular, the general atmosphere on the pier and prom was just amazing, hotels and bed and breakfasts reported good occupancy rates and I’ve had messages from Chamber of Trade members saying they have had takings to rival a summer’s day.”

Other town groups also got involved in the festival, with the Friends of North Lodge Park clifftop gardens organising a music event and Cromer Social Club running a charity 1960s quiz night and a music evening hosted by Cromer Soul Club.

Ms Lewis said:“I think it was an authentic, credible event which is what we wanted, and I think the important thing is that while it is easy to get people to come to Cromer for the sunshine and beach, we need events like this which will bring people into Norfolk outside the main summer season.”

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