Dereham Blues Festival takes place every July, during the second full weekend. Each year, more than 120 bands apply to play at the festival and about half of these will play at least once over the course of a long weekend, from Thursday to Sunday. That adds up to over 100 free entry performances that are hosted in local bars and cafes. Apart from the ticketed launch concert, all the gigs are free to enter and close to the centre of Dereham town, in walking distance of free car parks. It is a real feast for lovers of live music and blues music. Several venues have music in their gardens and offer barbecues and hog roasts or craft ales on sale in the garden.
In 2019 the Dereham Blues Festival will launch on Wednesday 10th July with a ticketed concert in the Dereham Memorial Hall. This will be a well known or internationally celebrated blues musician and normally attracts a sell-out audience. On Thursday 11th July there will be talented blues musicians strutting their stuff in our town centre "12 bars o' blues", also on the Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and evening and Sunday afternoon. As well as hosting the blues artists, our local venues also make a special effort for our audiences, putting on special ales and food offers.