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Organisers beam at festival's success

PUBLISHED: 19:54 08 August 2010 | UPDATED: 11:55 16 September 2010

SUNDAY didn't quite live up to its summery name but organisers were beaming when the curtain came down on Sunday's Clifftop Festival at Gorleston.

A combination of dry, warm - albeit cloudy - weather and cheerful crowds meant a fun weekend at the popular event which this year faced a battle for survival and nearly didn't happen.

SUNDAY didn't quite live up to its summery name but organisers were beaming when the curtain came down on Sunday's Clifftop Festival at Gorleston.

A combination of dry, warm - albeit cloudy - weather and cheerful crowds meant a fun weekend at the popular event which this year faced a battle for survival and nearly didn't happen.

Despite a big struggle to find time, money and volunteers organisers say their efforts were more than rewarded with the gala element of the festival attracting big crowds and generating the kind of happy, bustling atmosphere that big community events need.

John Barnden, chairman of Gorleston in Gear, the group behind the event, which is supported by the borough council, said volunteers were greatly encouraged by the level of support from traders, caterers, entertainers and local people who had all signalled their enthusiastic approval.

“This year,” he said, “It was a question of survival with the lack of sponsorship, but we were very pleased with the support. I have never seen so many people down the bottom end. It was just packed.

“We were rather taken aback with the weather on Saturday.

“But Sunday was as normal with one or two twists which worked well.”

Although Saturday's scaled-down programme was hit by disappointing downpours Sunday's main gala day was as popular as ever.

Grey clouds kept people off the beach and on the clifftop for charity stalls, arena action, rides, music and food and drink.

Gig spokesman Josh Coles said he was reeling from the success of Sunday's event, with parking spaces still at a premium at 10pm after the fireworks which were tagged the best-ever.

“The weather was on our side and the clouds seemed to be just going round us,” Mr Coles said. “The amount of people there was amazing.

“We have had some feedback from traders who have been really happy this year.

“People still came for the music on the Saturday but it was more of a Sunday thing this year.

“There were a few technial issues with generators and things like that, but otherwise it was fantastic.

“I am still getting over it.”

A police spokesman said that, apart from a few isolated incidents, the event was trouble free.

There were no arrests but officers issued two orders to leave the clifftops.

Organisers had joined up with Nightsafe, an on-going clampdown on unruly behaviour in clubs and pubs, to ensure the safety of revellers. Officers were called to a fight near the bumper cars at around 9pm, which had broken up by the time they got there.

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