Picture Gallery: Gorleston Clifftop Festival team hails ‘exceptional year’

CROWDS sizzled in the sunshine as perfect beach weather attracted “exceptional” numbers to Gorleston’s Clifftop Festival.

Despite an overcast start on Saturday the warm weather ran from morning until night on the Sunday delighting organisers who couldn’t have been more pleased with the turnout.

Good-humoured crowds flocked to the seaside event earlier than ever before and in larger numbers, a big crowd assembling for Sunday morning’s rugby demonstration and later casting off their inhibitions and joining in with the Zumba display.

The success of the event was all the more pleasing for the Gorleston in Gear team behind the event after dwindling sponsorship and increased costs cast a question mark over its future.

Event co-ordinator Howard Marsh said that although some people dipped in and out for the highlights many stayed all day to enjoy the mix of live music, family fun and fairground attractions.

“We think we had an exceptional year,” Mr Marsh said. “The only downside was that we did not have the helicopter. We had lots of people with very little trouble. The feedback I have had from people has been excellent.

“We had some different bands this year to bring a bit of variation with everything from folk to choirs and heavy metal and it went down a storm.

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“It was a bit breezy and the fireworks had to be moved. The highlight for me was Throb on Sunday night – even an hour after they had finished playing people were still singing Hey Jude.”

Mr Marsh added that the sports arena went especially well, opening an hour earlier than usual to get everything in.

However, the cost of doubling security and adding an ambulance and paramedic, in line with health and safety regulations, was a big burden on the non-profit-making organisation that relies entirely on selling space on the clifftop for its revenue.

“One or two traders said they had not taken as much as they wanted but I do not think anybody lost money – you can’t have done with that many people up there, it was packed.” Mr Marsh said.

“We were all thrilled, really chuffed. I reckon we had in excess of 30,000 up there and one police officer guessed at 40,000. At the last minute we had lots of volunteers who did a blinding job. The new people on the team were absolutely amazed and wanted to do it for another two days!”

To see more pictures of the festival, click on the gallery link in the top right hand corner of the page.