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Popular holiday music festival to return online

PUBLISHED: 08:39 28 August 2020 | UPDATED: 08:53 28 August 2020

Action from CARLfest 2019, Mariners Rest, Lowestoft. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Action from CARLfest 2019, Mariners Rest, Lowestoft. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A popular music festival will return with a temporary new look this bank holiday weekend as organisers fight to avoid “falling by the wayside”.

CARLFest 2018 event organisers at the Mariners Rest pub, Lowestoft.
Picture: Nick ButcherCARLFest 2018 event organisers at the Mariners Rest pub, Lowestoft. Picture: Nick Butcher

Now in it’s ninth year, CARLFest was due to welcome visitors to the Mariners Rest, in Lowestoft, for a four-day array of live music in memory of popular former barman Dean ‘Carl’ Lawson.

Yet in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the festival will be streamed online, with performances from 15 acts to be broadcast on Facebook and YouTube on Friday and Saturday, before an ‘invite-only’ event in the pub garden on Sunday, which will also be streamed online.

Darren Steger-Lewis, trustee of the Care and Real Lovin’ charitable foundation set up by Mr Lawson in 2012, said: “We are now in our ninth year and we had big plans for our usual four-day events, but because of the pandemic all that was shut down, so we made the decision to do a virtual event.

“I wasn’t necessarily worried that it wouldn’t go ahead in some form, I just wasn’t sure how.

CARLFest 2018 at the Mariners Rest pub, Lowestoft.
Picture: Nick ButcherCARLFest 2018 at the Mariners Rest pub, Lowestoft. Picture: Nick Butcher

“I have been running events for years and I have never cancelled one, so I wasn’t about to start.”

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After raising £4,000 with the 2012 event, the group have gone on to raise more than £35,000 to help members of the community.

Mr Steger-Lewis said: “I wasn’t going to let it fall by the wayside, and I’m hoping it is going to be another really successful event.

Action from CARLfest 2019, Mariners Rest, Lowestoft. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodAction from CARLfest 2019, Mariners Rest, Lowestoft. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

“We usually have lots of people through the doors so we’re hoping people take to it in it’s temporary format before it goes back to normal as soon as we can.

“We’re not too concerned about the money we raise this year because we know people have donation exhaustion because of the pandemic, it is more about keeping the name relevant and doing what we can, especially ahead of our 10th anniversary.”

Mr Lawson hailed from the Middlesbrough area and worked at the Bird’s Eye factory in Lowestoft after moving to the town.

He was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, which was later identified as Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of the disease in which cancer cells are found in the bone or soft tissue.

He went on to work behind the bar of the Mariner’s Rest, becoming popular with customers.

For more information, visit the foundation’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/CareAndRealLovin/


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