'Phenomenal' end to10 years of CARLFest as thousands of pounds raised
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
A popular music festival has "gone out with a bang" after raising thousands of pounds for charity.
This year's four day extravaganza brought the curtain down on a decade of CARLFest, which has raised thousands of pounds over the years for the Care and Real Lovin' Charitable Foundation, set up in memory of popular barman Dean 'Carl' Lawson.
More than £1,500 has been raised so far, with money still to be counted from the final day, as returning fans and new faces descended on the Mariners Rest pub in Lowestoft over the bank holiday weekend.
Trustee and festival organiser Darren Steger-Lewis hailed the "heart-warming end to the chapter".
He said: "It has been absolutely phenomenal. We have had the biggest turnout of all of our events.
"The crowd all day on Sunday was amazing and today we didn't know what to expect but the garden is full.
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"We haven't had time to stop and count the money yet, but we think we are on for a bumper year and we're hoping to hit our target, so it has been an absolute success all around."
The free music festival welcomed more than 30 local acts to the stage throughout the weekend.
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A warm-up show was also held earlier this month, on August 20, for the first time.
Mr Steger-Lewis said: "The whole weekend has been emotional knowing we aren't going to do this again, so lots of tears have been shed, but it is an absolute privilege and an honour for everyone involved and we are all so grateful for everyone who has donated, attended or helped.
"It has been truly heart-warming to see the sense of community this has created."
In 2020, with the coronavirus outbreak limiting the number of people attending in person, organisers restricted the event to invitation-only, but offered fans a live stream of the festival on their Facebook page, which was hailed as a great success.
Ahead of the festival's return Mr Steger-Lewis, who said one-day events will still take place on occasion, said the phone call to set up the event was lifechanging.
Speaking on Sunday, he said: "It's a heart-warming end to a chapter that has provided so much joy to so many people.
"We're so thankful to everyone who has joined us for this year's festival."