Early rush for Blues festival hotel rooms - from Daily Echo
SWANAGE'S hotels are already starting to fill up for the eighth Swanage Blues Festival - an amazing seven months before the first note is played. Thousands of music lovers flock to Purbeck for the free festival each March, with enthusiasts attracted from around the world.
Due to overwhelming demand, organiser Steve Darrington recently announced a new Swanage blues and roots event for October.
Now, people booking up accommodation for October are also rushing to reserve their rooms for the March festival to avoid disappointment. "It's pretty huge stuff," said Steve.
"Because everyone is so keen to book for October, they are booking for March already.
"We've had 15,000 cards printed, like mini-flyers, that are going all around the country and the result of these is even more people are booking."
With the festival falling in March, the advanced out-of-season bookings come as a major boost to Swanage's economy. The town's tourist information centre confirmed they had already been dealing with enquiries for next year's festival. Alison Holmes, manager of the centre, said: "It generates plenty of interest and enquiries, and it's great for the town."Steve does a fantastic job and has been building momentum year after year. "At that time of year, it stretches out our season and fills accommodation."
The remarkable reach of the festival has even seen acts from as far away as Austin, Texas, ringing to offer their services for the weekend. Steve, who relies totally on donations and goodwill to organise the festival, even plans to return to the stage for the forthcoming events, after learning to walk again after three years in a wheelchair.
The Swanage Blues and Roots Festival takes place on October 5-7, with the eighth Swanage Blues Festival running from March 7-9 next year.
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