Portland will be rocking this weekend as some of the finest musicians in Dorset line up to support an island cause.
Rock Fest on Saturday and Sunday is in aid of the Portland Sculpture and Quarry Trust.
It will be held at the trust’s base – the turreted Drill Hall in Easton Lane – and proceeds will support the educational work it is doing in Tout Quarry sculpture park as well as buying new lighting equipment for the hall.
Twenty-one stars of the local live music scene are giving up their time for free to play Rock Fest including Stompin’ Dave Allen, Mad Ox Brothers, Howling at the Moon, Andy Grant Trio, Bebe and Paolo, Mr Bucket, The Dinnerladies, Fly Bone Yellow and Tom Caulfield. The last band on Saturday night will be followed by DJ Squeaker who will play until 3am. Rock Fest kickstarts a programme of events planned for the year including dances for older people, art workshops, youth events, a St George’s Day Ball and a sculpture and cider festival.
Rock Fest organiser Rob McIlroy said: “We want to run one event a month roughly.
“The Rock Fest mini music festival is an event I came up with as a way of showcasing all the great talent we have in the area. All the proceeds will be ploughed back into trust funds. I’d like to thank the musicians for their support.
“It’s now over to the community. I’d like to think we can run this as an annual event if people want it.”
The Drill Hall, built in 1867, was the headquarters of the Portland Volunteer Artillery Brigade.
For many years it was the social hub of Portland and was one of the venues open to American GIs stationed on the island in the Second World War.
Now run by the trust as an exhibition space, the hall was given an £80,000 refurbishment after grants were secured.
Rock Fest, supported by Fuzzy Music Studios, starts at 1pm on both days and costs £5 for each session. A bar will be open throughout.
Buy tickets on the door or from Boho bar in Weymouth, newsagents in Fortuneswell or GEA Smith Engravers in Easton.