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Chesil Rocks 2024

 

The 11th Chesil Rocks music and arts festival, and likely to be the last in this format, took place with events on three days this year from 20th - 22nd June at Higher Farmhouse, Langton Herring and once again supported Samaritans of Dorset. Starting off with a Comedy Night, this event was compered by the excellently on-form Tom Glover and featured comedians James Ellis, Louise Leigh and the nationally known and extremely popular Nathan Caton.  Sponsored by Dorset Wood Fired Pizza, all guests received one of their amazing pizzas shortly after their arrival. 

 

“On the next evening, we had our Prelude of Classical Music and Opera, where guests – who were encouraged to dress up for the occasion – were greeted with a complimentary glass of Prosecco on arrival, able to wander around the beautiful gardens and enjoy the views to the sea in one direction and Hardy's Monument in the other”. They were treated to incidental magic from the incredible Chris Howatt, before moving to a beautifully decorated marquee and where they were firstly entertained by renowned concert pianist Duncan Honeybourne, and then by the acclaimed tenor John Hudson, singing a selection of operatic and lighter pieces.  During the interval, guests were served with a delicious Chinese supper and saw more magic by Chris Howatt, after which they returned to their seats for more from John Hudson, including a number of operatic classics such as Nessun Dorma. There then followed a fun-filled and entertaining auction of promises and gifts with the charismatic auctioneer Alexa Tilley. 
 

On the Saturday, the main Chesil Rocks event took place and featured fabulous guitar duo Trip Guitars, Evolution Dance Studio, singer songwriter Chris Davies, a variety of music from The Venn, the Portesham Ukulele Band under the musical direction of Sam Brown, sea shanties from Dorset Wrecks, hip-hop from Chiman 101, funk from Vanilla Radio, original music from Steve Wilson and the Innocent Bystanders, electronic dance music from Sarah de Warren, rock covers from Balance of Power, a most welcome return of the London Gay Men's Chorus and then a spectacular finale from the fire eating Inferno Sisters. To complete the event, there was a DJ set from Max Neilson-Howes - who “had attended every Chesil Rocks event since the age of 7” – and he was joined by Sarah de Warren on a few tracks. 
 

“Following our event this year”, Hilary said, “we are confident of being able to give the Dorset branch of Samaritans a significant proportion of their annual budget, enabling them to worry less about fundraising over the coming year and to focus more on what they do best”.

 

Tim added, ”We would like to convey our sincere thanks to all those who volunteered to help stage the event this year and make it such a success, and to our sponsors RiskStop Group Ltd, Symonds & Sampson, MN Walker and 3SC Scaffolding Group, farmer Robert Mayo, Dorset Wood Fired Pizza and our mystery sponsor who wishes to remain anonymous – but we know who you are!” Hilary added, “Our site manager Adrian King was with us for three weeks and worked incredibly hard and we could not have staged the event without his dedication, skills and experience”. “Our children's area, managed by Mary Cooper, looked fantastic and attracted heaps of praise and we must thank Howleys Toymaster and Frank Herring and Sons for their part in this”, said Tim.

 

'Sweet Peas', our toilet area, managed diligently by Clare Hall and friends was described as outstanding. Curated by Robert Hall, art donated by local artists adorned the marquee walls and was sold by silent auction, raising £940. Bunting lent to the event by Derek and Hilary Troughton and the Portesham Volunteers adorned the site, together with fabulous and quirky art sculptures from Martin Fielding. The main bar was organised and run by Portesham Volunteers and the Rum Shack and Prosecco bar was excellently managed by Sarah Killingbeck and team. Martin Pearson, our fantastically diligent treasurer, will shortly be announcing the amount we are able to pass on to Samaritans this year.

 

Tim and Hilary Warren

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Chesil Rocks has been an annual music and arts festival since 2012, with all proceeds going to Samaritans of Dorset. At our 2023 event, we raised another £18,000 for the charity, bringing our total raised for Samaritans over the years to £108,000.  

 

With no government funding, our Samaritans - who are all volunteers - need to raise £40,000 each year to keep their branch open and maintain their service. Our contribution enables them to worry less  about fundraising and focus more on what they do best.

 

 This is why we support Samaritans. 

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