Festival to boost charity coffers

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A two-day music festival is taking place this weekend in aid of North East charities.

The North East Music Festival was the ambitious plan of the Ponteland High School Charity Group.

Starting on Friday night with a grand opening concert at Newcastle Racecourse, the festival kicks off with Anna Reay and her band.

The event will be officially opened by The High Sheriff of Northumberland, Lucy Carroll.

It starts at 7.15pm with a drinks reception.

On Saturday there will be live music throughout the day from noon to 5pm at The Cluny and The Cumberland Arms in Newcastle with five acts at each pub at various intervals.

Tickets for the daytime events are £10 per person.

And on Saturday night there will be a grand finale concert with the Trelawnyd Male Voice Choir and the Dishforth Military Wives Choir at St Nicholas’s Cathedral in Newcastle, under the direction of Ann Atkinson and Ruth Sladden.

A closing ceremony will be hosted by Dr Caroline Pryer, Deputy Lieutenant of Northumberland.

Tickets are priced from £12.

All the events will be raising money for North East charities including the Great North Air Ambulance, North East children’s charities and North East poor charities.

The festival was originally the idea of a group of schoolchildren from Ponteland High School.

In 2015 the school’s charity group announced plans for a fashion show (which has already been held) and a music festival. They joined forces with the Pont Charity Group which helped with initial admin.

After a false start the festival was arranged for April 22 and 23 but it was discovered that those dates were not suitable for the school.

It was then concluded that it was not viable for the Pont Charity Group to continue organising the event so its secretary, Bruce Grant, and his wife undertook the plans on a personal basis.

They managed to secure sponsorship from the Banks Group at a late stage and the festival plans continued.

Bruce Grant said: “The choice of charities to support was very much a personal choice, mainly taken from Pont Charity Group selection, the eight being well-known North East charities, which it is hoped will induce North East folks to turn out in support, and enjoy a variety of music, where at least some are unlikely to be available elsewhere in the UK.”

To find out more about this event, contact Bruce on 01661823606.