Get set for return of Portsmouth Drakefest this weekend

The New Boys performing at last year's 

Drakefest at The Admiral Drake
The New Boys performing at last year's Drakefest at The Admiral Drake
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It’s a music spectacle that has raised more than £100,000 for worthy causes.

Now The Admiral Drake pub, in Kingston Crescent, Portsmouth, is gearing up to host Drakefest again this weekend.

Organisers behind the popular annual festival, which is in its eighth year, hope it will prove to be bigger and better than ever.

And the pub is urging the community to pull together and get behind the effort to raise £8,000 for four local charities.

They are Sam’s Haven, Hannah’s Holiday Home, Stillbirth And Neo-natal Death charity and Parkinson’s UK Portsmouth Working Age Support Group.

Two bands will take to a stage tomorrow from 8pm as a warm-up to the main weekend action.

Then the doors will be back open from midday on Saturday for music lovers.

Live bands will take to an inside and outside stage every hour from 1pm through to 10.30pm.

And there’s plenty for families to do.

A kids’ corner will be set up, with face painters , stalls and a magician.

A bouncy castle, barbecue, hog roast and a double-decker bus selling delicious Mexican food courtesy of Al Burrito restaurant in Albert Road, Southsea, will be some of the other attractions in store.

Admiral Drake landlord Simon Hughes can’t wait for the occasion, which attracts around 2,000 visitors over the weekend.

He said: ‘It’s really a great way of bringing the community together.

‘It’s band members and locals that really make it what it is.

‘They all chip in and help out.

‘It’s great to see a festival atmosphere being created right in the north end of Portsmouth in a local pub.

‘Putting on events like this keeps communities together.

‘We do a lot of live music, but we try to make this a real family event.’

A team of bikers and scooter riders will set off from the pub on Sunday on a ride in a bid to raise extra funds for the charities being supported by Drakefest.

As reported in The News, the event began after popular Admiral Drake regular Mandy Sharpe-Williams was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. She died in December 2009.

In 2014, the music festival marked 20 years landlords Simon and Karen Hughes’ have been in charge at the pub.

Tickets for Friday night cost £2 and it’s £5 each for guests on Saturday and Sunday. Under 13s go free.

Tickets can be bought in advance from the pub.