Dials Festival's return does Portsmouth proud as music lovers and artists rally in aid of mental health charity Solent Mind

Acid Tongue perform at Dials Festival 2019. Picture: Lorna Edwards
Acid Tongue perform at Dials Festival 2019. Picture: Lorna Edwards
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CITY bars and pubs became treasure troves of emerging talent as a one-day music festival returned to support a mental health charity.

All proceeds from Dials Festival will go to Solent Mind after the fixture cemented its outing for 2019 with an eclectic roster of 39 acts across five venues on Saturday. 

Sarpa Salpa perform at Dials Festival 2019. Picture: Lorna Edwards

Sarpa Salpa perform at Dials Festival 2019. Picture: Lorna Edwards

Shows kicked off from 1pm in the Lord John Russell and the Wine Vaults, with impressive sets from local outfit Heebie Jeebies and Northampton indie rockers Sarpa Salpa. 

Music then began at The Loft and the Edge of the Wedge at 1.30pm and 2.30pm respectively, as Brighton pop singer Megan Lara Mae and Emilia Tarrant both performed with aplomb. 

For music fan Chenda Cox, from Fratton, it was a day not to be missed that began watching Sarpa Salpa, Tom Bryan and Amy Vix. 

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Madonnatron perform at Dials Festival 2019. Picture: Lorna Edwards

Madonnatron perform at Dials Festival 2019. Picture: Lorna Edwards

‘Portsmouth does itself proud with one-day festivals and I love Dials because it’s like there’s a genre per venue,' the 27-year-old said. 

‘It’s a great place to discover new music and a lot of the bands I love are ones I’ve found through events like this.’

The festival's fifth and final venue, the Wedgewood Rooms, got lively from 7pm thanks to rockers Saltwater Sun. Shows from Walt Disco and Another Sky followed, before The Blinders closed from 10.10pm. 

It topped off a day that left revellers and artists alike happy, said Heebie Jeebies’ Havant-based singer and guitarist, Harley Trinder.

Dials Festival revellers enjoy one of the headline shows at the Wedgewood Rooms. Picture: Lorna Edwards

Dials Festival revellers enjoy one of the headline shows at the Wedgewood Rooms. Picture: Lorna Edwards

‘I love a lot of the bands the organisers have put together here and I think the format is a really good idea,’ the 22-year-old said. 

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‘Playing at 1pm [in the Lord John Russell] I wasn't expecting so many people to be there, but they were and I was really pleased – we got a good reception.’

Festival director Abbie Eales hailed Dials’ ‘amazing volunteers’, venues, music promoters and artists who agreed to perform for free in making the day a success. 

Bash perform at Dials Festival 2019. Picture: Lorna Edwards

Bash perform at Dials Festival 2019. Picture: Lorna Edwards

‘We started planning the week after the last one last October, so it’s been a whole year of monthly meetings, booking bands and keeping our ear to the ground to see who was going to be popular,’ she said. 

On Dials’ continued backing of Solent Mind, she added: ‘Music is one of those things that can really help a person’s mental health whether they’re performing or listening, so it felt like a natural partnership for us.’

Solent Mind’s CEO, Kevin Gardner, added: ‘All of us at Solent Mind are really honoured to be the charity of Dials Festival for a second year.’ 

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Walt Disco perform at Dials Festival 2019. Picture: Lorna Edwards

Walt Disco perform at Dials Festival 2019. Picture: Lorna Edwards