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FREE open air events to celebrate summer

If you are looking for something exciting and fun to do during the holidays that will suit all ages and you don't want to break the bank then there are 2 great FREE music events taking place at Maumbury Rings in Dorchester which will be right up your street!

► The first is the Anonymous Festival, on Saturday August 24th 12noon – 6pm, now in its 11th year! This one-day event not only showcases the best of our very talented younger musicians, performing in a wide range of musical genres, but also offers some brilliant activities and crafts take part in.

You will have the opportunity to learn some bush craft skills, try your staying power with an inflatable rodeo, test your nerve on some bungee trampolines, make and fire a rocket or learn about costume design – and try some amazing costumes on! If craft is more your thing, you can try your hand at screen printing, make a clay installation or create a range of lovely things with willow. Or you may prefer getting a glitter tattoo, having your face painted – or your hair braided. And there will be more – with a bouncy castle, inflatable bungee run and you can even learn some lifesaving skills with a professional medical team.

And remember, all the activities, as well as entrance is free!

Plus there are 2 stages of music showcasing some of the best young musicians in the South West. Performers this year include Pop Club, Asha, the Loose Screws, Jemima, the Lyd Read Band, Wavechase, Charlene Clease, The Undecided and headliners Mandy for Girls, with guest DJ Megan Baker. They will be covering a wide range of genres from rap to dance and including pop, funk, folk and rock music – again something for everyone!

There will be a range of affordable, delicious food on offer, including burgers, sausages and chips and mouth-watering freshly cooked falafel. There will also be a quality fresh coffee stand, popcorn, candy floss and ice-cream. The venue, Maumbury Rings (opposite Dorchester Skate Park) is an ancient Roman amphitheatre which provides the ideal setting for this wonderful event. Feel free to bring your own blanket or deckchair and make a day of it.

The event is organised and run by the local youth forum "Dorchester Youth Extra" which is made up of young volunteers who fundraise throughout the year to pay it, as well as organising other activities and campaigns.

Emma Scott, who supports Dorchester Youth Extra, says "I am really proud of this event which involves so many young people and is supported by Dorchester Town Council. There is always a great atmosphere where people of all ages can enjoy a top quality day out in a fantastic location"

Frazer Mitchell, founder of Antix Music Network, coordinating this year's Anonymous Festival line up says "This year, the line-up is incredibly strong, with solo acts, bands and DJs from the Dorchester/Weymouth area, all under 25 years old."

Frazer, who founded the Antix Music Network In 2015, providing live music across the Dorset and Somerset says "Anonymous Festival is exactly the type of event we want to get involved with; helping develop younger artists and giving them platforms for their creativity. So far, 2 of our acts have reached the charts, and we're hoping to keep up this momentum in the coming months".

And on bank holiday Monday 26 August MAUMBURY Rings will be the place to be for music-lovers. The annual Music at Maumbury event organised by Dorchester Town Council and Dorchester Arts has been described as 'the best free music event in the area'.

There will be live music from 1.30pm until 10pm ranging from ska and reggae to blues and folk.

The main organisers, Deputy Town Clerk Steve Newman and Dorchester Arts Artistic Director Mark Tattersall, said the event was for all the family where people were encouraged to bring a picnic and stay for the day. There will also be refreshments and a licensed bar.

Steve Newman said this is our fourteenth year and the event has become well established in the town's calendar, if the weather is kind the event is hugely popular with thousands attending and hope that this year's event will be the biggest and best yet.

He added: Primarily it's about getting people together so they can see people they might not have seen otherwise. It also reinforces Dorchester's already good sense of community.

Bands will include Sandtimer, Shadrack Street Band, The Drystones, The Simmertones, Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion and headliners The Sessions.

Mark Tattersall said: It's fun to programme such a diverse day of music and I try to find something for everyone to enjoy. Some are familiar local names and others (like The Drystones) are talents from further afield who we hope to bring back for a performance at the Corn Exchange at a later date.

The event is free entry but there will be a collection with any money raised going towards the Mayor of Dorchester's chosen charity which is The Fire Fighters Charity,

Richard Biggs, Mayor of Dorchester, added: This is always an excellent event – people know that they are in for a good time. We have got a great line-up of bands and it's the last holiday until Christmas. It's great when everyone in the community comes together.

To find out more information about the Anonymous Festival, check out the Facebook page, or to contact Emma directly, email her at or call her on 01305 819463.

To find out more about the Town Council music at Maumbury event contact Steve Newman on 01305 266861 or email

For more info about the Antix Music Network, please check the website;

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