FOCUS chats to Neil Porter about the annual Beatles Festival taking place in February.
Hi Neil. How long has the Beatles Festival been going?
This will be our fifth year.
Are there any changes to the previous four years of the festival?
Yes, this year the Car Show ‘n’ Shine at Westport Park will be on over two days instead of just Sunday. It also has the themes “Beetle Mania” and “British Invasion” to welcome Vee Dub and British car owners to join the Fords, Holdens, Muscle Cars and Hot Rods to compete for the trophies and prizes
What entertainment do you have planned for the festival?
Our headline act this year is “Beatle Magic”, a fabulous Beatles tribute band from Sydney. They will be performing concerts at the Laurieton United Services Club on Friday 11th and at Port Panthers on Saturday the 12th. We are also excited to have the “Australian Army Band” from Newcastle performing at the Glasshouse forecourt on Saturday morning.
Who are the guys posing with the Big Red British Post Box, and what part does it play in the festival?
They are members of “The Day Trippers”, one of six local bands performing at Westport Park over the festival weekend. The Big Red Post Box will feature at all the festival events. Visitors to the festival will have the opportunity to win a $500 cash prize, courtesy of Coast Front Realty, simply by “posting” a survey form in the Post Box.
Are children welcome at the festival?
Most certainly. The entertainment at Westport Park includes free rides for the kids, thanks to the generosity of our sponsor Snowy Flavoured Ice, and there will be face painting and fairy floss too.
What else do you have planned?
Two of our most popular events are the Beatles Trivia Night at Bago Tavern on Thursday evening and the Champagne Breakfast at Rose’s Vineyard on Sunday Morning
The Day Trippers is a band dedicated to playing 60s-style rock ’n’ roll, mainly Beatles as the band name suggests, but also the Easybeats, Kinks, Rolling Stones, Shadows, Roy Orbison, Eddie Cochrane, Queen, Dire Straits, and more.
The three band members who make up The Day Trippers bring their own unique musical pedigrees to their shows:
Guitarist Michael Spooner spent time touring as “George Harrison” with the “Australian Beatles Show” both in Australia and overseas. Michael is also equally as comfortable in the orchestra pit, lending his guitar talents to musical theatre productions such as Chess, Bye Bye Birdie, Oklahoma, Sweet Charity, Joseph, Annie, and most recently the Port Macquarie Player’s Theatre’s 2016 production of Grease.
The engine-room of the Day Trippers – the rhythm section of drums and bass – is made up of Canadian drummer Mike Oakley, who draws inspiration from some of the great sixties rock drummers such as Mitch Mitchell, Ginger Baker – and not forgetting Ringo – alongside bass-player Dave Smith, who hails from the home of British rock royalty – Liverpool in the UK – and has the musical mojo to match!
See the Day Trippers LIVE at Westport Park, Saturday 11th February 2017.
For full event info, see http://www.portmacquariebeatlesfestival.com