Rocking the day and night away at the riverside Fake Festival

Dirty Monkeys perform at Fake Festival, Chester-le-Street's Riverside Park.
Dirty Monkeys perform at Fake Festival, Chester-le-Street's Riverside Park.
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The banks of the Wear was rocking as tributes were paid to legendary bands.

Thousands of people headed to the sellout Chester-le-Street Fake Festival to enjoy more than nine hours of tributes to groups including Queen, The Killers and Stone Roses.

Families from Penshaw and Washington enjoy the Fake Festival at Chester-le-Street.

Families from Penshaw and Washington enjoy the Fake Festival at Chester-le-Street.

But this was so much more than just music. Whole families turned out to enjoy games, amusements for children and a variety of food stands.

All agreed it was the friendly spirit which attracted them.

Among them was a group from the Washington and Penshaw area who were there after one of their number - Donna Coppard - loved it so much last year.

Donna, a nurse from Penshaw, said: “It is welcoming to families, it is local and it is not wildly expensive for the entertainment.”

People like the fact that it is here, it is fun, and it is for mum, dad and the kids.

Jez Lee

She was there with husband Stuart, a regional manager in the motor trade; as well as accountancy firm owner Stephen Stacey and wife Lynn, from Washington, who also works for the firm.

Lynn said: “It’s a bit of fun for the children, they are having a great time, and it is a chance for the grown-ups to catch up as well.”

Making up the party was Sue and Andy Blair, an analyst, and students Andy and Christine Craig, from the Fatfield area of Washington.

Andy, who is studying at Sunderland University, said: “It’s the atmosphere that we like. People have brought their kids and they are loving it.”

Another group were Stacey Bell, Joanne Summerbell and Julie Brown - all former classmates from Framwellgate Moor Schoool in Durham.

Stacey, a civil servant, explained: “We have all had our 40th birthday in the last 18 months but we were trying to get to some event together where we could meet up.”

Joining them was Diane Whitehead from Norton who works for Durham County Council. She said: “It has that same sort of feel as a bike rally. Everyone is cheerful and have a great time.”

Jez Lee, owner of Fake Festivals, praised the North East people as some of the best for embracing the festival spirit. He said the plan had been to bring “a brilliant day and night to Chester-le-Street, with great music from some of the country’s best tribute acts.”

Among the bands were None Of The Above, Dirt Monkey, Toxic and Electric Temple. Others to take to the stage included the Total Stone Roses, The Fillers and Flash.

The event was in its fifth year this year and Jez said: “North East people like a party and it is an opportunity for them to come along with their children. It is an opportunity for local bands as well.”

He said Fake Festival was a well-established attraction at Chester-le-Street and would definitely be back next year. “It is here, it is fun, and it is great for mum, dad and the kids.”