A?BEAUTY?spot near Petersfield has reverberated to the latest rock sounds.

The occasion was last weekend’s drink and drug-free music extravaganza Butserfest, which was held for the ninth time at the foot of Butser Hill at Queen Elizabeth Country Park.

Some 1,500 young music lovers are reported to have gathered in the park south of Petersfield to enjoy an impressive line-up of world class bands and free fun activities.

Organised by East Hampshire District Council, Butserfest has been widely applauded since its inception nearly a decade ago and offers a fantastic festival experience for revellers.

East Hampshire District Council leader and Butserfest founder Ferris Cowper said: “What an amazing day of music and activities. We had a smattering of rain in the morning but it wasn’t able to dampen the spirits of the young people on site and the rest of the day was glorious sunshine.

“As a drummer myself, I particularly enjoyed checking out the different styles of bands and the way they work together as a team.”

“The crowd is always so enthusiastic and it’s a great way to demonstrate that you don’t have to drink alcohol or take drugs to have an amazing music festival experience,” he said.

And he added: “We’ve already started working on some surprises for next year so I’d encourage people to get their tickets now.”

Headliners Don Broco exceeded their reputation with a fantastic performance to end the night on the main stage, as well as gracing the hallowed Acoustic Shack with a special set backstage to a select few.

Welsh post-hardcore rock act Funeral for a Friend also excelled themselves and got the crowd going on the main stage while Heck didn’t disappoint with their unpredictable and high-energy performance on the Crossroads Stage.

Local bands were also on top form at the festival with an entire stage dedicated to new acts, for the second year running. Deference, a metal band from Southampton, and Elements, an alternative rock band also from Southampton, blew the crowd away with their energetic and professional performances.

And Daniel Eagle charmed the crowd with his great voice and witty lyrics.

Hampshire band and last year’s winner of the Introducing Stage competition, Waking Angel, again brought with them a legion of loyal fans and this year stepped up a gear to play the main stage.

Much fun was had by all as people hurtled around the “zorbing” zone in giant inflatable globes, challenged their balancing skills on the surf simulator, got their faces painted and took their pick from a host of food stalls including churros, wood-fired pizza, smoothies, pulled pork and beef rolls, coffees, burgers and chips.

EHDC is already looking forward to next September when they will be hosting their 10th event which promises to be “the biggest and best yet”. For more details or to book tickets, visit butserfest.co.uk.