B Side Festival Portland

Thu, Sep 9th 2021 at 9:00 am- Sun, Sep 12th 2021 - 4:00 pm

By Elizabeth

Portland Rotary Club helped steward the 2021 b-side festival


Rocca Holly-Nambi, Director of b-side and the b-side team would like to thank to thank Portland Rotary Club for marshalling the Portland Community Parade this year.  Rocca will be speaking to the Club in November and would like to have more Rotary and b-side collaborations in the future.


One of the fun aspects of being President is to represent Rotary in various settings, and Celia asked me to do the opening b-side tour on her behalf. We were taken on a tour of several b-side art installations, ending up with an outdoor film viewing of the 1963 Hammer horror “The Damned”, in the garden of Pennsylvania Castle. Wow!


The Rufus Castle Light Show: Of Sea and Stone


As part of this year’s b-side festival, The Portland Museum Trust applied for an Arts Council grant to fund a project re-telling the story of Church Ope Cove. We set-up a group of volunteers to research the stories, the myths and legends of the area around the Museum and this research was then used by Dan Shorten of the Guild Hall Live Events team. He created an amazing music and light show, beamed onto the cliff face and side of Rufus Castle. The images were sharp, detailed and very colourful; it was awe inspiring and very similar to a fireworks display, but all done through an animated digital film projection. Set within the context of the location, it was a magical night-time ten-minute experience, giving a real sense of the geography and history of the place. The audience gathered to watch the show on the ammonite platform, at the head of the Church Ope steps.


A smaller version of the lightshow was also made available in the Museum.  It is beamed onto the ceiling and walls of Avice’s Cottage, one of the galleries inside the Museum.


The show told the story of Church Ope Cove, linked to objects displayed in the Museum. One of our most famous fossils, found in Albion Stone Quarry is the Jurassic turtle. And there it was, a huge, beautiful projection of it swimming in Jurassic Seas! Then Ammonites squirted along by jet propulsion, followed by huge rock falls and tectonic contortions, as the Island of Portland was created. Viking Long Ships sailed into the cove, shipwrecked sailors drowned, smugglers rolled barrels to Tophill, and Sir Christopher Wren’s St Paul’s Cathedral loomed tall as the quarrymen gave up their stone.


“Of Sea and Stone” was the title Dan Shorton gave his Rufus Castle sound and light show.  Dan won the contract by competing with over 50 candidates, his was the most visionary and exciting idea, with huge entertainment value.



Portland Museum Trustee




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