Virtual charity Rock Down concert

Virtual charity Rock Down concert

10 June 2020

AN evening of the best of local rock and pop will be hosted on Friday as the Rock Down virtual concert kicks off.

Organised by three friends from the Downpatrick and Strangford area – Sean Wallace, Harry Deegan, and Patrick Buchanan – the event showcasing the best of local talent will raise much-needed funds for mental health charity, Downpatrick PIPS.

Donations for the gig have already reached more than £3,000 and more is likely to come in after the event.

Nine acts will perform mostly acoustic sets live via Facebook stream from their own homes or venues – suitably socially distanced – from 7pm to 11pm.

Opening up the concert will be Nicky Brown from Ballynahinch and finishing it off will be The Overknights.

Other local acts include the Just Adam Band, Petty Youth, The Renegades, Eamon and Charlie Hanlon, Steafan Hanvey and Kevin Young who has just finished off his debut album. Eamon and Steafan supported Sinead O’Connor on her recent UK and Ireland tour.

Circus performer Sideshow Ramon will be entertaining viewers during the interval with a selection of fire-eating and sword-swallowing performances.

Patrick he and his friends had always intended to organise a live event in support of PIPS this summer but decided to run it as a virtual event due to the lockdown.

He explained: “We are all music lovers and have been to gigs all our lives.  We know a lot of bands and performers so it was easy enough to contact them and they were generous enough to say yes.

“Downpatrick PIPS is a cause we are all passionate about. Mental health problems, suicide and depression is blighting our society and the local work that PIPS does is invaluable.

“Supporting good mental health is vitally important and we need a service where people can talk to people when they are feeling down or depressed. PIPS are there to provide that support.”

The trio held a very successful fundraiser for Downpatrick PIPS, known as PIPS at the Pot, a night of music at the Lobster Pot in Strangford two years ago where £6,500 was raised.

An impromptu jam session at Mullan’s Bar in Downpatrick raised a further £1,000.

Downpatrick PIPS’ co-ordinator Brenda McAteer praised the men for continuing to support the charity’s work and said that apart from raising funds, this event will act as a way of getting some people to think about their mental health and to ask for help.

“We have been overwhelmed by the support and the creativeness of people raising money for us during the lockdown,” she said.

“While PIPS at the Pot was a fantastic fundraiser, the awareness of our work that came out of that was phenomenal. It really got people talking and our referrals took off.

We had people who contacted us after seeing the video released afterwards or by simply talking about their mental health on the night or someone they had lost to suicide and had never opened up about it.:

Brenda added: “With Friday’s event being a virtual event, we are hoping that it will reach even more people.”

To view the concert, visit and to donate go to