Southsea Fest: A Brief History

Southsea Fest: A Brief History

Southsea Fest is now in it’s fifth year and is cemented in the calendar now for many people.  Here is a brief look back at where it all started and how it has developed into a fantastic day of music for Southsea.

The idea of Southsea Fest was born on the train whilst going and see a Prince gig at the 02 arena, and is the proud development of organiser Josie Curtis.  Hailing from Gosport, Josie has been frequenting Southsea for a few years now and especially the music scene.

Saturday 15th September saw the first ever Southsea Fest hosted at Little Johnny Russells and Havana which featured The Dawn Chorus, Fresh Legs and Multicoloured Green to name but a few. It was set as a fundraiser for Josie’s brother Beau, to raise money to record an album due to an illness he was suffering and facing a long spell in hospital.  After that proceeds went to The Ellen MacArthur trust as they were the first charity to help Beau. They gave him a laptop to record music during his stay in hospital so Josie felt it necessary to make this her chosen charity for Southsea Fest.

Another one in followed in December 2007 hosted again at LJRs and Havana which saw Little Fish perform for the first time.  3rd April 2008 saw the 3rd Southsea Fest held LJRs and the Fat Fox & Atrium.  Whilst this was happening plans were being made made for a 10 venue spectacle in Sept 08 which lead to the format for Southsea Fest as we now know it.  The following year in 2009 saw media attention from Art Rocker, NME and a small feature in The Guardian with the festival getting some much deserved coverage and again in the latest installment this year the Southsea Fest has acheived rave reviews across the board.  Sept 2010 saw the Kings Theatre added to the festival venue list becoming the showpiece venue. The Strange Death of Liberal England, The B of the Bang, Dawn Chorus and Revere were the lucky chosen ones to grace the Kings stage that day.

In it’s existence so far the festival has hosted Eliza Doolittle, Band of Skulls, James Yuill and Kid Harpoon who have all gone on to make it big nationally, as well as giving many small unsigned acts the chance to appear in front of a large audience they might not normally have the opportunity to achieve.

Southsea Fest is a not for profit organisation and donates most of it’s proceeds to the Ellen MacArthur Trust.  I’m sure you’ll all agree that it is a fantastic event to have here in Southsea and hopefully one that will continue in the future.  Next year is the 5th birthday with some big things in store.  Well done to Josie and all her team and the people who make Southsea Fest happen year in year out!


  1. Paul Gonella

    23 September

    Really good to see the old posters and find out how everything started.

    RIP Havana

  2. Ben Mills

    23 September

    Such a shame about the Havana indeed. Good memories

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