As you may have seen over on the Victorious Festival’s Facebook page yesterday, the guys behind Victorious are working with Portsmouth City Council to move the festival to Southsea Common for this year’s August Bank Holiday weekend. The proposed plans (which you can read HERE in a proposal document for the upcoming PCC meeting) seek to grow the festival even more from the incredibly successful event last year in the Dockyard. This year’s Victorious would see it happen on Castle Field and much of the central part of Southsea Common, with the International Kite Festival happening on it’s usual part of the Common by the memorial. By bringing these two events together for starters it will mean Southsea and Portsmouth as a whole will have an awesome offer for locals and tourists on the Bank Holiday weekend, more than a match for the other large cities on the south coast.
The plans for Victorious this year will undoubtably see the festival grow in different ways. As wonderful as it was having a music festival in the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard with the attractions made available and the dockyard opened up for exploring, the listed buildings and layout may be restrictive to having more stages, more food, more events. The open space of the Common means these restrictions do not apply and the event can develop and grow this year and in the future. A real added benefit for having the festival on Southsea Seafront is that it seeks to engage and work with the local businesses and venues that are already there. For the seafront to improve it needs economic investment (such as the planned new cafes, etc.) and all of that is only possible when the area becomes more of an attraction. By working together to bring Victorious to the seafront, for at least the Bank Holiday Weekend these other businesses could see 50,000+ extra visitors to the local area. So far Southsea Skatepark, D Day Museum, Pyramids Centre, Blue Reef Aquarium, Pitch and Putt and Southsea Castle look to be free of charge to Victorious ticket holders. With the Castle and the D Day Museum it still means some of the great history of this city is available to festival goers. It will not only be the seafront that sees the benefits though, by being a city music festival it means these visitors to the city can enjoy the Common and Southsea beach but also visit places like Castle Road, Palmerston Road, Old Portsmouth, Albert Road, Elm Grove and of course the Dockyard too. All these visitors visiting the local shops, bars, cafes and restaurants over the weekend will no doubt help the local economy, all more accessible with Victorious on the Common. As a local resident, it seems perfect timing with the new Park and Ride due to open soon, which will offset increased traffic and parking issues hopefully.
Victorious Festival has very quickly put Portsmouth on the map nationally in regards to summer festivals and if the plan is approvad it is pretty clear to see that by combining it with many other great local businesses, attractions and events it will raise the profile of the city to new heights for visitors and create a weekend of events sure to please all the locals too. I’m sure that other cities like Southampton, Bournemouth, Hastings and even Brighton would love to have such a weekend of events in their calendar.
The proposal for Victorious Festival to move to Southsea Common will be put forward at the Portsmouth City Council meeting this Friday, 17th January. Let us know your thoughts on these plans by commenting here or on our Facebook page or by commenting over on the People’s Plan for Southsea Facebook page or over on the Victorious Festival Facebook page.
(Photos from last year’s Victorious Festival coverage by Strong Island Media, by Joe Watson, Josh Knill & Jack Daly)