Today we turn our attention to the first of two festivals on Breaking More Waves doorstep in our home city of Portsmouth. In September there is Southsea Fest, a one day multi-venue event based around the Albert Road area of Southsea, Portsmouth (full preview to follow next month), but before that there is Victorious Festival which this year takes a step up after being formed from the inaugural free Victorious Vintage Festival held in the same location the previous year.
Set in the unique historic Naval Dockyard, Victorious Festival provides what can only be described as an eclectic mix of music ranging from 80’s funky bass pop band Level 42 to North East indie rockers Maximo Park to dance floor princess Katy B to X-Factor contestant Janet Devlin to Place Your Hands rockers Reef to Welsh soprano Charlotte Church. Of more interest to regular Breaking More Waves readers might be the likes of The Joy Formidable, Fenech-Soler, Curxes, The Milk and Bear Cavalry, all of whom have featured in past blog posts.
What really sells Victorious Festival is the ticket price. At only £15 a day and £5 for children it’s a complete bargain, even if you only see a couple of bands. Questions have to be raised about how the festival can finance the operation but the answer lies in the number of tickets that can be sold. With a licenced capacity of 18,000 it’s a case of high volume sales at a low price to make the accountants happy.
The bonus of this value ticket price is that not only does it allow you access to the music but you can also visit the Navy Dockyard’s other tourist attractions such as the HMS Victory (the world’s oldest commissioned warship and the place where Nelson died), the new Wilkinson Eyre designed Mary Rose museum, the HMS Warrior, experience the modern Navy in a converted boathouse now known as Action Stations, the National Museum of the Royal Navy and take a harbour tour. Add in a real ale festival, a kids area and a ‘smugglers market’ that includes vintage clothing, bespoke jewellery, street foods, farmers markets, a pamper parlour, wine tasting, a record stall from Portsmouth’s acclaimed Pie & Vinyl shop, local antiques and furniture plus more and the ticket looks like it might just be the bargain of the summer. If you just see 1 band, visit a number of the attractions, have a drink and visit a few stalls the money you spend will work out at better value than visiting the Navy Dockyard on a normal day.
However one word of caution; if ticket sales are high (and organisers have stated they are selling fast) then with a relatively restricted site, even though some stages are outdoors we’d suggest that if you’re going and you want to see a particular act you arrive in plenty of time at that stage as if areas reach capacity it may be a case of one in one out, just like an indoor venue. Or alternatively take a more relaxed approach and just wander round the site and see what you discover.
But with no danger of mud (the dockyard is cobbled and concreted) a bus, train and ferry station right next door for easy public transport access and lots to see and do, Victorious Festival looks like it could be aptly named.
Victorious Festival takes place on the 24th and 25th of August in Portsmouth’s historic Naval Dockyard. You can buy tickets using this link. A full list of all the bands playing can be found here.
Saturday - Curxes - Further Still (Video)
Sunday - The Joy Formidable - Silent Treatment (William Orbit Version)