Monday, 11 August 2014
Victorious Festival 2014 - Preview
In the over-crowded UK festival market any new entrants need to have a strong unique selling point. Victorious Festival, set in Breaking More Waves home city of Portsmouth has a pretty simple one – price. Early bird tickets retailed at just £15 per day before they were increased to £20 showing that it is seemingly possible to run a festival with some reasonably heavyweight names topping the bill (this year sees the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Seastick Steve, Naughty Boy, 2 Many DJs and Tom Odell) without charging exorbitant prices.
How does the festival achieve this? Some of the answers seem to include ramming in the punters, using plenty of cheap or unpaid local artists to flesh out the line-up and by the organisers maximising income by running the bars themselves rather than another company. And talking of alcohol let’s be honest here, Portsmouth as a city likes a drink; last year’s event just couldn’t cope with demand and if those in charge have any sense they’ll be increasing the bar lengths, numbers and staff for 2014.
Bars reaching capacity was just one of a number of teething problems the festival had in its first year as Victorious Festival (having previously run as Victorious Vintage) when it was held in the unusual setting of the historic dockyard in Portsmouth; food stalls had long queues and on the first of the two days it was reported that many of them ran out of food completely. Also the portaloo layout appeared to have been designed by someone with very little experience of festivals, meaning that servicing and queues became problematic. However, given the bargain price and general good-spirited nature of the event, these issues didn’t particularly detract.
However, 2014 finds the event relocating onto Southsea seafront, giving more space and more capacity for everything, hopefully ironing out the problems from 2013.
Being a city based festival Victorious will populated by many locals and its line-up and attractions are curated very much with a something for everyone ideology, but with a strong bias to b-list Brit-pop and beyond bands; Shed Seven, Menswear, Ocean Colour Scene, Razorlight, The Pigeon Detectives and Mark Morris from The Bluetones all appear. You’ll also find X-Factor contestant Lucy Spraggon, alt-rock from British Sea Power, electro hip-hop from Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip playing their second to last show ever plus Beatles and Rolling Stones tribute bands.
So you can take your pick from those or the many other artists on the bill, or you can try the headphone disco, watch skaters and riders demos in Southsea Skate Park, visit the nearby the D-Day museum, watch the sharks at the Blue-Reef Aquarium, explore Southsea Castle, visit the boutique market stalls, the real ale festival or the kids arena.
Alternatively you can try and catch the following Breaking More Waves approved acts. See you down the front for these? (Line up clashes permitting)
Sophie Ellis-Bextor : Castle Stage (Saturday)
She might be best known for her disco pop hits such as Murder On The Dance Floor, Take Me Home and Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love) but Sophie’s 2014 Ed Harcourt produced album Wanderlust is the finest work of her career – an accomplished and mature record that takes in Eastern European folk, fairytale and mid-life crisis reference points and wraps them up into a captivating and enchanting listen. We suspect it will find a place on our end of year favourite album list.
Public Service Broadcasting : Seaside Stage (Saturday)
One of the great independent success stories of 2013, Public Service Broadcasting’s unique performances mash up video footage, guitars, vocal samples and a sense of humour to deliver a show that wins people over wherever they play.
Slow Club : Acoustic Stage (Sunday)
From their early d-i-y country folk outings to their latest record Complete Surrender, Slow Club’s music has evolved, boldly stepping into a new soulful world whilst retaining their gorgeous vocal interplay and tenderness. Watch out for the bands often comical banter with the audience and expect more than the odd goose-bump moment as Rebecca sings.
Kassassin Street : Seaside Stage (Sunday)
“Capturing Eastern mysticism, psychedelia and a free flowing looseness, this five-piece have an exhilarating vibrancy and energy to their sound.” That’s how we previously described indie rockers Kassassin Street. That sounds about right. What we didn’t say was that they are also quite possibly Portsmouth’s finest live band - expect grooves and noise.
Eloise Keating : Acoustic Stage (Sunday)
Local singer songwriter Eloise Keating picked up her first Hype Machine listed blog appearance on Breaking More Waves and has subsequently been featured on a number of respected sites site as Line of Best Fit and The Von Pip Musical Express with her Great Gatsby inspired song Be My Ghost (The Green Light). Since then she’s been taken under the wing by same people behind one of our favourite (and ever on it) boutique record labels Duly Noted (IYES, The Night VI, Black Honey etc) and is beavering away writing new material. Victorious Festival is a chance to hear Eloise road-test some of these songs in an acoustic form before fuller electronic versions surface as well as perhaps a cover or two.
We’ll be carrying a full review of Victorious Festival 2014 shortly after it finishes. It takes place on Southsea seafront on the 23rd and 24th August 2014. Tickets info can be found using this link.