Victorious: All star seaside music festival

Portsmouth, Hampshire

Boogie, bounce or bob your head while taking in the sun and sea air at Victorious, Portsmouth’s award-winning music festival this summer. By Phia Langley.

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At the end of every August tents and stages pop up on the Southsea seafront, one of the most beautiful settings for a festival in the UK. Located in Portsmouth, the sun shimmers off the water of the Solent and reflects off the tall buildings of the city centre – combining a stunning seaside scenic backdrop with all the convenience of a metropolitan festival.

Bands and DJs galore

Spread out over three days, the Victorious Festival offers up a fantastic lineup. Headline performances from Jamiroquai, Kasabian, Alt-J, Ellie Goulding and Mumford & Sons – the band’s only UK show of 2023 so you don’t want to miss your chance! With support acts from veterans like Kaiser Chiefs, Newton Faulkner, Natalie Imbruglia, The Vaccines and Ben Howard, to rapidly rising stars like Raye, Mae Muller, Pale Waves and Sigrid, there truly is something for everyone’s taste whether it’s retro or fresh.

The afternoons will see DJ sets from legends such as Annie Mac, Sigala, and Ibiza classics from the legendary Pete Tong, as well as performance from comedy geniuses Omid Djalili, Jason Manford and Dara Ó Briain. If you find your time isn’t packed enough from all these sensational shows then there is also a vibrant market to browse; full of arts, crafts, local handmade goods and thrift stalls, there’s plenty to browse in-between sets as you wander through.

Our top favourite attraction is Southsea’s skatepark, which is available on site with roller discos and BMX demos in the afternoon, and experts on local history are around to give hands-on educational and fun learning opportunities with interesting artefacts.

If Music Be the Food of Love, Play On

All the jamming along is bound to work up an appetite and luckily there’s ample options to pick up some grub. As well as a standard festival food court there are two other areas dedicated to providing some top-notch nosh; the aroma of delectable street-style food from all over the world will lead you down Street Food Way where you might just have a problem choosing between the likes of tacos and Pad Thai, or if you fancy supporting local businesses just like the festival does then Neighbour Eats is the place for you. There you’ll discover the tastes of fabulous local eateries, the best that Portsmouth & Southsea has to offer!

If you find your voice gets little hoarse from the unavoidable singing along then you can sooth your throat with a glass of bubbly at the Champagne Bar, with the magnificent Southsea Castle and lighthouse that once belonged to Henry VIII as the backdrop you’ll be sipping champers in style while taking in the views of the beautiful Solent.

How to get there

    

Car – The festival takes place on The Common and Castle Field in Southsea, Portsmouth, PO5 3PA, just under a two-hour drive from London. There is no onsite parking available (aside from Blue Badge parking), however there are plenty of public car parks across the city and a special Festival Park & Ride Service is available.

Train – The closest station is Portsmouth & Southsea, a 25-minute walk away, alternatively there are taxis and regular buses that can take you directly to the seafront.

Where to eat

    

Within the festival grounds are multiple food stalls, or you can venture into the city centre and return to the festival freely thanks to its re-admission policy.

Accessibility

    

There are plenty of easy access areas for wheelchairs users as well as concrete pathways across the flat grassland site, and every toilet area has disabled toilets. There will also be qualified BSL interpreters interpreting the performances.

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