Another year for Victorious and it keeps on getting bigger and better. This year saw an increase in stages and audience with some of the UK’s biggest acts including Lewis Capaldi, Rudimental, Clean Bandit and TwoDoor Cinema Club all set to perform their hits the sea.
For value of money and location Victorious Festival is worth a trip, early bird day tickets started from around £25 pounds which is less than a ticket to see most of the acts by themselves. It is only a short walk from a train station and minutes from the town centre. Though being so close to town does mean that it attracts quite a few undesirables (I witnessed on a few occasions some lovely topless guys trying to jump the fences).
The layout of the festival is pretty compact, so the more athletic of music fan could run from stage to stage and not miss a beat. As soon as an act on the Common Stage ended another would start at the Castle Stage. Over the weekend I caught over 30 acts, only missing around 5 minutes of their sets – though the feet swelling has only just recovered.
Highlights over the festival would have to be All Saints proving that they have a better back catalogue than the Spice Girls – though ‘Under the Bridge‘ is still a terrible cover.
The Hives are as entertaining now as they were back when I last saw them in 2002 and for a city that voted leave, took Howlin’ Pelle’s Brexit banter rather well.
Bloc Party played their entire debut album ‘Silent Alarm‘ to a bursting Castle Stage, though singer Kele Okereke has his own alarming news when exclaiming that “this may be the bands last gig for a long, long time“.
Sunday had an extraordinary set from Plastic Mermaids, supported by a tinsel suited choir. If only they had more than just 30 minutes as they had so much more to showcase.
Idlewild made a return to their early 00’s sound and blasted through a set that included, ‘Little Discourage‘ and a one, two punch of ‘A Film For The Future’ into “Captain“.
The Vaccines have matured into a very confident indie group, full of colour and charisma and some very catchy numbers that had the variety of the Southsea crowd moving their weary feet.
And then .. New Order. As I am a big fan and am very aware of their huge back catalogue I was over the moon with hearing 80’s singles like ‘Sub-Culture and ‘Temptation’ but it was obvious from where I was, that much of the crowd were alarmed by the singing and dad dancing of frontman Bernard Sumner and had only heard of a few songs ( one third of the set being from their 2025’s ‘MusicComplete‘ )and one man behind me was livid that they didn’t play ‘World In Motion‘ as if John Barnes wasn’t in the wings ready to spit some rhymes. But when a band has an absolute classic called ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ in their back pocket- the audience got to at least leave on a high.
Another year and another great line-up that rivals the more expensive and supposedly bigger festivals. Some could grumble that the camp sites are far away and that a lot of the bands could do with a longer stage time (most bands average 30 minutes) but this is a festival that gets better by the year and is making the other festivals up their game.