We went, we saw, and to coin Primal Scream, we ‘got our rocks off’ to some of the most amazing bands you can shake an umbrella at.
Victorious Festival did it again, and this time it was bigger, better, and more amazing than ever. Stretching across Portsmouth’s beautiful seafront, and only in it’s 4th year, the guys and gals running the show put together a line up that some more established festivals in the world would be proud of. Adding an extra stage this year to extend the festival to almost a third bigger than before, was a brave move that could have failed, yet worked better than even the organisers probably could’ve imagined.
With headliners such as Ray Davies, Tinie Tempah, Basement Jaxx, and a now personal favourite The Flaming Lips, with their mesmerizingly wacky live show, what’s not to like? Admittedly, we never knew much of The Flaming Lips back catalogue, but had heard that their live show is something to behold. And we heard right. Confetti, inflatable beasts, and a crowd surfing singer in giant hamster balls, contrasts the beautiful melodic songs with a juxtaposition that will stick with us for a long time to come.
As the rain fell on Saturday, the ponchos came out, and shoes got muddy, but we didn’t care. We got our faces painted (I was a tiger naturally) and headed to the Seaside Stage, to enjoy a soundtrack from Portsmouth’s own Southsea Alternative Choir, as well as crowd favourites Cadet, and Gilkicker.
The Seaside Stage is (as the name suggests) set up right on the sea, with amazing views over the water, it is the best place to dance away as the sun sets. It is dedicated to showcasing the very best that the local and unsigned band scene has to offer. Portsmouth based Kassassin Street did what comes naturally to them, and amazed the crowd, whilst Rhythm of the 90’s, smashed out all the classics, getting the whole crowd bouncing, so that hundreds of festival goers danced and sang at the top of their lungs to songs like Faithless’ Insomnia.
Speaking of cover bands, have you ever heard a hillbilly version of Bohemian Rhapsody? Well we have, and it was as epic as you can imagine. Hayseed Dixie was high on my list of bands I definitely didn’t want to miss, and they certainly did not disappoint, and the main man’s banter with the crowd had everyone in stitches. A surprise delight was The Darkness’ set, as they have never been a favourite of mine before, yet their flamboyant ridiculousness created quite an atmosphere. I had a stupid smile on my face the whole time, and even caught myself shamelessly singing along.
We ended our weekend on the walls above the beautiful illuminated Victorious sign at the Castle Stage, enjoying Basement Jaxx, who’s set was filled from start to finish with top-hit after top-hit. The tide of dancing people below in their thousands was a magical and lovely sight to behold.
It is a shame that we never got to experience the fun of the Silent Disco, as it must have been quite the party. Every time we tried to get in it was completely packed out with wave after wave of queues eagerly awaiting entrance. We humbly recommend that next year they make the capacity a lot bigger.
Also included in the admission price, you get entry into the Blue Reef Aquarium, D-Day Museum, Southsea Castle, the kid’s-field and Southsea Skate Park, so families are well catered for.
As you’d expect from a festival, the food and drink wasn’t cheap, but it in no way ruined the weekend. One thing that wasn’t ideal was the strict no bringing food policy, as the lack of options for those with say allergies was quite difficult. Being Gluten Intolerant, Mrs Biscuit struggled to find more than plain chips or crepes to buy. We have been informed now however, that those with dietary requirements can contact the team to request to bring their own food. Yet if next year they choose to extend to camping, it could become a problem for people visiting from out of town who generally wish to bring their own picnics.
This was one of those weekends that you just don’t want to end, and the post Victorious blues are still with me today. It makes us proud of the people who go out of their way to organise events like this, especially as tickets are quite simply about the price of going out for a curry with the missus!
We can not wait to see what they have in store for 2016, If the last four years has taught us anything, is that the Victorious Festival team aren’t done surprising us yet.
Early bird tickets are on sale HERE for just £20 per person per day, and we suggest you don’t dawdle!!
Pics copyright of @WhimBiscuit 2015.