A WORLD-CLASS line-up featuring the biggest names in music will light up this year’s Victorious Festival, The News can exclusively reveal.
Superstar Noel Gallagher, famous for his time as the songwriter in 90s Brit rock group Oasis, will headline the August Bank Holiday spectacle with his new band, High Flying Birds.
Other rock royalty ready to tear up Southsea Common and Castle Field include; Manic Street Preachers, The Levellers, Ash and The Coral.
Brit Award-winning artist Mark Ronson, who stormed the music charts last year with his hit single Uptown Funk, featuring Bruno Mars, will also wow huge crowds.
Plus there are more big names confirmed for the star-studded bill – Italian-English solo acoustic singer Jack Savoretti, indie rockers Space, Echo & the Bunnymen, pop star Will Young, Selector and Emmy the Great.
And organisers say the music bonanza – which last year attracted more than 100,000 spectators – is on course to selling out this time around as excitement reaches fever point.
The festival, being held on Saturday, August 27, and Sunday, August 28, is capable of holding a staggering 120,000 fans over the two days – putting it up there with the likes of Reading and Leeds festivals.
Speaking to The News, Victorious Festival director Andy Marsh said he’s blown away by the calibre of talent that’s been secured.
Andy said: ‘It’s definitely taken Victorious to the next level. Noel Gallagher for instance, has a lot of fans in Portsmouth. He felt like a key booking and we’re hugely excited, especially when you look back at what he did with Oasis and what he is doing now.
‘We have been working on this for so long.
‘It’s fantastic we’re getting these bands wanting to play to Portsmouth.
‘When you look back to the first year of Victorious, it’s now well up there.
‘This is a huge line-up and it makes us one of the top 10 major festivals in the country, because this will attract 60,000 people a day.
‘Next year we could attract international recognition.
Noel Gallagher for instance, has a lot of fans in Portsmouth. He felt like a key booking and we’re hugely excited, especially when you look back at what he did with Oasis and what he is doing now.Victorious Festival director Andy Marsh
‘It’s going to be an incredible year for both Victorious and Portsmouth.’
Around 10,000 tickets have already been snapped up – but many thousands more are still available.
Noel Gallagher, who has received an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Song Collection amongst a catalogue of other awards for his work, will perform on the Southsea Common stage on the final day of the festival.
The Common Stage made its debut last year as part of the spectacle’s expansion and saw The Flaming Lips, Texas and Ray Davies and Primal Scream.
The Manic Street Preachers will play on Saturday night as part of string of tour dates celebrating the 20th anniversary of their triple platinum selling album Everything Must Go.
Festival director Andy said a package of further improvements are also being made this time around so even more families can be a part of the special occasion.
They include putting a giant circus tent up in the kids’ arena, as well as ensuring there’s a big programme of children’s entertainment on offer.
All of the entertainment in the children’s section will remain free of charge.
Plus a world music village will be created with a huge programme of activities and a street food market.
There are also plans being worked up to widen the festival arena and bring in more walkways.
More than 100 local acts are to perform once again on the festival’s seaside stage with stunning views of the Solent.
Local businesses like Southsea’s Pie & Vinyl will be backing mini stages promoting acoustic and other styles of music.
Festival co-organiser James Ralls said his team were delivering on what they said they would do.
And he praised the boom in the city’s music and cultural scene.
James said: ‘It’s great, we said we would make it bigger and better every year, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.
‘We will echo that in the kids and market arenas and make them far bigger and better than they were as well.
‘We will continue to grow Victorious every year.
‘A couple of years ago, the city lost its City of Culture bid.
‘Going forward, it would be great if that’s something we could aim for again.
‘I am really looking forward to seeing Noel Gallagher, I grew up with his music.’
NOEL INSPIRED BY JOHNNY MARR’s VICTORIOUS ENDORSEMENT
ICONIC Noel Gallagher was swayed to play at Victorious after the endorsement his long-time friend Johnny Marr gave the festival following his performance last year, say organisers.
The ex-Smiths guitarist performed in front of thousands of fans at Victorious’ Castle Field stage.
Festival director Andy Marsh said: ‘It’s really, really nice these stars have taken the time to say yes, we will play at your festival. With Noel, Johnny Marr had spoken to him and he said it’s one of the best festivals he has ever played at, and now this is happening.
‘These people want to play here because they see what Portsmouth is achieving, it’s such a nice place.’ Councillor Linda Symes, Portsmouth Tory culture boss, praised the star-studded line-up.
Cllr Symes said: ‘This firmly puts Portsmouth on the map.
‘It’s an inclusive event, it’s a family event, but it’s got something for everyone, and that’s its success. It has a local appeal, but it’s also amazing the number of people that come into the city.’
WHERE TO GET TICKETS
ABOUT 10,000 tickets have already been snapped up for Victorious Festival, but plenty remain on offer.
The early-bird offer is still active, with tickets costing £25 each day.
Access to the festival’s kids arena and the programme of activities that goes with it is free. Victorious Festival director Andy Marsh said the number of tickets sold so far is ‘double’ than this time last year for the 2015 event, which featured Basement Jaxx, Ray Davies, The Flaming Lips and Tinie Tempah.
Tickets can be bought from victoriousfestival.co.uk, which includes a booking fee.
Alternatively, you can visit Meat and Barrel, in Palmerston Road, Southsea, or Little Johnny Russells, in Albert Road, Southsea.