Portsmouth bracing itself for cultural boom as plan for more music festivals revealed

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PORTSMOUTH is preparing for another cultural boom as plans to work with event bosses to ensure major music festivals remain in the city for at least another four years were approved.

Tory culture boss Linda Symes has given senior officers permission to hold talks to ensure Mutiny Festival and Portsmouth Summer Show continue to be staged at King George V Playing Fields in Cosham.

It’s all about creating a cultural boom; this has shown how cultural events can be successful in any part of the city, not just on the common, although that has a wonderful backdrop.

Tory culture boss Linda Symes

The hope is for both spectacles to happen every year until 2020, and potentially extend the deal through to 2022.

Welcoming the plan, Cllr Symes said: ‘It’s all about creating a cultural boom. This has shown how cultural events can be successful in any part of the city, not just on the common, although that has a wonderful backdrop.

‘We realise for a lot of people, the common is their back garden, so we don’t want to overwhelm it with events.

‘Both Portsmouth Summer Show and Mutiny have been a great success.

‘Mutiny has been for a younger age group and the Summer Show is a family occasion and has brought the community together.

‘It’s also priced at a very affordable level.’

Lib Dem cultural spokesman Lee Hunt welcomed the plan to help the city’s cultural scene grow.

A council report into the success of the two events said: ‘Events are crucial to the successful fabric of the city in delivering and developing a range of economic and socio-economic benefits.

‘We know that they attract visitors to both the city and region and positively influence perception of place through the experience they deliver.

‘We know that they add significant value to local communities through additional spend, as well as supporting small local business who are engaged in the event delivery.’

But the dossier pointed out problems with noise complaints due to poor weather that resulted in sound travelling.

It said: ‘Regrettably neither event was blessed with beautiful weather and unusually for May both events experienced unseasonably strong northerly winds when we had anticipated that the events would experience the prevailing south westerly winds.

‘This resulted in a number of noise complaints from an unexpected south westerly direction from the event site down into Hilsea and North End.’