Festival’s big achievement was the sense of belonging

Steve's baby daughter made amazing progress this week, or so his wife thought

STEVE CANAVAN: It was a lot of rattle over just a little roll

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What is the correct name for a multitude of festivals? I have a leaning towards gaggle, but that’s geese, isn’t it?

I wish I had the word at hand (the internet having proved as useful as a chocolate teapot) because that is what I would use to describe the weekend which has just passed.

We were spoilt for choice with not one, not two, but three big festivals to choose from, all on our doorstep.

And guess what? I managed two-and-a half of them. First up was the Kite Festival. I claim this as a half as I could see colourful kites swaying above the skyline of Old Portsmouth as I caught the ferry over from Gosport, even if I didn’t get to see that part of the festival that took place on the ground.

I was on the ferry to the Victorious Festival, ready to appear on the spoken word stage. Thank you to all who took the time to seek us out and those who chose to stay and listen after getting lost in the back end of the dockyard and stumbling upon us.

I’m just grumbling about geography, as I had a fab time, and – get this – all of you who bought a T-shirt with the Victorious line-up on are now wandering around with my name on your back. Yeah baby.

What an event, hey? The crowd, the sunshine, the excellent music, the vintage vintageness. I was really glad to belong.

For me, that’s what Victorious was about. A sense of belonging to an event that everyone there felt, from audience to performers to sellers. It reeked of unique community.

My second full attendance was at GosFest 2013, which was actually billed as a community festival. Costing a mere £2 per day, its setting in Walpole Park wasn’t as grand as the dockyard and its line-up not as wide as Victorious.

But, and I say this with real pride in where I live, I had the best time there.

My middle-age festival heaven is watching tribute and cover bands from the comfort of my camping chair and hearing ‘best of’ rather than ‘please buy our new album’ work.

So while I very much enjoyed the fab line-up at Victorious, I particularly loved Gosfest’s Mafia and their energetic ’80s rock.

And best of all? No mud, anywhere.