Welcome to the park of fun: Madness to play at Fratton Park

Madness on stage in 2013
Madness on stage in 2013

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MUSIC greats Madness will headline an open-air concert being planned for Fratton Park.

It is hoped the ska rockers’ June 6 appearance will mark the start of a new highlight on Portsmouth’s musical calendar.

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin said the gig would be a huge boost for the city and help Pompey’s finances stay in the black.

Mr Catlin said: ‘It’s not just massive for Fratton Park, it’s also massive for the city and the community.

‘From a commercial point of view putting on a concert could be very financially beneficial. They will be a great band to have at Fratton Park.’

It is believed the event will be the first open-air gig at the stadium since a six-hour music festival starring Georgie Fame was held in 1975.

Madness, world famous for hits Our House, Baggy Trousers, It Must Be Love and House of Fun, will play at Fratton Park as part of a national ‘Grandslam’ tour of stadiums and racecourses.

Mr Catlin said he would be delighted if the venue could host a major concert every year.

‘It would be lovely but it depends what’s going on at the time,’ he said.

‘Football is the main priority but if we can fit in a concert, the band is big enough and we feel that financially it adds up then, yes, we would like to do it every season.’

Pompey’s head of finance Tony Brown said the club was still in talks with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service about the capacity, but hoped that up to 13,500 music fans could go to the show.

The stage will be set up at the Milton End, the ground itself will be standing room and the Fratton End will be open for seating.

Mr Brown said: ‘We want this to be the start of something for the city and if we get this right it could be a major event on the calendar on an annual basis.’

Portsmouth City Council leader councillor Donna Jones said: ‘I welcome the news of this massively successful band playing in the city.

‘I’m pleased that we have now got an additional live music venue in the city.’

Mr Catlin praised the Fratton Park team for organising the event.

‘There’s been a lot of fantastic work going on behind the scenes,’ he said.

Tickets will cost £35 and there will be a family ticket for £99.

The ground will open at 4pm and Madness will take the stage about 8.45pm, after three or four supporting acts who are yet to be confirmed.