Mystery surrounds Portsmouth Festivities exciting new addition for 2017

Glitter banned at children’s nursery

  • City’s premier summer arts festival launched last night
  • More than 100 attractions are revealed for this June’s line-up
  • The event will feature a new ‘Pokémon Go-style’ web app that will turn Portsmouth into an interactive playground
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‘EXPECT the unexpected’ is the message being given out by organisers of one of Portsmouth’s linchpin cultural events.

Portsmouth Festivities was officially launched last night at the Square Tower.

Jonathan Fost, owner of Torchlight Heritage founder, with James Priory, chairman of Portsmouth Festivities, Erica Smith, director of Portsmouth Festivities, and Amy Manwaring, of Torchlight Heritage, all the launch of Portsmouth Festivities

Jonathan Fost, owner of Torchlight Heritage founder, with James Priory, chairman of Portsmouth Festivities, Erica Smith, director of Portsmouth Festivities, and Amy Manwaring, of Torchlight Heritage, all the launch of Portsmouth Festivities

The ten-day bonanza is kicking-off in June and will feature more than 100 attractions.

The annual occasion, now in its 18th year, will once again bring together the arts, featuring an eclectic range of music, live shows, talks and displays, that event bosses say will entertain people of all ages.

And with the overall theme of ‘play’ for the 2017 offering, organisers are going all out to transform the city’s streets into an interactive playground.

To mark this, the team have united with the University of Portsmouth’s School of Creative Technologies to design a new ‘Pokémon Go-style’ game.

You’ll have to expect the unexpected because there is going to be a really surprising element to this year’s festivities

James Priory, Portsmouth Festivities chairman

Called Play Code City, the web app will task players to hunt out ‘happenings’ across the city on each day of the festival and collect a code, which will reveal a mysterious story.

But during last night’s launch event, James Priory, chairman of Portsmouth Festivities, was keeping the exact details of the game a closely-guarded secret.

He said: ‘You’ll have to expect the unexpected because there is going to be a really surprising element to this year’s festivities.

‘Play Code City is going to be a little bit like Pokémon Go but think culture and think heritage.’

The festival is expected to pull around 15,000 people into the city. James hoped that within this, a new, younger audience would be inspired to join in the fun.

In a message to the young people of the city, James said: ‘Get involved. Come and take part and discover the arts and the stories Portsmouth has to tell.’

The event runs from June 16 to 25. For details, see portsmouthfestivities.co.uk.