PORTSMOUTH may have lost out on a bid to become a UK City of Culture, but the figures just in from the organisers of the Portsmouth Festivities show the artistic event is more popular than ever.
The Portsmouth Festivities is an annual event, spanning venues around the city and hosting musical, cultural and creative activities.
Formed in 1998, past festivities have had a theme – last year’s was Great Expectations to mark the 100 years of Charles Dickens’ birth and the year before that it was used as a chance to celebrate Portsmouth’s role in space technology.
But despite not having an overarching theme, this year’s event was even more of a success than 2012.
It offered 69 cultural activities and events from 21 to 30 June, working with 27 Portsmouth venues and more than 40 artistic and cultural organisations.
More than 8,400 people attended free events including the Spice Island Art Trail and Wheeled Carnival, while ticketed successes included the Ahoy! Sing for the Mary Rose choir project, pictured, the debut solo concert for Portsmouth Military Wives Choir, plus internationally acclaimed acts including The King’s Singers and Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells for Two.
In total, audience numbers exceeded 12,200 people – a 10 per cent rise on last year’s figures.
And there were more than 1,000 opportunities for all sorts of creative people, both professional and amateur, to take part.
Organisers said the figures ‘make this a celebration of the city, for the city, by the city’.
Samantha Worsey, the Portsmouth Festivities’ general manager, added: ‘We’re thrilled by the success of Portsmouth Festivities 2013 and would like to send our heartfelt thanks to our sponsors, supporters and everyone who took part, whether as a performer or audience member.’
The date has been set for the return of the Portsmouth Festivities.
It will take place from Friday, June 20 to Sunday, June 29 next year. To propose an event, contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.