Get ready for free musical fun

One of the previous concerts at the bandstand Picture: Joseph Sheridan
One of the previous concerts at the bandstand Picture: Joseph Sheridan
Portsmouth Philharmonia players following their concert to raise funds for Hayling Island Community Centre

STUART REED: Players pull out all the stops at charity concert

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FROM pop to jazz, to world music and ska, there’s going to be something to satisfy pretty much every kind of music fan at this year’s run of Live at the Bandstand events.

Starting on Saturday, May 27 there will be free music on both days every weekend until Sunday, August 13.

Dozens of acts will perform at the bandstand on Southsea seafront and it all kicks off with community choir The Urban Vocal Group.

And the band expected to draw the biggest crowd – Rhythm Of The ’90s – will be moved to Castle Field for their day on July 2.

Veteran promoter Nick Courtney has helped draw the season up. He said: ‘It’s all come together beautifully. This is the first time we’ve put all the dates for the Saturdays and Sundays out together and people now understand that it is two days.’

Earlier this year the Saturday bandstand events were believed to be under threat after an email was sent ‘in error’ from Portsmouth City Council to music promoters saying that costs previously carried by the authority would now need to be paid by the promoters.

The council quickly moved to say the events would continue as before.

‘If anything, that whole business let a lot of people know the bandstand was also on Saturdays as they only knew about the Sundays,’ Nick added.

‘The Urban Vocal Group will be a great way to start, they’ve got the real feelgood factor.

‘For Rhythm Of The ’90s last year we had about 15,000 to 17,000 people turn up, and it was too much. I decided that if we did it again I would try to get it relocated. We’ve got the stage sponsored, so we’re using the stage that we had at the first Victorious Festival, and we’ll have a bigger sound system – there’s already been loads of positive feedback.’

Other acts slated to appear include Mojo Dollar on June 11, Offbeat Offensive on July 1, Emptifish on July 8, Pedigree Jazz Band on July 9 and Monkeylove Stunt Team on August 5.

Nick said: ‘It’s a very good line-up over the summer, there’s something for everyone.’