Portsmouth's arts festival Ports Fest returns with music, comedy, theatre, exhibitions and more

THE city’s annual celebration of arts and culture is to return this summer with the theme Remember, Reimagine, Reignite.

Thursday, 28th April 2022, 1:30 pm

Ports Fest will run from Thursday, June 30 to Sunday July 3, with dozens of events, from music to theatre, exhibitions, children’s activities and much more.

After the festival was cancelled in 2020 and there was a reduced programme last year, with several events forced online due to ongoing Covid restrictions, organisers are able to once more offer a less restricted and more diverse programme of events this year.

Among the many events on offer, Rider Spoke by award-winning and Bafta-nominated artist group Blast Theory, invites participants to literally get on their bikes (or e-scooters, or walk), immersing them in the hidden stories of Portsmouth’s residents as they take a narrated ride/walk around the city accompanied by a delicate score.

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Rider Spoke by Blast Theory is part of Ports Fest 2022

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Other highlights include a selfie trail with What a picture!, talks by award-winning children’s illustrator Chris Riddell, author Will Self, and stand-up comedian and actress, Carys Eleri.

And there’s theatre at its best with Pif-Paf’s Bee Cart, Macbeth at Portchester Castle, 100 about the power of memory, performed by Portsmouth Grammar School pupils, and the sensational show Black is the Color of my Voice inspired by the life of Nina Simone.

Local artistic talent will be celebrated with events ranging from workshops to exhibitions or artist’s talks by groups including Situationist City, CROWD and Brighter Sparks.

The Multi-Story Orchestra perform at Ports Fest 2022 on July 3

They are also teaming up with No.6 Cinema for Film Day at the Fort at Portsmouth Distillery with three top films.

The festival finishes with the world-famous Multi-Story Orchestra who will be performing in a multi-storey car park, featuring performances by members of the community.

Director of Ports Fest Erica Smith said: ‘We are very grateful for our partners, venues and supporters for all that they do to work with Ports Fest to make these events happen.

‘It’s going to be a vibrant four days and we look forward to seeing everyone enjoying the events.

Theatre company Pif-Paf's Bee Cart is part of Ports Fest 2022

‘So, get ready to remember our culture, reimagine our wonderful city landscape and venues, and reignite your passion for the arts as we present Ports Fest 2022.’

Tickets go on sale today.

Find out more about Ports Fest 2022 at portsfest.co.uk.

Stand-up comic and actress Carys Eleri is at Ports Fest 2022