COMMENT: We're looking forward to a summer of songs and laughter

You could say it's quite appropriate. After the crazy 12 months we've been through since the first coronavirus lockdown began, today we exclusively reveal that the original Nutty Boys, Madness, are to headline the Friday night at this year's hugely-anticipated Victorious Festival.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 12:00 am

It's fantastic news that Victorious is going ahead on the August bank holiday weekend.

After organisers had to cancel the 2020 event because of the pandemic, so many people are looking forward to once again experiencing the buzz of live music and the sense of togetherness a festival brings as we emerge from our homes, restrictions are eased and life gradually returns to some kind of normal.

We think Madness are a great choice to kick things off as the sun sets on the seafront.

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They went down a storm appearing in the same slot when Victorious first expanded to three days and also performed to a sell-out crowd at Fratton Park back in 2015.

They love Portsmouth and Portsmouth loves them.

It's also great to see that acts held over from the bill originally announced for 2020, including The Streets and Royal Blood, will be with us at this year's Victorious.

Then there's pop royalty Mel C and Craig David to keep the party going.

As festival director Andy Marsh says of the line-up: 'There's something for everyone to enjoy this summer'.

Meanwhile in today's The Guide, comedian James Alderson talks about a series of Comedy Under the Stars gigs he's putting on between May and August and the Catherington Comedy Festival that’s being staged from August 6-8.

There’s a pent-up demand to enjoy some live entertainment again. So let's really look forward to a special summer of songs and laughter to lift our mood.