Music festival should be a vital addition to our culture

Cheryl was lucky enough to sit next to 1980s pop star Sinitta, pictured here at a previous event   Picture: PA

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Portsmouth has many cultural and historical attractions it can rightly be proud of.

And there have been plenty of events here in the city this summer alone that prove we can be at the cutting edge of popular culture, whether it be the successful Mutiny in the Park, or Portsmouth’s Street Games.

But in 10-days’ time the Victorious Festival will be touching down on Southsea Common.

Since starting as the free Victorious Vintage festival in the Historic Dockyard two years ago, its upwards trajectory has been phenomenal.

And this year, with the move to a new site, the organisers are expecting 80,000 music fans to attend. They have already proved that they can attract a top-quality bill, with headliners including the likes of hip-hop chart-topper Dizzee Rascal and respected bluesman Seasick Steve.

They have also made sure that acts from across the region have not been left out, with dozens of talented performers from our area on the bill as well, providing them with a great opportunity to get their music heard by a large crowd.

For several years back in the 1990s the Castle Field played host to the Heineken Music Festival, but that came to an end in the middle of the decade.

Since then, there have been other attempts to bring a large-scale music-based event to the city, which have sadly foundered.

There is no reason why Portsmouth shouldn’t be able to cope with a weekend-long music event.

With it expected to bring up to £3m into the local economy, we hope that the city’s businesses will be able to capitalise on the festival as well.

An event like this should be a boon to the city.

Music festivals have seen massive growth in recent years – to the extent where the market has been saturated, and some events have had to cancel due to poor ticket sales.

But urban festivals, without camping, have proved to be one area where the fans are still happy to part with their cash.

This promises to be a great weekend – see you down the front.

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