Victorious is a welcome addition to city calendar

COMMENT: Attraction will capitalise on the riches in our midst

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There have been some grumbles about noise, some gripes about the common being fenced off and a few complaints that businesses in Clarence Pier, for example, suffered reduced takings but overall the Victorious Festival can be said to have had a tremendously successful debut at its new home.

Now the barriers are coming down, it’s possible to take stock of the weekend.

The event passed safely and quietly, with relatively little trouble for crowds of that size.

Almost unanimously, those who attended praised not just the quality of the music but the welcoming atmosphere – it was aimed at being a family day out and it certainly succeeded on that measure.

As our story on today’s page 5 shows, most people have only good words for Victorious.

So now’s the time to take stock and make sure that for the rest of it’s so-far five-year residency on the common it continues to thrive.

As we have said before, Portsmouth needs as many events and attractions as possible to attract people into the city. Two decades of the Great South Run have proved the city, despite its well-noted traffic shortcomings, can handle large-scale events. And the influx of visitors to the dockyard drawn by the Mary Rose Museum shows that, to recycle the phrase, if we build it, they will come.

The city council has quite rightly identified the creation of top-quality hotels as a vital step in raising Portsmouth’s tourist game, while existing hoteliers have rightly pointed out that the city needs to make sure it is drawing people in all year round.

If Victorious can establish itself as part of the British festival calendar, then the benefits in financial and prestige terms to Portsmouth far outweigh a few days of disruption.

Granted, there are several things that remain – in some ways thankfully – untested at Victorious. It’s a good job that yesterday’s weather did not arrive a day or two earlier, for example. But everyone involved in making the festival’s common debut the success it was should feel proud of their efforts. It’s a welcome addition to the city.

For the full story click here.