Portsmouth's Victorious Festival is sold in major new deal

VICTORIOUS is on the cusp of becoming one of the UK's biggest music events after festival bosses signed a lucrative deal with a major entertainment firm.

Wednesday, 22nd March 2017, 6:03 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:04 am
The main stage of Victorious Festival on Southsea Common in 2014

The summer stunner has been sold off to Britain’s second largest festival operator, Global Entertainment, which now owns a majority stake.

Founders of the Southsea-based music attraction remained tight-lipped on how much the deal was worth.

But they pledged they would remain in charge – and that the event would stay in the city.

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The Victorious team, from left Andy Marsh, James Ralls and Ben Miles

They also claimed the backing of Global would help to bring some of the world’s premier international artists to Portsmouth, helping Victorious rival the likes of Reading and Glastonbury.

Victorious boss James Ralls said the deal was ‘exciting’ and that it would make the city a top destination for music lovers.

He said: ‘These guys have got the contacts that we simply haven’t. They’ve got links to bigger and better artists.

‘Last year we said we wanted to make Victorious the Glastonbury of the south. That may have seemed a bit stupid then, but this is what we meant.

The Victorious team, from left Andy Marsh, James Ralls and Ben Miles

‘I think we can now compete with all the other festivals in the country. This is what we had in mind. Hopefully we can be the biggest music festival in the south and one of the biggest in the country.’

The news comes after international rock acts Stereophonics and Elbow were revealed as the headliners for this summer’s star-laden attraction.

Victorious director Andy Marsh vowed the festival would still be affordable but said Global’s backing would ‘secure its future’.

He explained Global would operate as a backseat consultant, offering logistical and marketing support, as well as help in attracting big-name artists.

Mr Marsh added the deal will increase the event’s reach, propelling it into the premier league of international festivals.

‘This is going to help us rival the likes of Reading and Glastonbury,’ he said.

‘We have been running it as a small organisation. But it’s got to the point where it’s bigger than anyone could have imagined. So we need to steer it in the right direction.’

The three-day show takes place on the August bank holiday. Among this year’s line-up are Elbow, Madness, The Charlatans, rising stars Slaves, seasoned rockers Feeder, plus Frightened Rabbit, Jake Bugg, Franz Ferdinand, KT Tunstall, Sundara Karma, Rita Ora, Tiggs Da Author, Lady Leshurr, Palace and Crows – with more to still to come.

Off-site camping will also be brought in for the first time this year on fields behind the Peter Ashley Activity Centre, along with a dedicated camp-and-ride service.

Council leader Donna Jones welcomed the new deal, saying it would boost tourism and the city’s economy.