Victorious Festival 2021: The Streets' Mike Skinner pokes fun at Southampton and Portsmouth rivalry as event heads into its final day

THE second day of Victorious Festival saw acts become nostalgic about being back in Southsea, as well as poking fun at a rivalry with a certain other city on the Solent – but traffic jams meant some attendees were in no laughing mood.

Sunday, 29th August 2021, 12:14 pm

Folk troubadour Frank Turner helped kick off the day, clearly enjoying being back on his old stomping ground of Southsea Common.

Addressing his mandolin player, he said: ‘All those stories about drinking warm cider and smoking Mayfair cigarettes on Southsea Common - that was right...here.’

But wistful reminiscing was not the style of The Streets frontman Mike Skinner, who couldn’t resist having some fun with the crowd.

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The Streets closed Saturday's performances on the Common Stage.

With a bottle of champagne in hand and facing a packed Portsmouth crowd, he said: ‘Who here’s from Southampton?

Responding to boos and laughter, the frontman clearly thought it was important to foster some cross-Solent camaraderie after 18 months of pandemic restrictions.

He said: ‘I don't care if he's from Southampton. We've all been locked in a cage.’

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Victorious 2021 Saturday - Frank Turner from Winchester plays The Common Stage Picture: Vernon Nash (280821-143)

For one super fan of The Streets, next to nothing could spoil the gig, as Mia Billam-Smith celebrated a much delayed wedding gift.

The 32-year-old from Bournemouth had been due to see the act at last year’s cancelled festival on the day after her wedding to Commonwealth boxing champion Chris Billam-Smith.

Leaving slightly early to avoid the post-festival crowds, she said: ‘It's lived up to the wait. It's been incredible.

‘Chris is still in the crowd.’

For some, crowds, queues, and traffic jams had put a dampener on the day, as attendees reported long waits to enter the site’s car park.

Natalie Mitchell, attending with her son Riley and daughter Ruby, said that traffic had meant it was a stressful start to the day.

The 37-year-old said: ‘We paid to park and we came from Gunwharf Quays - we had to queue all the way up to the Pyramids Centre and then turn around. It tooks us two hours to get in.’

Sally from Rowlands Castle and her two children, Joshua, 7, and Elliott, 5, were ‘fuming’ over their five hour journey from the Paulsgrove area.

Sally said: ‘We left the Flip Out just outside of (the city) at 11.45am. We got here at 12.30 and they told us the car park was full and we had to follow a diversion to an overflow. That was full and two hours later we got back here and miraculously there was space, but we needed to do another diversion. I wouldn’t come again - or I would get the train.

‘But we wanted to avoid public transport because of Covid.’

Victorious Festival 2021 enters its final day with performances from Annie Mac, Nile Rodgers & Chic, and Royal Blood.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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