Victorious Festival first day no ghost town as The Specials play to thousands enjoying the sunshine

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WHETHER they were two months old or Two-Tone scene veterans - thousands of revellers made the most of the blazing sunshine as Victorious Festival began a weekend of live music.

Whether they were two months old or Two-Tone scene veterans - thousands of revellers made the most of the blazing sunshine as Victorious Festival began a weekend of live music.

The festival, taking place on Southsea Common, saw The Specials, Two Door Cinema Club, and more than 35 other acts open the event.

One Specials super fan, Nigel Brett, 63, has seen band six times and says their energy remains ‘indescribable.’

The Cowplain resident said: ‘The whole two-tone scene back in the day was brilliant.

It had such energy - nothing compares to it today.

Aside from the Jamaican music hall scene, there was nothing like it.’

And it was a special day for Steph Langan, founder of Southsea based charity Tonic Music Therapy, as

the festival hosted the charity's ambassador Terry Hall, leader singer of the ska-band.

Steph said: 'The Specials have been fundraising for us on their recent tour and they have raised over £9,000.'

'This has enabled us to start the Tonic Ska Choir right here in Southsea'

The 25 degree heat meant the band was not playing to a ghost town - a marked contrast to last year's event which was marred by downpours.

For some festival-goers, the weather made it possible for them to attend, with wheelchair user Jack Manning, 24, saying it would have been 'absolute no-go' had it rained.

He said: 'It can be hard enough getting around on grass - wet, muddy grass is an absolute no-go.’

And the sunshine made a 'massive difference' for businesses on site, according to Strongbow Yard bar manager Steve Nicholas.

He said: 'Last year a lot of bars closed because of the downpours.

'When it’s sunny people want to sit down and have a drink.'

One attendee spent most of the day not just sitting down but sleeping, as 9-week-old Giavonna Parsons dozed her way through her first festival.

Mum Robin, from Redditch, said: 'She’s a big Lewis Capaldi fan, so we’re looking forward to him tomorrow.

'The festival is really family friendly - and the facilities are so, so much better than other festivals I have been to.'

But the festival is increasingly seen as more than a just a family friendly event, according to social media influencer Maddie Bruce.

The twenty-four year old and her friend Jade Jazmin, 26, both from Southampton, attended to promote Toni and Guy using their social media accounts.

Maddie said: 'It’s a very up and coming festival.

‘Lots of people are only now starting to realise it’s on.

'The line up this year is more catered for a younger demographic.'

Saturday will see a star-studded line up as Rudimental headline the Common Stage, with James Bay, Bloc Party, Lewis Capaldi, and Professor Green also set to perform.