Portsmouth boom as Victorious Festival brings in almost £10m to city's economy

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PORTSMOUTH’S economy has scooped a £9.84m jackpot thanks to Victorious Festival, The News can reveal.

A whopping 120,126 revellers poured through the festival’s gates last year, drumming up the biggest financial windfall yet.

Crowds watching Example on stage during Victorious Festival, 2018. Photo: Habibur Rahman

Crowds watching Example on stage during Victorious Festival, 2018. Photo: Habibur Rahman

Visitors splurged millions in the city to watch the star-studded line-up, which included performances from The Prodigy, Paul Weller and The Libertines.

In all, the economic benefit from last August’s musical bonanza was almost double the £5.8m from 2015’s show.

And in a further win for the city, Victorious chiefs vowed to work harder to bring more benefits into Portsmouth.

Andy Marsh, festival director, said: ‘We’ve worked tirelessly to ensure the festival makes a significant impact on the local economy and we are delighted with the results of the 2018 economic report.’

Civic leaders have hailed Victorious as a critical part of Portsmouth and spoken of their delight at the latest results.

City Liberal Democrat leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson praised the management team behind the festival for their hard work.

‘We should all be incredibly grateful for them having come up with a brilliant idea and making it work for all of us,’ he said. ‘The whole city can feel and see the impact of the festival.’

Councillor Steve Pitt, Portsmouth culture cabinet member, said the three-day event was vital in attracting people into the city and keeping the island’s arts and music scene alive.

Cllr Pitt said: ‘It’s vital we keep Victorious here and continue to support it because the benefits it brings to Portsmouth are huge.

‘A number of local charities benefit directly from grants by Victorious. Then there’s the £100,000 over two years they’re putting into Portsmouth Creates with the Arts Council.

‘That’s real investment back from the team. This is key if we’re going to keep growing our cultural profile.’

The report into Victorious, by Bluegrass Research, showed more than a third of visitors – 35 per cent – now have a more positive view of the city, with 30 per cent saying they are now more likely to visit again.

Visitors spent on average £85.60, up from £68.47 in 2017. Most came from Hampshire (67 per cent), with more than a third (34 per cent) living in Portsmouth.