Portsmouth Festivities set to blast off with cosmic concert experience

GUEST Astronaut Tony Antonelli at at Fratton Park last year
GUEST Astronaut Tony Antonelli at at Fratton Park last year
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A COSMIC concert will launch a series of space-themed events as the Portsmouth Festivities 2011 get under way tomorrow.

The city’s biggest cultural celebration will lift off as music from favourite hit science fiction films like Star Wars, ET and Apollo 13 fills the Portsmouth Guildhall.

Hundreds will pack the venue as the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra performs Galactic Classics to begin 11 days of talks, workshops, music, films and exhibitions. The arts festival is bringing star guests to Portsmouth, including scientist Professor Robert Winston, astronomer Sir Patrick Moore and writer Simon Singh.

As reported in The News, husband and wife astronaut team Andrew Thomas and Shannon Walker touch down in the city today, ready to delight audiences with real tales of space exploration.

Festivities chairman James Priory said: ‘I’m particularly looking forward to opening the festivities with a vibrant series of events, including our gala concert of galactic classics and several events with our visiting Nasa astronauts. 

‘We’re working with others in the city to programme lots of free outdoor events and our finale weekend too promises to end the festivities with a bang.’

Conductor of the orchestra Pete Harrison said the opening concert would hopefully appeal to music fans of all ages and backgrounds.

‘It should have something for everyone,’ he said.

‘From Holst’s The Planets to new film scores like Avatar, people will recognise their favourite soundtracks and have a great time.’

For tickets, call (023) 9282 6722 or visit portsmouth festivities.co.uk