Street art will fill heart of Portsmouth at new festival event

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STREET artists, dancers, stunt riders and skateboards will fill the centre of Portsmouth in what’s hoped will become an annual event.

Portsmouth’s Guildhall Square will host a new Street Games festival on May 31 and June 1.

Event organiser John Sackett said the festival would be a celebration of urban art and street performance.

Mr Sackett said he expected thousands of visitors to enjoy free demonstrations of street dance, skating and biking as well as concerts.

He said: ‘This will be a great chance to show what Portsmouth has to offer.

‘We have high-quality street performers in a variety of disciplines in Portsmouth and we believe Guildhall Square is a really great location to put on these activities.

‘It’s got plenty of concrete, so it fits in with the urban vision and it’s going to give us the chance to put some really good quality performers at the heart of the city.’

Mr Sackett said there would be three main performance areas: an arena where top-flight mountain bikers, skateboards and street dancers would perform; a smaller street-dance area for junior squads and a stage for musicians.

He said there would also be a replica New York subway train on show, which was bound to draw crowds.

‘That will get a lot of attention. It’s 40 feet long and has been built by a company in Bristol.

‘The street artists will be able to use it as a canvas.’

Freestyle mountain bike team Zero Gravity are joining forces with Southsea Skatepark to showcase their skills.

Portsmouth street artist My Dog Sighs will also be at the festival following a tour of the United States.

Mr Sackett said visitors would also be able to shop and eat at the festival, with stalls put on by market traders Love Southsea.

He said: ‘There’ll also be stalls selling food and so on, just to add to the family atmosphere.’

The festival will be funded by the Portsmouth Cultural Trust and will run from 10am to 5pm each day.