Victorious Festival set to receive a two-year extension to licence

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MUSIC-LOVERS could have reason to celebrate as plans to extend the contract of a popular Portsmouth festival are likely to get the go-ahead.

Portsmouth City Council is set to rubber-stamp an application that would guarantee the return of Victorious Festival every year until 2027.

A five-year contract for the event had previously been approved, lasting between 2021-2025, with an option to extend it for two more years. However, officers are seeking to amend that, creating a seven-year contract in total.

If authorisation for this is given on Friday next week, festival co-organiser James Ralls is hopeful that Victorious could become one of the largest music events in the UK.

He said: ‘It’s really great news for us. It gives us a chance to keep investing in the event and the area.

‘We’ve been growing every year and we hope that continues, not so much to make it bigger in size but to make it a better experience every time.

‘We also hope to set up a charity project in upcoming years.’

‘There’s a good chance that Victorious will be the biggest festival in the country this year since Glastonbury isn’t on,’ he added.

Cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport at Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Linda Symes, praised the work of the festival’s organisers.

‘They’ve managed to create a festival for families to enjoy. It isn’t like any other festival, there’s music for all ages,’ she said.

‘The council has realised that it’s such a wonderful asset to the city. The contract extension would be more for the benefit of the city than anything.

‘Last year alone it brought in around £8.9m to businesses outside of the festival.’

Since the festival began in 2012 it has moved from its original location in the Portsmouth Dockyards to Southsea Common to meet a surge in popularity.

Official figures showed that in 2016 visitors spent £5.4m with an attendance of more than 113,000.

Last year the festival’s founders, Ralls and Andy Marsh, sold a majority stake to Global Entertainment, one of the UK’s biggest festival operators, cementing its status as a rising music festival.

It is predicted that the festival could bring in £58m by 2027,

Headline acts for Victorious this year include The Libertines, Kaiser Chiefs, The Prodigy, Paul Weller and Paloma Faith.

This year’s festival takes place between August 24-26.

n See more at victoriousfestival.co.uk