It’s the 20th year of Portsmouth Festivities – and organisers want YOU to get involved

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Portsmouth Festivities – and the city’s annual arts and culture festival wants YOU to get involved.

Promoted by Portsmouth Festivities
Wednesday, 10th April 2019, 4:18 pm
(Clockwise from top left): Jay Rayner, Pif-Paf Theatre, Jason Rebello and The Cardinall's Musick will be part of Portsmouth Festivities this year

The theme for this year’s festival is TWENTY, which provides the inspiration for its finale:  20 Love, a live multi-arts event to be held on Governors Green, Old Portsmouth.

This ambitious undertaking brings together film, music and spoken word poetry. Working with Portsmouth Poetry, Gregg Mosse, The Urban Vocal Group, Egg & Spoon Films and many talented young writers, the event will produce modern day interpretations of Pablo Neruda’s 20 Love Poems and A Song of Despair.

20 Love also invites the public to submit their own poems on postcards distributed around the city, some of which will be featured in the evening show.

The festival runs from June 14-23, a 10-day extravaganza which showcases the best of Portsmouth – and the world.

As well as hosting some of the most innovative work in the city this summer, the  Festivities is welcoming some of the biggest names in the creative arts today.

Also, Aspex Gallery hosts Homage, an exhibition of artwork that celebrates the festival’s 20-year history, Hotwalls Studios and Art Space will open their doors to the public during the festival’s run and the No.6 Cinema is honouring classics on film by screening three films in its 20th anniversary.

Festival director Erica Smith says: ‘It’s been a joy to programme our landmark anniversary. Despite growing year-on-year, 70 per cent of the events remain entirely free, enabling it to reach out to those parts of the community not normally reached by arts events.

'We’re paying homage to the festival’s extraordinary history with a programme that explores Portsmouth’s past and looks to its future, with new faces at the festival including The Cardinall’s Musick ensemble, award-winning restaurant critic Jay Rayner, and Estonian folk sensation Mari Kalkun.

'We’re also welcoming back performers who have gone on to achieve acclaim in the years since, such as cellist Guy Johnston and organist James Davy, as well as the internationally-renowned chamber choir Tenebrae.

'All this and a host of workshops, exhibitions, talks and shows continue to raise Portsmouth’s reputation as a centre for the creative and cultural arts. Wherever you are in 20 years’ time, you can be sure you won’t have forgotten this year’s Portsmouth Festivities.'

Others due to take part are popular science and maths writer Simon Singh, celebrated British jazz pianist Jason Rebello, international bestselling novelist, playwright and non-fiction writer Kate Mosse and street theatre artist Pif-Paf.

Discover more and book tickets at