Thousands of music lovers descend on Southsea for much-loved festival's 10th year

MUSIC lovers descended upon the city in their thousands as Southsea Fest returned with a bang following a year off.

Sunday, 2nd October 2016, 7:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 2:06 pm
October Drift at the Wedgewood Rooms. Picture: Keith Woodland

A total of 20 Southsea bars and venues were full to the brim as around 6,000 music fans swamped the area to get a closer look at some of the country’s top musical talents and the latest upcoming stars.

While Albert Road and Elm Grove entertained hordes of fans, top indie acts Mystery Jets and The Pigeon Detectives blew audiences away at The Pyramids Centre.

Friends Chris Cunningham and James Hardy are seasoned veterans of the festival and called it an ‘unmissable event’.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Emptifish performing

Chris, from Stubbington, said: ‘It is such a great day. There’s so many bands and so much to see and do.

‘We’re just making our way around the bars at the minute, getting a good look at a handful of bands.

‘The festival is just a great chance to see some bands that you may have missed – it’s pretty unmissable for music fans in Portsmouth.’

James, also of Stubbington added: ‘A few years ago we just happened to at the right place when George Ezra filled in last minute, so you just never know what you’re going to get when you come here.

The Pidgeon Detectives on stage

‘Hopefully we’ll have that wow moment today.’

Frankie Drain, 24, from Gosport, was at the festival for the first time, playing with his band Arcade Hearts, who got a strong crowd reaction at Al Burrito in Albert Road.

He said: ‘Portsmouth has always been one of the best places to discover new music and we just thought that we had to be at Southsea Fest.

‘It’s a lively day and the atmosphere is great.

Mystery Jets

‘I’ve never seen Albert Road this busy. I guess it just shows how much music means to the people of Portsmouth.

The multi-venue festival marked its 10th anniversary and following a year off last year, including The Pyramids Centre for the first time.

Emptifish performing
The Pidgeon Detectives on stage
Mystery Jets