Victorious Festival 2021: Manic Street Preachers to replace Richard Ashcroft

MULTI-PLATINUM chart-toppers Manic Street Preachers have been announced as the replacements for Richard Ashcroft at this year’s Victorious Festival.

Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 6:00 pm
Manic Street Preachers play at Victorious Festival 2021 on Saturday August 28, 2021. Picture by Alex Lake

The Welsh rockers will now headline the Castle Stage on Saturday night following the former Verve frontman’s withdrawal earlier this month.

The Manics, who are soon to release their 14th album, The Ultra Vivid Lament, last played the Southsea event in 2016. They were also slated to play in 2020 – which never happened due to the pandemic.

Over the course of three decades the band has racked up more than 30 top 40 hits, including A Design For Life, If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next, Tsunami and Your Love Alone is Not Enough.

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Victorious organiser Andy Marsh said: ‘We had been looking at quite a few options, but the Manics are really up for it and we’re thrilled to have them back.

‘A lot of people had been asking for the Manics to come back – so here they are.

‘It’s going to be great to have them headlining the Castle Stage. We’re feeling really positive about things, tickets are flying out the door.’

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Manics frontman James Dean Bradfield said: ‘Coming back to Victorious is all the sweeter now, for obvious reasons.

‘What I sense from people at the moment is that they're more open to going to festival shows than they are to indoor shows – they don't think there's as much inherent danger in terms of Covid.

‘It's in the open air and it's by the sea – let it just wash all that worry and anxiety away.

‘We played there before and really enjoyed it. It's a nice surprise for us too – this has only come together in the last couple of days.’

When announcing that Ashcroft was no longer playing, the Victorious organisers said in a statement: ‘Following extensive discussions about the measures we have put in place to reduce risk for visitors, artists and workers at this year’s festival, Richard Ashcroft will no longer perform at the event.’

Attendees at Victorious will need to be either double-jabbed, provide a negative lateral flow test result or have proof of natural immunity.

The Bittersweet Symphony singer had previously said he ‘wouldn’t be playing concerts with restrictions’ after pulling out from last month’s Tramlines Festival on the grounds that it was part of the government’s events research programme.

The festival, which takes place on Southsea Common over the August bank holiday weekend, will also feature main stage headline sets from Madness on Friday, and The Streets on Saturday before Royal Blood bring proceedings to a close on Sunday.

Adult day tickets cost from £40, adult weekend tickets £135, plus booking fees. Go to victoriousfestival.co.uk.