WHAT are the chances?
After months of blisteringly hot weather, Victorious festivalgoers were asking themselves that question yesterday as heavy rain unrelentingly pounded down on Southsea.
Some fixtures took a beating as the event rocked into its final day, with the Seaside, Strong Island and World Music Stages left with no choice but to call time during the afternoon.
And even for acts who battled on it was not an easy ride, with many opting to perform in the corner of their respective stages – or even under a gazebo, in the cases of Southport indie rockers Gomez and local talent Jerry Williams – just to keep their kit safe from water damage.
But despite hours of wet weather leading into the evening – and 30mph winds to match – strong-willed revellers refused to let their spirits be dampened.
Having made the 50-mile journey from the Hampshire town of Yateley, pals Dee Christie and Tom Brighton rocked up in yellow ponchos and face paint – a sure sign they were ready to have a great time and a great time only.
Enjoying a brooding set from Hampshire-born songwriter Marika Hackman in the afternoon, Dee, who is in her 30s, said: ‘We’re only here for the day, so we’ve got to have the stamina to enjoy a bit of rain.
‘Of course it is a shame about the weather, but we would be mad to let that get us down.’
Their optimism was shared by Lee and Erica Smith, who travelled 107 miles from the Hertfordshire market town of Hitchin.
‘We are absolutely soaked,' said Mr Smith, 37, as he bopped along to a lively evening set from indie rockers the Friendly Fires, who hail from his home county.
‘The weather has been horrendous. But you know what, with a few gin and tonics and some good music, it doesn’t really matter anymore. This is amazing fun.’
Unsurprisingly, the rain reduced some areas of high footfall to sludge and this, in turn, took its toll on vendors.
After what was a successful Saturday made prosperous by more than 40 clients, Little Calm Company masseurs Louise Rooke and Helen Richards were left twiddling their thumbs yesterday.
‘Saturday was manic, it was almost too much for us,’ Helen said.
‘But although we offer massages over clothes, people don’t want to brave the awful weather and come and see us today’
But given their positioning in the VIP section – not far from all the action – it was not all doom and gloom.
Helen added: ‘We’ve got a great view of the stage, so that’ll give us a bit more of a chance to enjoy the music.’