International rock acts Stereophonics and Elbow have been signed to headline this summer’s star-laden Victorious Festival, The News can exclusively reveal.
The major artists join a package of household names snapped up to dazzle in the spotlight at Southsea’s music attraction, in a major boost to the event’s profile.
Joining them are rising stars Slaves, seasoned rockers Feeder, plus Frightened Rabbit, Jake Bugg, Franz Ferdinand, KT Tunstall, Sundara Karma, Tiggs Da Author, Lady Leshurr, Palace and Crows.
Confirming the list of performers at the festival, Victorious director Andy Marsh said mega acts Stereophonics and Elbow would headline the festival’s main Common Stage on Saturday and Sunday night respectively.
And the festival boss is confident this year’s bookings are superior to those on the 2016 bill – which featured Oasis songwriting legend Noel Gallagher’ and his band High Flying Birds, Manic Street Preachers and DJs Mark Ronson and Annie Mac.
Speaking to The News, Mr Marsh said: ‘I’m delighted with the line-up, it really builds on last year.
‘Bringing Noel Gallagher on board was a huge deal for us.
‘But this year we believe the acts are just as big, if not bigger.
‘Noel helped to make things easier for us this year in terms of attracting the big names.
‘But it’s also taken times to bring these names together, and that’s just because of the nature of the music industry.
I’m delighted with the line up, it really builds on last year. Bringing Noel Gallagher on board was a huge deal for us. But this year we believe the acts are just as big, if not bigger.Andy Marsh
‘It’s fantastic for Portsmouth; for us it’s so important there is something for everyone. It’s an excellent bill. I am a huge fan of both headliners, on a personal level.
‘Having Slaves and Sundara Karma is also great and exciting as they’re so current, and Palace are also ones to look out for.
‘There are some great bands coming through, and Jake Bugg is a Pompey favourite who will be brilliant.’
The major announcement comes after the region scooped £8.47m of economic benefits from last year’s Victorious, which pulled in 113,413 spectators over the two days.
And bosses have said they’re eager to bring in further millions.
Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘Victorious Festival has gone from strength to strength and is now the biggest annual event that brings tens of thousands of the city’s residents together.
‘The headline acts confirmed today will attract more people from outside the city to visit Portsmouth for the weekend, to attend one of the largest music festivals in the UK.’
Portsmouth Tory culture boss Cllr Linda Symes said: ‘Victorious has built a great reputation.
‘It’s a great day out for families.
‘The acts are fantastic, the setting is beautiful; it’s superb.
‘The economic impact it has on the city is amazing, and we should be very grateful it’s here.
‘I live across the road from it and I think it’s great.
‘People in this region have really embraced it.
‘There are a lot of people who go who are local and those who come and visit want to come back.
‘People see how reasonable the price of going is. Some people have to pay upwards of £200 at other festivals.’
Mr Marsh said ticket sales are already ‘double’ that of this time last year – and the capacity for each day could be expanded beyond the 60,000 mark.
More big acts who will feature on the festival’s Castle Field stage on Saturday and Sunday will be revealed at a later date.
He hinted they could be more ‘pop and dance’ focused to ensure there’s a broad range of genres showcased at the festival.
He said: ‘There’s more to come and that will add to the diversity and the whole offer.’
Cult ska band Madness and the Craig Charles Funk and Soul Club have already been unveiled as the acts leading Victorious’ all-new opening Friday party night.
Madness were unveiled after mystery lettering spelling out ‘It Must Be Love’ appeared on the seafront, sparking a social media frenzy over who had been booked for the Victorious bill.
Off-site camping will also be brought in for the first time this year on fields behind the Peter Ashley Activity Centre, eight miles from the Southsea festival arenas.
A camp-and-ride service will be introduced for spectators so they can hop on shuttle buses to and from the attraction. The site will be able to accommodate 7,000 campers and will include facilities such as showers, toilets and cooking and barbecue zones.
There will also be food stalls and traders offering general store items, lockers, mobile phone charging and non-alcoholic refreshments.
HOW VICTORIOUS HAS GROWN
Victorious’ first high profile acts came in 2013 with Maximo Park, The Feeling, Brand New Heavies and Katy B. Then came a change in setting as the festival broadened its horizons by switching from the Historic Dockyard to Southsea Common in 2014, doubling its capacity to 80,000.
And with that came bigger acts such as Dizzee Rascal, American blues musician Seasick Steve, Sophie-Ellis-Bextor, ‘90s indie stars Shed Seven, Naughty Boy, The Pigeon Detectives and Dan le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip.
From there it continued to grow, as 2015’s bill featured a range of household names including Tinie Tempah, The Flaming Lips, Ray Davies and Basement Jaxx, and a new main stage was created on the Common alongside the Castle Field stage.
But last year’s was the biggest festival to date, as Victorious landed global superstar Noel Gallagher and his band The High Flying Birds.
About 40,000 spectators packed out the field for the Oasis legend’s set to sing along to hits Wonderwall and Don’t Look Back In Anger, as well as a stack of tunes from his new band. And there were also major names in the form of Manic Street Preachers, The Levellers, Ash, The Coral and DJs Mark Ronson and Annie Mac