PORTSMOUTH Festivities has launched a new scheme to help people get closer to the action.
The annual celebration of the arts is now in its 18th year and organisers have put together a line-up of nearly 200 events covering music, theatre, art, dance, talks, poetry and more.
For the first time, members of the public can sign up as Friends of the Festivities, which runs from June 16 to 25.
With many events selling out in advance, friends get priority booking a week ahead of the general public, discounts and last minute offers as well as regular news updates via e-mail.
They will also be invited to this year’s launch party at The Square Tower in Old Portsmouth on March 16, when the full programme will be unveiled.
This year the festivities take on the theme of ‘play.’
Festivities administrator Victoria Smith said: ‘It’s great to be able to give something back to the community, and the friends scheme is a lovely way to do that.
‘We want to encourage people to get out and experience things that they wouldn’t normally get to – something beyond just your typical rock concert.
‘We hope it will get people interested in different events – to take the plunge and see something different.’
Membership to the friends is £25 for a single person, or £35 for two.
You can apply for a membership online at portsmouthfestivities.co.uk or call (023) 9268 1390 for more information.