THOUSANDS of music lovers are set to unite to kick-start a weekend of fun.
Victorious Festival returns to Southsea Common tonight with headliners Madness gearing up to serenade fans into a fun-packed three days.
The city festival – now in its sixth year – is expected to draw tens of thousands of revellers.
Speaking ahead of the fixture, Victorious Festival director Andy Marsh said: ‘I feel like a kid at Christmas. We are so excited to get underway.
‘We have had the whole year to set up and it feels great to get everything together so we can see everybody smiling and having a good time once again.
‘We’ve got more acts and stages this year and we have been selling more tickets than ever, so Victorious really is growing.’
While the festival bill includes Olly Murs, Jake Bugg and Stereophonics, Andy says much of the fun to be had is discovering its lesser-known acts.
He said: ‘The headliners are always great to catch, but it is also fantastic to check out some of the smaller, more local acts to see who might be the next big thing.
‘That’s what festivals are all about.’
Tonight, Madness will be preceded by indie-rockers The Charlatans and Sundara Karma on the Castle Stage, with 17 other acts performing across four different locations.
Saturday’s vast programme will see performances take place across a whopping 16 stages, with Stereophonics, Rita Ora and Deaf Havana, headlining the day.
As the festival reaches its climax on Sunday, crowds will be treated to shows from the likes of Elbow, Franz Ferdinand, Olly Murs and Sikth.
Organisers say while VIP tickets have sold out, festivalgoers can still pick up standard tickets.
Visit victoriousfestival.co.uk for more information.