Saturday, 21 September 2019

Victorious Festival 2019 | AD*

Credit: Connor Cleary
It felt good to be back at Victorious again this year, it's starting to feel like my home away from home! We had such perfect weather this bank holiday weekend - especially compared to last years drenching. I had access to a press pass again this year which meant I could chill in the VIP area and press tent. Not much had changed here except more seating and a few different vendors and stalls. I actually barely got to use the area this year, except for the nicer toilets!

Credit: Connor Cleary
Credit: Connor Cleary


Once myself and my boyfriend (Connor Cleary) met up with one of our friends we had a walk around the main stage area, and were delighted to see the Strongbow arena again. This is always the best place to go and chill and listen to music, there's a handy little bar there too. When we arrived there was a piano duo who just started a set where they play nothing but festival-goers requests, which is quite impressive. They started with Freed From Desire and continued with requests like Don't You Want Me and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - quite diverse! It's an all out party throughout the day and is definitely a good place to hit up at the end of the day to have a little boogie and let loose.

As always on the Friday access is limited until Saturday, but you still have the Beats and Swing tent which has similar vibes to Strongbow but I specifically recall one man purely beatboxing tunes from there which sounded incredible. You'll always see plenty of people bundled in there having the time of their lives.

Credit: Connor Cleary
There were still plenty of food vendors to buy grub from and replacing the Coca Cola team from last year there was Fuze Tea (of which Coca Cola is a parent company) handing out free cans of iced tea in green tea and mango flavours and again they were encouraging people to recycle their cans at their stations. There were also representatives from Rowntree's Randoms with a fancy dress/photo booth opportunity giving out free sweets.

When I actually look back over the weekend I didn't see that many bands. Between trying to get content for the festival and doing what your friends want to (so that you don't get lost as on the Saturday there was basically no phone signal or 3G) I only saw a handful of acts.

Credit: Becca Egerstrom
Credit: Becca Egerstrom


 But, the one's I did get to see I really enjoyed. I would say my favourite performances were by Lewis Capaldi and Professor Green. I wasn't a huge fan of Pro Green before Victorious but where I dip in and out of pop music I've heard some of his songs. I just loved the vibe the audience gave off when they were raving to his songs, it makes you compelled to join in even if you don't know the words! Professor Green posted a photo from the Castle Stage on his Instagram and wrote "The gig of my career thus far. Do not have the words. You keep me going, thank you" which I had to do a double take for! Little ol' Portsmouth aye?

And need I say anything on Lewis Capaldi? His set was everything I hoped for. My favourite songs at the moment are (in no particular order because I love them all) Bruises, Hold Me While You Wait, Someone You Loved and Grace. He just has this charisma that makes him entertaining but he's also talented; a good combo. Lewis mentioned something about writing a song in Gosport, which instantly had many boos and a few cheers from the audience - I'm not sure what that was about, but if he did by chance write a song in Gosport while he was over here for Isle of Wight Festival that will be very interesting to find out what it's about...

Credit: Tom Langford
You may have read my recent post regarding mental health at gigs, and specifically my experience at Isle of Wight Festival in 2014. I talk a bit about The Special's set from Victorious, I have a special place in my heart for The Specials and ska music. I love that it can go from being so chilled and the next minute everyone's got their elbows and knees up in the air having a whale of a time. I was so grateful that I got to experience them again, and this time with no mental health hiccup! The only thing I was gutted about was them not including 'Ghost Town' in their set, which is one of my favourites.

Credit: Tom Langford
Credit: Tom Langford
It was also great to see New Order on the Sunday from basically the front row. I always love going to see old school popular bands like The Cure and The Human League (of which myself and Connor were front row for at Bestival 2016), you never know when they are going to stop performing so it's great to be able to experience them. What was even more great was they threw in some Joy Division songs so you had the whole package during their set. I'll admit that after 15 minutes I left the near-front-row to go and chill at the back of the common stage, grabbed a paella and a crepe and bopped along to the music. I do love to just relax at festivals, it doesn't always have to be a full out party.

Credit: Connor Cleary
Credit: Connor Cleary
I'm sad that most of the weekend had a lot of running around and not much of seeing actual artists like the previous years I'd been to, but I saw the ones I wanted to see which is what mattered! It was also the first year I had met up with a lot of friends, and trying to orchestrate where we were all going and trying to meet up throughout the day was a challenge when you all have different agendas!

I have loved reading about all of the positives that Victorious Festival brings to Portsmouth's economy. According to The News - Portsmouth, last year it brought in £9 million to the city. That just amazes me, at how much this festival can do for all of the businesses on the island. So far over the years the festival has raised £182,000 for charities as well. As I was born in Portsmouth and have lived on and around the island, I'm really proud of what the city can do. I can't wait to see this fantastic festival grow and benefit thousands more people just from the joy of music.

*I have disclosed this post as an AD, as I was given a free press pass to the festival of which I applied for. All opinions are my own and I wan't paid anything to write or make content for the festival.
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