Victorious Festival 2023 – Review

With so many festivals over the bank holiday weekend, it could be difficult to chose which to attend.

Without doubt, the best festival in August was Victorious Festival in Southsea.

To emphasis the strength of the line-up, many of those artists who were booked to top the bill at lesser festivals often appeared lower down the schedule at Victorious.

As a classic example, Blossoms began proceedings on the south coast on Friday at 1pm, despite headlining many other events this summer. The singer joked that he’d played the same park where the main Common Stage was, when his dad was in the navy at the nearby dockyards.

Billy Nomates followed, fresh from her controversial performance at Glastonbury, where she personally asked for her set to be removed from BBC iPlayer, following unjust abuse and backlash. Although she didn’t have a backing band, she made up for it in style, charisma and talent. Definitely one to keep an eye on and watch out for in the future.

Billy Nomates © Graham Tarrant

Mancunian legends The Charlatans followed, with a melting pot of their absolute classics – including Weirdo, North Country Boy, One to Another, and of course, The Only One I Know. Singer Tim Burgess was clearly enjoying himself, taking selfies and videos on his iPhone of the huge crowd. Check out both his and The Charlatans Instagram for full coverage and scope of the enormous crowd from his viewpoint.

The Charlatans © Graham Tarrant

Following a clash between Friendly Fires and Katy B on the Castle stage, independent singer RAYE followed on the Common stage. She played many songs from her debut album ‘21st Century Blues‘, which she referred affectionately to as her first born baby which she was rightfully extremely proud of. It certainly had an Amy Winehouse vibe. New song ‘Ice Cream Man‘ was particularly powerful with a raw exploration of her life after sexual assault. She finished with more upbeat number one song ‘Escapism‘ which had the crowd singing along.

Jamiroquai was a UK festival exclusive performance for Victorious festival. Joking himself that he was a little thinner and lighter in the 90s successful years, singer Jay Kay still has the space cowboy moves, even if he did ask for the spotlights to be turned down to prevent his cataracts needing replacing….or possibly to stop the crowd getting such a sight of his less nimble physique.

McFly © Graham Tarrant

Saturday began with not one, but two special guests. While Australian singer and former Neighbours star Natalie Imbruglia shone on the main stage at 1pm, McFly were secret special guests over at the Castle Stage. Fans were truly torn (excuse the pun) on which to see. Recently celebrating their 20th anniversary, McFly still have the energy and moves to kick start any event and draw in a huge crowd…constantly leaping in the air and showing their choreographed moves. It was impossible not to enjoy their show and easy to understand their continued popularity.

Natalie Imbruglia © Graham Tarrant

Pale Waves followed, adorning a ‘My Mind Makes Noise‘ tattoo – hopefully that noise is as good in their head as it sounded to the crowd, before the long forgotten The Divine Comedy returned, with their good humour. Walking on stage with a glass of red wine, singer Neil Hannon seemed dazzled by the size of the crowd, before appropriately raising the glass to sing ‘Here’s to You‘. Despite complaining of first-world problems that his plectrums were too thin, they played all their classic tunes from the 90s, including ‘National Express‘ and ‘Something For The Weekend‘. Alas their theme from Father Ted and My Lovely Horse were missing (maybe ask your dad if you missed out the first time.)

Pale Waves © Graham Tarrant

Scottish legends Belle and Sebastian followed, asking the crowd what the sign-language for Boris Johnson could possibly be…it appeared to be V signs and definitely not ‘V for Victory’. As is customary for a Belle and Sebastian set, they asked many of the crowd to join them onstage for their biggest hit ‘The Boy With The Arab Strap‘ – much to the dismay of the security guards who were sure how the usher everyone offstage afterwards.

The same crowd questioned why Kaiser Chiefs were not booked as headliners. With so many classic hits and singalongs, it’s testament to the strength of the bill that they were lower down the bill. They never missed a beat and when playing ‘I Predict A Riot‘ mid-set, singer Ricky Wilson climbed up the side of the stage scaffolding, to add to the traumatic day the security team were having.

Kasabian were booked as headliners, but arguably had less singalong songs as the aforementioned Kaiser Chiefs. As well as their own hits, to make up for this, they mixed in classics from Daft Punk (One More Time), Beastie Boys (Intergalactic) and Fatboy Slim (Praise You), before finishing with their own anthem ‘Fire’.

Kasabian © Graham Tarrant

As usual with Victorious festival, Sunday morning began with a big crowd-pleaser name, and another blast-from-the past. DJ Annie Mac began proceedings over on the Castle Stage, while forgotten stars of CCTV Hard-Fi returned for their first show in over 10 years and another festival exclusive for Victorious.

Summer Festival Guide favourite Dylan followed, asking if there were any Harry Styles fans in the crowd, before playing her song based on the One Direction singer which gave rise to her own fame on Tik-Tok.

Dylan © Graham Tarrant

Norwegian Sigrid followed, fresh from headlining Big Feastival earlier in the weekend. Unfortunately her guitar player Liva Svaeren was forced to sit during the entire set after trying to re-enact her inner Gene Simmons from Kiss and injuring her ankle. This was Sigrid’s last set in the UK before returning home to her native land, but hopefully it won’t be long until she returns to our shores.

Sigrid © Graham Tarrant

Ellie Goulding was fortunate to escape without serious injury after a firework onstage flew backwards into her face. She managed to continue with her set despite the scare, but it remained an emotional performance after she revealed prior that she was splitting from her husband on social-media.

Ellie Goulding © Graham Tarrant

Mumford & Sons concluded the main Common Stage on Sunday night, while legendary guitar player Johnny Marr headlined the Castle Stage. Playing songs from his illustrious career Johnny Marr arguably is now a better singer than his Smiths frontman Morrissey, giving the crowd what they wanted with classic versions of ‘This Charming Man‘, ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’ and of course, his epic guitar riff ‘How Soon Is Now‘.

Early bird tickets are already available for Victorious 2024 and if the past few years are anything to go by, it’s a safe bet that there will be another incredible line up again next year.

To get 2024 tickets at this years prices, visit

Boardmasters 2023 – Review

Mark Twain famously said: If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes and you’ll get something different.

That was certainly true in Cornwall for one of the highlights of the festival season: Boardmasters – which often had four seasons in one day.

The occasional wind and rain didn’t dampen spirits across Watergate Bay, with the crowd enjoying all the magic this cliff-top festival has to offer.

Unlike many other events Summer Festival Guide covers, Boardmasters isn’t just about the music.

You could happily head down to Fistral Beach and watch the pro-surfing competitions during the day if you want to escape the huge sea of tents.

© Graham Tarrant

The line-up at the festival this year was truly special. Also unlike many other festivals, it is impressive that two out of the three headliners were women (listen up Glastonbury) – Lorde and Florence & The Machine highlighted powerfully that UK festival line-ups don’t need to be dominated by the usual stale male performers. Saying that, Liam Gallagher certainly didn’t disappoint on Saturday night, in a UK exclusive.

The festival gates opened on Wednesday for the early revellers, or for those who simply wanted to enjoy a break in the stunning Cornish location. But the real party started on Friday.

Gabrielle Aplin began the festival in style, appropriately playing songs from her debut album, English Rain. Everything Everything followed but to a relatively small crowd – possibly due to the conflict with Bob Vylan who was playing the Land of Saints stage at the same time.

Later festival favourites The Vaccines took to the main stage, for their fourth appearance at the festival. Their album entitled ‘What Do Expect From The Vaccines’…well now after all these appearances, it’s clear you can expect feel-good indie pop and a lot of charisma.

© Graham Tarrant

Unfortunately charisma was something Ben Howard seemed to be lacking with much of the crowd talking to themselves confused why he was advertised as a special guest, but the headliners certainly didn’t disappoint.

© Graham Tarrant

You can always judge a good festival by how many clashes there are, and unbelievably on Friday night, there was a tough four-way choice on the south-coast. Lorde dazzled on the main Stage, beginning with a unique interpretation of her hit ‘Royals‘. Elsewhere, Example kickstarted the Unleashed stage, with the tent looking like it would burst due to number of people trying to squeeze inside.

Possibly the hardest working festival band in the UK, Dub Pistols took to the The View stage overlooking the magnificent Watergate Bay, while the fourth headliner and undisputed kings of rap, Cypress Hill gave a legendary performance of their classic album Black Sunday in the Land of Saints stage.

Coming on stage with possibly the most potent spliff, the stage was also decked out in marijuana plants – presumably fake to get past the increasingly vigilant security. Hit after hit followed, before the ground literally shook when they finished with a cover of ‘Jump Around‘.

You could tell how good Friday night was by the weary faces on Saturday afternoon.

The Lottery Winners began the day, with the singer Thom celebrating his birthday at the festival. Finishing with moving song ‘Letter to Myself’ which, as the name suggests, he wrote to his 12 year old self, with the prophetic lyrics ‘All your greatest days are still yet to come. There will be heartbreak, but there’ll be so much love‘. Wise words.

© Graham Tarrant

Dylan followed, clearly with many adoring fans in the crowd and played a guitar hero solo for her dad. The Reytons followed sounding like a second rate Arctic Monkeys, but Confidence Man surprised all the crowd with their euro pop dance moves and early 90s vibe. Singers Janet Planet and Sugar Bones have created one of the hottest acts of the summer. RAYE followed with her stylish new jazz sound despite the strong winds circling.

© Graham Tarrant

Little Simz truly is exceptional and deserves to be headlining. Mixing songs from her award winning album ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert‘ and ‘No Thank You‘ she has an unbelievable amount of talent, style, and respect. She surely would be top-of-the-bill if it wasn’t for Liam Gallagher, making his UK exclusive headline performance at Boardmasters.

© Graham Tarrant

Coming onstage to Manchester City Football Club winning chant, he was in great spirits frequently asked ‘Are there any Oasis fans in the house‘ – proceeding to play a mix of the classic bands material, including ‘Stand by Me‘, ‘Slide Away‘ and ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol.’ He often said during his solo material that the crowd could nip off and grab some noddles while he played his slower material such as ‘The River’. Despite mixing in a few solo songs, when asking ‘What do you want me to play next’, it was clear what the crowd wanted, and he finished with ‘Champagne Supernova‘ and dedicated ‘Live Forever‘ to his late friend who passed away recently.

Fingers crossed there will be an Oasis reunion in the near future. Both Liam and Noel seem to be softening to the idea, and based on the triumphant return of Blur, Suede and Pulp this summer, it is about time the brothers worked it out.

Sunday was a return of many Boardmasters favourites. Gentleman’s Dub Club were back for their regular residence Sunday slot at the festival – no wonder they have been booked so many times as they always get the crowd on their feet….or bare feet in the case of the singer.

© Graham Tarrant

With the downpours commencing, many people descended on the Land of Saints stage to witness an inspiring set from Jockstrap, fresh from opening up for Blur at the Wembley shows. They were followed by Squid, who despite a leaking roof in the tent, proved entertaining while the skies cleared.

Dermot Kennedy was one of the surprise highlights of the weekend. If you get chance, check him out at All Points East next Sunday in Victoria Park, London. His songs featured a raw unfiltered honesty reflecting in his emotional and music. He certainly sounds better live than on record where his passion and talent are clearly visible.

Drawing the weekend to a close was the inimitable Florence & The Machine.

This was one of the headline performances of the summer. Boardmasters was lucky to have her.

Dressed in an ethereal gown, she graced the stage, before walking down to join the crowd for two songs. Later, during ‘Dog Days Are Over’ she insisted all of the audience put their phones away and stopped filming to savour the moment in real time. Take note Coldplay. Contrary to this, she finished with ‘Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)‘, in which she insisted everyone raise up their partner or loved one on their shoulders.

Such a unique performance to end to the festival and as stated earlier, Lorde and Florence Welch highlighted that more women should be booked as headliners of UK events going forward.

Presale access for 2024 tickets is now available at

See you all back at the beach next summer.

Camp Bestival: Dorset – Review

Rain or shine: Camp Bestival is the ultimate fun-filled family festival.

Although the line up this year in Dorset doesn’t seem as impressive as the sister Shropshire line-up (well this big-kid was upset that Primal Scream weren’t down at the Lulworth Castle event), there was certainly something for all the family over the weekend.

This year marked the 15th anniversary of Camp Bestival – as usual there was plenty of fancy dress across the site. This year, it was animal themed, with the festival teaming up with the fantastic World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Billed as the ‘Best. Party. Ever’, Australian DJ Hot Dub Time Machine began proceedings by showcasing records from every decade and genre of music, from ‘Ghostbusters‘ to Louis Theroux’s ‘Jiggle Jiggle‘…in his words, Camp Bestival is ‘the best festival in the world. There’s nothing like this anywhere else in the world‘ – he could well be right.

Elvana – Elvis Fronted Nirvana © Graham Tarrant

Festival favourites Elvana followed with Elvis fronted Nirvana tunes, mixed in with Blue Suede Shoes and Hound Dog….the ever-charming Scouting for Girls followed with chart-friendly pop songs. Later, Ella Henderson, recently dropped from mogul Simon Cowell’s Syco label, delighted fans despite the pouring rain, with a mix of dance classics ‘Crazy What Love Can Do‘ and ‘Glitterball‘. Brighton indie-boys The Kooks brought the Friday night to a close.

Ella Henderson © Graham Tarrant

Saturday at Camp Bestival is always fancy-dress day and this year didn’t disappoint.

While on initial glance, the line-up didn’t dazzle, at Camp Bestival, the costumes certainly did sparkle. It’s always the hidden gems and surprises which make it such a special event that festival goers return to each and every year.

This year, was certainly no change. The highlight of the weekend was the HMS Camp Bestival stage, with an unmissable back-to-back DJ set with festival founder and curator Rob da Bank and fashion icon Gok Wan.

Always one to make an impressive appearance, Gok descended on to the stage from above in a giant heart, scattering scented confetti onto the fans. Truly it had to be seen with the crowd dancing while the sun shone. A little later, East 17 brought their House of Love to the Big Top, before closing their summer festival set strangely with Xmas hit song ‘Stay Another Day.’ Fortunately the gifts kept giving, and Summer Festival Guide favourites The Cuban Brothers never disappoint. Miguelito always acknowledges the stunning location of Lulworth Castle as a backdrop and summed up the event well to the press team by stating Camp Bestival is ‘the original festival where you see people coming together, having fun and being free, that’s why it’s so special!”

Always a difficult act to follow, and there’s only one woman in the industry who can do it – Ms Grace Jones. Her stage presence is transfixing and she refuses to grow old without any grace (excuse the pun.) At a majestic 75 years, she hula hooped through her greatest hits, including ‘Slave To The Rhythm‘ and ‘Pull Up To The Bumper‘, where she rode the security guards shoulders as she met her adoring fans.

Sunday began with everyone’s favourite Australian CBeebies legend Bluey, before Mr Motivator blew away all the cobwebs getting everyone, including the aforementioned security guards working out.

Mel C © Graham Tarrant

Later, remarkably impressive tributes to Kate Bush and Dolly Parton followed, before Spice Girl Mel C delighted mums (as well as many dads with her washboard abs on show.) Beginning with solo material, including ‘When You’re Gone‘, it was truly the girl power songs the crowd were looking for, and she didn’t disappoint. Mixing an acoustic ‘Spice Up Your Life‘ with ‘2 Become 1‘ and ‘Who Do You Think You Are‘, it’ll be great to see if the rumours of a Spice Girl reunion headlining Glastonbury next year are true. Watch this space.

Confidence Man © Graham Tarrant

Another difficult act to follow, but Confidence Man, brought the magic from their 2022 Glastonbury winning set to the Dorset coast. A mix of Scissor Sisters and 90s dance, their multiple impressive costume changes kept everyone moving. If you ever get chance to catch them, it’s a definite must and a sublime booking, before Craig David took over the decks with his TS5 show.

Asked what TS5 means, it’s his one man show, in which he DJs, MCs, sings his own material and also covers a number of classic R’n’B tunes, from the likes of Whitney Houston to TLC.

No Camp Bestival can conclude without the absolute highlight and majesty which is the acclaimed firework display.

With Lulworth Castle lit up with animal imagery, fireworks illuminated the sky to the delight of the young and older ones within the audience.

Rob da Bank summed up the weekend perfectly, stating ‘What a weekend with our Camp Bestival family! Josie and I had the best time celebrating 15 years of memories across four magical days and we are thrilled that all of our Camp Bestival family could join us. From a roaring Animal Snap theme to headline sets from Grace Jones, The Kooks and Craig David, it’s been a birthday celebration for the history books and we can’t wait to bring the magic of Camp Bestival to Shropshire in just three weeks time!”

Roll on Camp Bestival in Shropshire on 17 August – if you’re lucky you may still get some tickets at

If not, jump quickly on the early bird sale for Camp Bestival 2024 – it’s always the ultimate family festival

Boomtown Festival announces The Prodigy as part of incredible 15 year anniversary party.

The Prodigy have been confirmed as special guests for Boomtown festival’s 15 year anniversary – on Sunday, August 13, 2023.

Like many other festivals, Boomtown has been seeking The Prodigy for over a decade. Unfortunately, Keith Flint is no longer with us, but Maxim and Liam Howlett still have the energy to get any party started. Last night they played the Mad Cool festival in Madrid, with giant screens projecting their late icon for all to remember.

Mark our words, if you’ve never seen the Prodigy live, this is one not to miss. They will churn up Winchester like no others.

Boomtown co-founder, Luke Mitchell said: “The Prodigy’s energy, immense production value, and influence in the rave scene make them the perfect match for Boomtown, and I’m over the moon that we’ve been able to finally get this nailed down and can now share the exciting news. The Prodigy are the most Boomtown band on the planet.”  

If you’re lucky, you may still be able to find some tickets here.

After this announcement, we don’t expect them to hang around for long.

P!NK – British Summer Time (BST) Review: Saturday 24 June

The Saturday starts off warm, but things are about to get even hotter, as Pink brings her Summer Carnival Tour to Hyde Park.

Opening the Great Oak stage was Gayle, self-described on her YouTube channel as ‘bassive aggressive dyslexic’ – unusual choice of words, especially as she finished with her hit ‘ABCDE-FU’.

Next up was Eurovision wonder Sam Ryder – it’s impressive he’s playing BST as a support artist, as he’s booked to headline many events this summer himself, including Camp Bestival. Dressed in a knitted smiley outfit, he encourages the crowd to join him in a singalong of ‘better to have fought and lost than never fought at all‘ from his hit song from Ted Lasso tv-show, but the crowd are clearly here waiting for his galactic hit ‘Spaceman‘. It was his birthday over the weekend and what a way to celebrate!

When you’re Pink, you can call upon the biggest artists to support you. They don’t come much bigger than Gwen Stefani, fresh from her own headline appearance at Warwick Castle. To promote the tour, she’s appeared on BBC’s flagship The One Show, as well as This Morning and touted her love of British Music, Madness and The Selecter and it’s clear to see her 2Tone influences with her impressive outfits and costume changes.

© All images – Dave Hogan / Hogan Media

As well as solo hits ‘Hollaback Girl‘ and ‘The Sweet Escape‘, she introduces her new song ‘True Babe‘, with the video and lyrics shown on the large screens. The sh!t really is bananas as she mixes Alice in Wonderland visual sets with Harajuku Girls and throws in a few classic No Doubt songs for good measure. On ‘Rich Girl‘, she was also joined by American rapper Even to the delight of the crowd.

What You Waiting For? Well there’s only one act that could possibly follow Gwen Stefani, and she certainly doesn’t disappoint.

P!NK likes to make a big entrance and at Hyde Park, there is simply no exception.

In front of a 65,000+ crowd, she appeared at the very top of the stage and proceeded to bungee down to greet her adoring fans.

What a way to get the party started. For almost two hours, she sling-shotted herself across the stage in a series of impressive leotards. But it wasn’t just the aerial acrobatics. She has an incredible singing voice, but also a voice which refuses to be silenced when she wants to make a clear message and speak up for what she believes in. Talking with the crowd, many people threw gifts, including chocolates and a vast array of soft-toy frogs. By far the most impressive, and (also most pungent) gift she was presented with though was a whole wheel of cheese – god only knows how the audience member managed to get that past the security into the coveted gold-circle.

Her daughter Willow Sage Hart joined her onstage for a version of ‘Cover Me In Sunshine‘, and she impressively covered First Aid Kit’s song ‘Kids in Love‘, and Sade’s ‘No Ordinary Love’, added her own unique style onto each.

Finishing the show, she literally took to the air again high above the crowds, singing ‘So What‘ and finished to a backdrop of fireworks. Such an impressive audio and visual show.

© All images – Dave Hogan / Hogan Media

Following P!NK next weekend will be two polar extremes – Guns’n’Roses fresh from their triumphant set and Glastonbury on Friday, while Take That will shine brightly on Saturday.

There may be a few tickets left. Check out for more details.

Words: Graham Tarrant. All images: Copyright: Dave Hogan/Hogan Media.

British Summer Time (BST) Preview

Hyde Park always produces the best line up of the year at the British Summer Time (BST) concerts

This year is no exception. Below are some of the highlights

P!NK (Saturday 24 June and Sunday 25 June)

Over two nights, P!NK will be impressing crowds as part of her Summer Carnival Tour, supported by icon Gwen Stefani, On Saturday, 24 June, she’ll also be joined by Eurovision Spaceman Sam Ryder and Sam Tompkins. On Sunday, she’ll be joined by Tinashe and Lyra.

Guns ‘N’ Roses (Friday 30 June)

Fresh from headlining Glastonbury Festival, legends Guns ‘N’ Roses will be performing, with classic rock tunes ‘Welcome To The Jungle‘, ‘Paradise City’ and ‘November Rain‘ hopefully awaiting the huge crowds. They’ll be joined by The Pretenders, The Darkness, Larkin Poe, Dirty Honey and more.

Take That (Saturday 1 July)

Gary, Mark and Howard will provide the greatest day out and will be supported by an impressive pop line-up of The Script, Sugababes, Will Young, Aly & AJ and many more.

BLACKPINK (Sunday 2 July)

Girl band BlackPink will be delighting their K-Pop fans across the capital – definitely a unique event and one for the super-fans.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (Thursday 6 July and Saturday 8 July)

There’s a reason Bruce is affectionately called The Boss – his live shows are legendary memorable events, lasting over three hours. One never to miss and he certainly is defying his 73 years, getting better with age.

There are limited tickets available for some of the above dates. Visit for more details.

Kite Festival – 2023 Review

Kite: Self-described as ”a festival like no other’, this truly was one of the most eclectic and exciting line-ups of the summer.

Where else could you see Dame Joan Collins as support act for Hot Chip? Or Tony Blair’s former PR guru Alastair Campbell on stage before former Conservative PM Sir John Major?

Mel Giedroyc kicked off proceedings, interviewing Adam Kay, best selling author of ‘This Is Going to Hurt’. Cheekily, Michael Gove was conducting a newspaper review next door, so Mel encouraged the crowd to cheer ‘Gove is Guilty’ – quite!

Boris Johnson’s resignation as MP following his shameful lying dominated proceedings all weekend. Sir John Major stated ‘Johnson has attacked a bedrock of our democracy, by ransacking and ignoring the convention of behaviours in parliament’. In the ex-PM’s words: ‘The worst enemy of Boris Johnson is in fact Boris himself.’

Headliners Hot Chip had the crowd dancing Over-and-Over, in the words of their pop song. Truly, they remain one of Summer Festival Guide’s favourite live bands.

Elsewhere, Alison Goldfrapp was truly breathtaking in her sequinned dress, with an elaborate cast of choreographed backing dancers, but the 10,000 strong-crowd reaction was a little lacklustre. Later, Grammy Award winning Candy Staton delighted fans on her farewell tour with hits ‘Young Hearts Run Free’ and ‘Stand By Your Man.’

Sunday morning began with Shadow-chancellor Rachel Reeves answering questions from the crowd in a confident manner.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t just speeches and politics all weekend. The Pretenders still have the swagger and great true rock’n’roll tunes. Unfortunately their set was cut short by the overhead electrical storm, but they still played crowd pleasers ‘Stop Your Sobbing’ and ‘Back on the Chain Gang’. It’s a surprise The Pretenders weren’t booked as headliners.

Django Django followed after the thunder passed with their unique electronic blend of synthesisers and guitars, before Britpop legends Suede stormed on stage. Truly loving the crowd reception, Brett Anderson gets better with age and clearly put everything into his performance, leaving the stage dripping head-to-toe in sweat.

Ciro Romano, festival director, summed the event up well:

“The long-awaited second-ever KITE brought immense joy and a renewed sense of togetherness. The enthusiastic response from our passionate audience reaffirmed the festival’s unwavering ethos. Against the stunning Kirtlington Park backdrop, attendees revelled in a weekend of unforgettable music, thought-provoking cultural experiences, and delightful new discoveries.”

Let’s hope the event returns again next year.

Victorious Festival announces a Sonic Kids Line-Up

Following our earlier preview of the South’s largest metropolitan festival, Victorious Festival has now announced its exciting line-up of family-friendly entertainment. The Kids Arena is like a festival-within-a-festival for the little ones, and bigger kids who should know better.

Sonic The Hedgehog will be spinning his way to Southsea for a meet and greet. Don’t miss out with your cameras, unless you’re Dr Robotnik of course! Family favourite Bluey also joins the fun alongside a host of wild roaming dinosaurs! 

Elsewhere, there’s so much more on each day for children. Leading the Friday line up of this year’s Kids Arena are local theatrical royalty Pompey Panto who will be performing Dame Nellie Saves Panto.  Oh yes there is more.

Saturday’s headliner Pop Kids will host a summer singalong for all the family, jampacked with classic Disney tunes to chart toppers! World-class beatboxer SK Shlomo,  who’s worked previously with Ed Sheeran are bringing their critically acclaimed Shlomo’s Beatbox Adventure to the festival for a headline Sunday show.

The Lidl Mudder Zone will give kids a taste of the legendary Tough Mudder event; the Action Blast Nerf Arena will allow the opportunity for some sharp shooting, while Sport 4 Kids will give those bursting with energy a chance to shoot and score some goals. Elsewhere, Kids Karaoke will surely be one for the ear plugs and Jack Black will have some future competition from the Rock School.

If that isn’t enough may the force by with you in the jedi training, oodles of lego and of course, bouncy castles, princess performancesbaby ravesbouncy castles, colouring in and so much more!

For more on the main festival line-up, see our preview at

All Kids Arena attractions are included within the admission prices shown below.

Tickets for Victorious Festival are on sale now from just £65 per day for adults, £1 per day for under 5’s and £8 per day for 5 – 12 years.

Kite Festival – 2023 preview

Kite: Self-described as ”a festival like no other’, this truly is one of the most eclectic and exciting line-ups of the summer.

Where else can you witness Dame Joan Collins as support act for the legendary Suede? Or Tony Blair’s former PR guru Alastair Campbell sit alongside former Conservative PM Sir John Major?

The music is some of the best of the summer season – Don’t get me wrong, the recently reformed Pretenders still have the swagger and great guitar rock tunes. Hot Chip are one of Summer Festival Guide’s favourite live bands. Their cover of Dancing in the Dark is one never to miss.

Elsewhere, Alison Goldfrapp is a pioneer and truly groundbreaking with her exciting art, while Grammy Award winning Candy Staton will keep everyone dancing. Baxter Dury has crafted a career of his own, offering psychedelia-infused indie rock that has found a strong cult following.

David Baddiel, Mel Giedroyc, both household names renowned for their partnerships will be firm favourites.

Shadow-chancellor Rachel Reeves will be leaving the front bench of the Labour Party to join the festivities, possibly before moving into Number 11 next summer.

Also of note, Adam Kay, best selling author of ‘This Is Going to Hurt’, will be on site if anyone needs a doctor, but after the stories he’s told, it’s probably best to stick with the first aid kit!

With access to every talk on the Ideas program as well as the world class music and entertainment across the Heavenly, Bloom and Skylark stages. this is the best value ticket of the year.

The remaining tickets are now available at

WOMAD – 2023 Preview

WOMAD festival truly offers something special for everyone – it’s not just the impressive headliners this year, but there is a feast of activity across all of this exciting diverse and world renowned festival.

Returning this year is the legendary icon Femi Kuti and his jazz-funk band the Positive Force.

A definite highlight this year will be Horace Andy, lead singer of Massive Attack, who will bring his incredible voice to his band Dub Asante Band.

Elsewhere, festival regulars Bombay Bicycle Club will delight crowds with their laid-back tunes tunes, while folk royalty  Kate Rusby is one never to miss throughout her 30 year journey. Summer Festival Guide favourites  The Comet Is Coming will merge electronica, psychedelic rock and jazz – be sure not to miss their incredible sax player.

Also recently announced additions include the ‘heartbreakingly brilliant’ The Cinematic Orchestra, along with Jazzy B’s Grammy Award winning collective Soul II Soul.

Saving one of the best announcements to last, hip-hop pioneers and legends The Jungle Brothers (USA)  will get the party started on Thursday night – be sure to get there early as these guys will have you on your feet.

Elsewhere across the festival, the World of Words offers some fascinating talks, thought provoking conversation and inspirational authors, while the Hip Yak Poetry Shack will have some of the best spoken word artists in the country. If you simply want to escape, relax and unwind in the beautiful surroundings near Malmesbury, WOMAD Spa offers a tranquil space on enjoy the hot-tubs and all-day yoga.

Tickets are available online now at ://

Full Line up: 

47Soul (Palestine/Jordan) / Alogte Oho and his Sounds of Joy (Ghana) / Ajate (Japan) /Alicia Edelweiss (Austria/UK) / Amaraterra (Italy/UK) / Amjad Ali Khan, Amaan Aliu Bangash, Ayaan Ali Bangash (India) Amrat Hussain Brothers Trio (India) / Amy Montgomery (Ireland) /Ana Carla Maza (Cuba) / Ana Tijoux (Chile/France) / Andy Skank (UK) / Asmâa Hamzaoui & Bnat Timbouktou (Morocco) / Balimaya Project (UK) / Bombay Bicycle Club (UK) / Carmen Consoli (Italy) / Catrin Finch and Cimarrón (UK/Colombia) / Chris Tofu & Friends (UK) / Cha Wa (USA) / Dakh Daughters (Ukraine) / Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra (Nigeria/UK) / DJ Format (UK) / Dutty Moonshine Big Band (UK) / Emicida (Brazil) / ENNY (UK) / Faith i Branko (UK/Serbia) / Femi Kuti and the Positive Force (Nigeria) / Horace Andy (Jamaica) and Dub Asante Band (UK) / Isaac Birituro and The Rail Abandon (Ghana/UK) / Israel Fernández (Spain) / Jamz Supernova (UK) / Jungle Brothers (USA) / Justin Adams & Mauro Durante (UK/Italy) / Kate Rusby (England) / Kathryn Joseph (UK) / Kayhan Kalhor & Erdal Erzincan (Iran/Turkey) / King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys (UK) / KUUNATIC (Japan) / Leenalchi (South Korea) / Lia de Itamaracá (Brazil) / Liraz (Israel) / LoKkhi TeRra /(UK/Bangladesh/Cuba) / Los Wemblers de Iquito (Peru) / Lova Lova (Democratic Republic of the Congo) / Luke Una (UK) / MADMADMAD (UK) / Malkit Singh (India/UK) / Malmesbury Schools Project with Jamo Jamo Arts (UK/Mali/Senegal/Burkina Faso/Gambia) / Man and the Echo (UK) / Mari Kalkun (Estonia) / Marina Satti (Greece) / Mariza (Portugal) / Mesadorm (UK) / Mokoomba (Zimbabwe) / MC Yallah & Debmaster (Uganda/Kenya/France/Germany) / Mellowmatic (UK) / Mista Trick (UK) / Montparnasse Musique (South Africa/France)  / Nakhane (South Africa) / Nihiloxica (Uganda) / Oh My God! It’s The Church (USA) / Orchestral Qawwali Project ft Rushil Ranjan and Abi Sampa (UK) / Queen Omega & The Royal Souls (Trinidad & Tobago) / Raz & Afla (UK/Ghana) / Rory McLeod (UK) / Paprika (Serbia) / Pongo (Angola/Portugal) / Puuluup (Estonia) / Reem Kelani (Palestine) / Riot Jazz Brass Band (UK) / Rokia Koné (Mali) / Sahra Halgan (Somaliland) / Salami Rose Joe Lewis (USA) / Sam Kelly and the Lost Boys (UK) / Saramaccan Sound (SURINAME) (Suriname) / Snapped Ankles (UK) / Souad Massi (Algeria) / Soul II Soul (UK) Soumik Datta (India/UK) / Staples Jr Singers (USA) / Star Feminine Band (Benin) / Susana Baca (Peru) / Tank & The Bangas (USA) / The Cinematic Orchestra (UK) / The Comet Is Coming (UK) / The Olllam (Northern Ireland/USA) / The Scribes (UK) / Theon Cross (UK) / Ukulele Death Squad (Australia) / Vassvik (Norway)