Events launch for the City’s longest-running Arts Festival


Portsmouth Festivities launches its annual festival starting on Friday June 12th.

What a better way to kick start the programme than an opening concert featuring young performers from schools across the city guided by the award-winning Multi-Story Orchestra in a City Centre multi-storey car park?

This year’s line-up sees the likes of folk duo O`Hooley and Tidow, who were catapulted to folk stardom after their single Gentleman Jack featured as the theme for a BBC drama of the same name, Histories of the Unexpected, a rip-roaring romp through the very unexpected things such as how the history of the smile is linked to Charles Darwin and electrocution. We also welcome Mercury-nominated jazz group Dinosaur headed by trumpeter Laura Jurd, a UK exclusive viewing of the Très Court Film Festival, beloved children’s author Michael Rosen, and Glaswegian folk quartet GNOSS on their album tour.

With the support of the Heritage Lottery and in partnerships with the Mary Rose Museum and Portsmouth Young Carers, this year the festival presents Submerged, an exhibition of film and audio that focuses on the 475th anniversary of the sinking of the Mary Rose. This exhibition will run for the entirety of the festival.

Portsmouth Festivities is in its 21st year of delivering a multi-arts and cultural festival. The charity is dedicated to providing a wide range of events across the city as well as educational experiences and family-friendly events for all.

“Every year the aim of the festival is to increase creativity and offer opportunities for civic pride, this year shows an array of diverse events and we look forward to welcoming you, whether it be in a multi-storey car park or at Hilsea Lido.” The Festival’s Director, Erica Smith

To close the ten days of events, the festival is inviting singers and musicians to take part in Portsmouth Calling which will be a mass jam featuring some of the most iconic rock songs of the 20th and 21st Century in the Guildhall Square. This musical extravaganza is set to be one of our largest performance collectives in years.

Other highlights of the festival include a concert celebrating the 70th Anniversary of our City’s twinning with Duisburg, and a top theatre companies Gecko, Wardrobe Ensemble and Pif-Paf Theatre.

Portsmouth Festivities 2020 will run between Friday 12 and Sunday 21 June. Tickets will be on sale from Monday 16 March.

Discover more about events taking place during Portsmouth Festivities 2020 at

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