The first weekend of July this year saw Ports Fest return to the city in the form of a three-day festival, comprising mainly of outdoor and free events to suit the current climate. Highlights included the face of the 2021 sea shanty revival, The Longest Johns, who headlined the opening concert on Friday night, and a splendidly engaging talk given specifically for Portsmouth schools by former children’s laureate Michael Rosen.
The long weekend also featured the work of many local artists, with several exhibitions and ‘open studio’ events taking place around the city, from Art Space Portsmouth, Aspex Portsmouth to Hotwalls Studios, Alice Hume’s Interactive Weaves and Portsmouth Cathedral being home to the Portsmouth Our Place exhibition. Saturday evenings show featured Duncan Sandilands who belted out the very best musical numbers alongside some of the best talent in Portsmouth.
Ports Fest hosted many workshops and performance opportunities for young people, perhaps most notably a collaboration between the London Mozart Players and various Portsmouth school choirs at the final sold-out concert on Sunday night.
The festival revolved around the theme ‘Remember, Reimagine, Reset’, and the events accordingly engaged with issues from protecting ocean wildlife with a performance by Circo Rum Ba Ba and their 50ft inflatable whale in the Guildhall Square, to remembering experiences of the pandemic through a multitude of art across the City.
Erica Smith the Festival Director “This year’s Ports Fest felt very different in lots of ways, but the vibe was incredibly powerful. We have had some amazing feedback about our events this year and so many people saying it is the first time they have been able to see live performance in so long. I am incredibly happy that we were able to go ahead and that’s with great thanks to our sponsors and partners who have supported us this year”.
Ports Fest 2022 will run between 30th June to 3rd July 2022.
Find out more about our ongoing vision at portsfest.co.uk.