Gig Addict Speaks To Victorious Festival Organiser, Andy Marsh

Victorious Festival is held in the spectacular seaside location of Southsea, Portsmouth, overlooking the Solent. Happening August bank holiday weekend, Friday 25 August – Sunday 27 August.

Victorious is an amazing family friendly experience with live acts, a free kid’s arena, bustling markets, real ale, real food and an atmosphere not to be missed.

Highlights on the line up include headliners Stereophonics, Madness and Elbowas well as Jake Bugg, Franz Ferdinand, Maximo Park, Slaves, The Dandy Warhols, Band of Skulls and Jesus and Mary Chain. Having also just added Turin Brakes, Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Will Joseph Cook, Slow Readers Club,  Shy FX and frequent collaborator Stamina MC. 

We got the opportunity to fire some questions off to Victorious Organiser, Andy Marsh. He talks about the roots of the festival, the new opening night, securing headliners and more.

For people who haven’t been before how would you sum up Victorious?

The best value for money family festival in the country! Big names, tones of attractions, something for everyone and an amazing atmosphere all set to the stunning backdrop of the Solent!

Where did the roots of the festival come from? Did running Little Johnny Russell’s help in starting the event?

The event started in the historical dockyard, hence the name ‘Victorious’ (from Nelson’s famous ship, the Victory) which we quickly outgrew and moved to the seafront. We had previously booked DJs and bands for Little Johnny Russell’s, which was definitely help. The bars good name also helped with marketing the first few years.

Victorious this year very much seems to fall in-between a metropolitan event and fully-fledged festival with offsite camping available. Would Victorious ever evolve into a fully-fledged camping weekend festival or do you want to keep the metropolitan element? What are your plans for future expansion?

Victorious festival is so unique in its layout being so close to the city, which we love! We will keep growing and adding new ideas to the event but I think the metropolitan element adds a different aspect to most festivals and also helps drive tourism into the city.

You have decided to add an opening night, is that a response from the demand for tickets?

We love the idea of growing the festival organically! Every year we have added something new like last year’s world music arena, all without impacting the ticket price. This year the next logical step seemed to be to add an opening party, partly in response to the demand of tickets and partly to give some of the site a good road test!

With pop acts in the form of Olly Murs and Rita Ora on the second stage as alternatives to the staple indie/rock bands, is it something you consciously consider when creating the Victorious line-ups? With the event having a focus on being family friendly, as well as the Kids area and Happy’s Circus, do book acts with a whole family in mind?

We book acts that we think fits the family-friendly ethos, something for everyone, familiar names but also new things to discover and be entertained by. In previous years we struggled to attract any big names to play the festival but I think Victorious is slowly getting a good name for itself and bands are now asking to play!

We always appreciate a festival that offers real ale, craft beers and alternatives to the everyday commercial lagers and ciders. Do you find there is a demand for this at festivals and events now? 

Working in the hospitality industry for the last few years has really shown that people now expect a very high standard of food and drink offering, which is definitely crossing into the event market! People expect more choice and good quality, which we are happy to provide. There are some fantastic local breweries and street food traders that add to the atmosphere of the event.

Has it been difficult to secure the bigger names acts in the past when going up against the likes of Live Nation/Festival Republic and IOW Festival?

In the past it has always been hard to convince acts to Perform at Victorious and obviously the big players get first choice. Luckily we are a family festival with growing reputation and there are enough acts out there. It is always flattering when bands have to check with the likes of IOW or Reading to see if our show is possible!

What’s been your musical highlight from the past 5 years? 

One of our team got to dress as a caterpillar and dance on the main stage during The Flaming Lips headline set, which was great! Noel Gallagher and the 60,000 strong crowd singing Champagne Supernova was pretty special!

What are you looking forward to at this year’s event?

We have a couple of new areas at the festival this year, which is always exciting. Musically speaking Slaves are always good for a live show,

Dandy Warhols are flying in especially which is great and of course Elbow closing on the Sunday night.

With early bird tickets still available at an unbeatable £30 for Friday and £37 Saturday / Sunday, Victorious Festival remains the most fun for the family available for the price. All Victorious Festival event tickets are day tickets. You will require a separate ticket for each day that you wish to attend.

The Friday Night Opening Party opens at 6pm and closes at 11pm. On Saturday and Sunday the event opens and 10am and closes at 11pm both days.