Victorious Festival is so much fun. It’s one of the most chilled festivals I’ve been to, and the fact it’s in Portsmouth (a city) means there are hotels, toilets, bars, restaurants and shops within easy walking distance. Brilliant.
I live in Portsmouth, so it’s even better for me.
The first year I went to Victorious I actually lived about a ten-minute walk from the main gate. It was great. Last year I’d moved about two miles away, still easy. So I went again in 2019, for the hat trick. The only festivals I’ve been to three times each are Glastonbury and Victorious. That says a lot.
Whether you live in Portsmouth or not, Victorious is a great festival to go to and one of my favourites.
– seeking solace from the heat of 2017 up on the hill looking out to the Isle of Wight
7 best things about Victorious Festival
1. Victorious line-up
Victorious Festival has never held back when it comes to their line-up, no exceptions. Victorious 2019 boasted sets from Indie favourites Two Door Cinema Club, Rudimental and 80s legends, New Order.
Not to mention, James Bay, Lewis Capaldi and Clean Bandit. My favourite for 2019 was All Saints, but my favourite in my Victorious history was Stereophonics.
They have such good eclectic line ups, can’t wait to see what Victorious 2021 brings!
2. The Victorious location
Oh we do like to be beside the seaside!
Another fantastic reason to attend, is due to it’s unbeatable Southsea Beach location. A stone’s throw from the sea, Victorious festival is the perfect place to spend your August bank holiday. The Guardian says it’s one of the 6 best beachfront festivals in the UK.
We spent Sunday morning chilling on the beach with a bottle of Prosecco one year. Great way to start a festival!
3. It’s great value for money
Adult day tickets for Victorious start at £35 and weekend camping tickets are £130 – a great price to enjoy your favourite artists!
Check out today’s Victorious ticket prices here.
– Franz Ferdinand were one of the highlights of 2017
4. Victorious is family friendly
Bringing the kids to a music festival can be quite a daunting task, however Victorious offer a designated Kids Arena which includes everything from face painting to Jedi training, there’ll also be appearances from Transformers Bumble Bee, Peppa Pig and the Octonauts cast. Plus, all activities in the Kids Arena are completely free!
Whether you’re a music lover, a foodie or looking for somewhere to take the kids, Victorious boasts a selection things to do for everyone. From an Acoustic Stage, a Champagne bar, the Market Way, Real Ale Village and Kids Arena, you’ll find something for all the family.
5. It boosts the local economy
Victorious boosted the local economy by £10 million last year and the majority of festival goers revealed that they had a more positive view of Portsmouth since attending the festival. I’ve had people on Instagram telling me they want to come back in the future, just to hang out in Southsea.
Seriously, it’s a great location.
6. Victorious is sustainable
Sustainability is a huge topic for festivals. Last year, Victorious revealed that they used 0.23% per litre of fuel (per person, per day), scoring significantly lower than the industry average of 0.58%. They also have an initiative for festivalgoers to pick up cups and sell them back to the festival to afford more one drinks.
I heard one mum telling another that their kid was making a nice little profit from it.
7. It’s a good size for a festival
By this I mean you can get near the front of the stage, without being squashed Glasto style. You can get real close to your favourite acts. The Victorious capacity is now 65,000, meaning about a third of that of Glastonbury.
I was about four rows back at All Saints and had plenty of space. You don’t get that at other UK festivals!
Sleeping at Victorious
There’s camping available although I don’t actually even know where it is, given I live so close. There are loads of hotels and guest houses in Southsea, which I’m sure were all hiking their prices in entrepreneurial / greedy joy. You can stay at the Best Western, Ibis, Premier Inn, Holiday Inn, or look up any of the hotels in Southsea.
You can also stay nearby in Gosport, Hayling Island or Havant, and just get an Uber in (expect a massive surge fare). Or get the train – it’s about a 25-minute walk down to the festival from either Fratton or Portsmouth and Southsea station.
Toilets at Victorious
Have to say, the toilets were dreamy. Fragrant even.
Well, in VIP. Totally worth the upgrade.
I don’t really remember a bad toilet experience throughout the rest of the festival. Although I did have to queue for an exceptional amount of time at one last year. Top tip for you, the toilets in the D Day car park are properly plumbed in and actual, real toilets. Bit of a queue, but worth it.
Also, try the Champagne bar in the castle.
The queueing system
The only thing, only thing, I didn’t like about Victorious was the ridiculous queuing system. They’d installed snakeing barriers so you had to queue round rather than behind, it was stupid. Queuers would lose time in being told they could go and it felt like you were at an airport rather than a festival. See those barriers on the right below, that’s what I’m talking about.
– The calm before the craziness at the main stage
I asked one of the security guys on the Saturday night why they’d installed it, and what was the thinking behind it and he replied (aggressively) “It’s how we queue. Haven’t you ever been to a festival before?”
Errrrr, YES. Never in all my 46 different festivals have I ever seen one that made people queue like this.
If the guy hadn’t been so rude and obviously harassed I would’ve told him aallll about this blog of mine. I can only presume he’d been asked by everyone who’d queued that day.
I’ve since been told that this is how they queue at Reading Festival and Leeds too. Don’t like it.
– Me and Fi loving life in 2017. The fact Victorious is in my home city means I can even do my hair!
I’ve seen some Tweets from people complaining about how long they had to queue but the ones I was in were never longer than five minutes, which kind of made the snakeing all the more annoying as you just had to walk round them to reach the front.
Why make it so difficult?
They did this again in 2019, so it’s obviously working for them. And just to note, the queues at the Castle Stage bar were just insane. Get your drinks before you go in.
If you get your Uber to drop you off on Palmerston Road you can get some nice bar drinks in before you go. I live in Southsea, I know what I’m talking about.
What else is at Victorious?
There’s a lot to discover at Victorious, for such a small festival. You can tell the organisers and curators have really made the effort to make it a cool space too. You can read more in my post on the Coolest Things to Do at Victorious Festival to see what else is at Victorious Festival beyond the main stage.
Sitting up by the Victorious sign was awesome – you could see out to the Isle of Wight on the other side, and over the festival grounds below to the Castle Stage.
It’s a great festival to bring your kids to as you can get tickets for 5-15 year olds for £8, and under 5s for £1. There’s a big kids area and Peppa Pig was the star attraction one year.
There was a whole street of food stalls with anything you could possibly want. I had a craving for falafel so had that in a pita, while most of my friends went to the Pie and Vinyl pop up. Pie and Vinyl is one of the iconic places to eat in Southsea, you can listen to vinyl while eating… wait for it… pie.
How much is Victorious Festival?
- Tickets £35 early bird / £42 last minute
- Cider or beer £🍺 6
- Return train ticket London to Portsmouth £25
- Falafel wrap £5
- Water £2
Should you go to Victorious 2021?
I will absolutely, 100%, all being ok, be there next year, so the answer is a definite yes.
So let me know if you do!
And if you want to see a full Victorious Review from 2018 and 2019, click through to the post!
Wednesday 24th of August 2022
Hey Vicky! Thanks for the fab article, it's my first time going to Victorious this weekend and I can't wait! I've done Glastonbury twice before & as you know they're very lax about bringing in your own alcohol. Do you know if you're allowed to take alcohol into Victorious? I can't seem to find much info online. Thanks!
Wednesday 24th of August 2022
Hi Ally, no worries! Victorious is quite different to Glasto – you'll get frisked on the way in, and your bag will get checked too. I've heard of people burying their alcohol in the bushes in the days leading up to Victorious! It's not easy to get it in unfortunately. Hope you have a great time there!
Monday 30th of August 2021
Will be interesting to read if you attended this years events and if you have read the comments on Facebook ref toilets(lack of them)no checks ref covid and drugs plus massively overpriced food and drinks. I live in Southsea and question how much the ordinary people benefit from the event given the mess and disruption caused every year. I admit I’m in the older age bracket but have attended many festivals (first Reading one RAR Hackney)and witnessed the over commercialisation of festivals including Glastonbury.I’m in favour of festivals generally but appears the organisers this year have taken the money and run from providing the basic necessities required to make the festival an enjoyable experience.
Wednesday 29th of September 2021
@VickyFlipFlop, Hi Vicky Meant to reply but forgot - anyway glad you had a good time particularly on the second day. Lived in Southsea in the 70’s seeing my first punk rocker in 77 walking down Palmerston Rd with shocking blue hair and Mohican cut- a different scene back then. Interesting coming back to live here (moved back 2013) glad to see a new generation making their mark and hope that the council has the foresight to support the cultural and arts to make the city an even more interesting and vibrant city to live in.
Monday 30th of August 2021
Hi James, yes, I went this weekend. The queues for food and toilets were outrageous on Saturday, I agree. Really not fair on the customers. They also need some at the Common Stage. And yes, agree it's expensive too. I still really like the festival and Sunday was much, much better. I had a brilliant weekend. I also live in Southsea and can totally see it'd be annoying for any residents not going to the festival. As we left we realised how LOUD it was for all the flats around. I really hope they will listen to the comments on FB and provide more toilets next year, and sell less tickets to avoid that situation.
Tuesday 4th of February 2020
Hi, This festival sounds much better value than Latitude which is near whereI live. I went to it last year and found it such an expensive Festival and a bit pretencious considering the line up Victourious has had. I used to live in Pompey and Gosport when I served in the Navy and went back to see it last year. What a fantastic buzz the place has and really modern compared to 20 odd years ago. The great thing about this location at Southsea is that it is fantastically equipped for eating, drinking and sight seeing. I will be buying my tickets asap.
Wednesday 5th of February 2020
The Saturday line up looks really good this year too. I went to Latitude in 2014 and had a brilliant time – the line up was so good. It's never looked as good since though and I've never felt the need to go back. I know what you mean about festivals being pretentious. I went to a 90s festival in the midlands last year and it made me realise how ridiculous and elitist some of the other ones are – Wilderness comes to mind! Yeah Southsea location is impossible to beat. I'll be there on Saturday!