Victorious’ Boost for Portsmouth

Road to Victorious winners, Crystal Tides, perform in 2023.

Victorious is organised by a team of locals who are passionate about Portsmouth and enjoy spreading positivity through their Victorious in the Community arm and charitable contributions. This year saw Victorious in the Community donate over £150,000 to good causes, bringing the total since 2014 to £711,426.53. But it’s not just about the numbers, the team have been using the Victorious in the Community Arm to support their city in other ways too.

As the main sponsor of Portsmouth Pride, Victorious has been able to support the incredible volunteer-run team that delivers the completely free Portsmouth PRIDE event each year. Since joining forces, the Pride team have gone on to win the bid to host UK Pride 2025, a huge achievement for the local Pride Team.

Portsmouth Creates’ We Shine Portsmouth event is also due to return in Winter 2024 with the help of the Victorious workforce. After supporting the last two editions of the event, the Victorious Team are looking forward to getting stuck in!

Billie Coe, Programme Manager at Portsmouth Creates has said; “Both the investment and in-kind support from Victorious Festival has been instrumental in enabling us to deliver We Shine Portsmouth, a free community light and art festival, in both 2021 and 2022 and due to return for winter 2024. Their support is vital in enabling us to provide free cultural provision in areas across the city where access is historically low.”

The festival has continued its mission to showcase the city’s talent. As well as hosting over 1700 slots since 2017 for local artists across its 13 stages, last year they launched the hugely successful Road To Victorious competition for acts in the PO postcode. Crystal Tides were crowned the winners of the ultimate band experience; heading off on a tour bus to play festivals across the UK, free recording time, advice from industry experts and more.

‘‘The Road to Victorious was game-changing. It put us in a place that we had only all dreamt of for years. We’re grateful to everyone who voted for us and the whole team at Victorious for looking after us for the whole journey and making it such an amazing experience’’ – Crystal Tides

Road To Victorious was such a hit, that it’s been re-launched for 2024 with the addition of a slot at a This Feeling showcase, a night that started in London but now showcases in over 42 and a live video session recorded at EARS at the University of Portsmouth.

Similarly to Road to Victorious, the team are also working to support local traders and food businesses. Festival-goers are encouraged to eat like a local at Neighbourhood Eats; an area exclusive for Portsmouth independents with reduced pitch fees and opportunities to win a free pitch. Likewise, Portsmouth Creates area has pop-up huts at subsidised rates for Portsmouth creatives and crafters giving the festival a local feel despite its scale.

2023’s Neighbourhood Eats winner of a free pitch was recently announced as Fries Love thanks to their clear passion for cooking, attention to flavour and making sure their tasty fries and corn dogs are delivered in a convenient and timely manner.

Speaking about Victorious, Fries Love’s business owners Anna and Jack said;

‘‘… Victorious Festival – our first big festival when we started the business. In 2019 Fries Love wasn’t known by anyone, however, Victorious Festival gave us a massive chance and welcomed us to their event. It was an amazing opportunity to start, grow and be recognised by the local community. At the core of Victorious Festival are fantastic people who continuously support small businesses and understand their needs. We are so grateful to be part of this event.’’

Last Summer Victorious’ furthered their collaboration with Tonic Music for Mental Health, a local charity that aligns with Victorious’ values. As well as a financial donation, the charity had a presence on site over the weekend offering support for music industry professionals and the public delivering good mental health services and recovery through music. They also teamed up with Strong Island to create a limited-edition Victorious T-Shirt which sold out during the festival raising further funds for the worthy cause.

Victorious prides itself on trying to be as accessible as possible and believes everyone should be able to experience and enjoy a music festival! Victorious has a longstanding relationship with Attitude Is Everything and has achieved the coveted Gold status in its charter highlighting its commitment to accessibility. Alongside Victorious’ efforts to improve accessibility at the festival, they have also supported local disability charity groups including Gig Buddies, Enable Ability and This New Ground.
This New Ground is an ambitious initiative in the City of Portsmouth that seeks to elevate the artistic voices and talents of people with learning disabilities. They aim to remove barriers and increase access for people with learning disabilities to lead, make and participate in the arts.

Speaking of working with Victorious Festival, Nathalie Russell-Clarke, Co-director of This New Ground has said;

We’re delighted to have the continued support of Victorious Festival. Their recent endorsement of our Inclusive Arts Committee project provided individuals with learning disabilities from Portsmouth with the opportunity to develop leadership skills and actively participate in shaping an inclusive cultural landscape in the city. Victorious Festival’s backing of this project is a demonstration of their commitment to championing diversity and inclusion within our local community. Thank you, Victorious!”

Victorious continues its community work by teaming up with The Literacy Hubs which works with young people in the city to equip them with the literacy skills they need to thrive providing 1:1 support in an inspiring environment.

‘‘Victorious Festival’s generous funding for our hubs is truly transformative. We are so grateful for their contribution, which has enabled us to support even more children across the city! The team at Victorious is incredible, and their commitment to education and community enrichment is outstanding.’’ – Becca Dean, CEO And Founder of The Literacy Hubs.

Supporting underfunded sports teams is also something they’re passionate about. £50k from 2023’s donation pot has been gifted to several local teams including England Women’s Beach Soccer. Sharing the festival site with this trophy-winning yet underfunded GB team made them perfect partners. Last Summer, the team had an onsite presence during the event offering Beach Soccer taster sessions and meet and greets, which were extremely popular and hopefully inspired future generations of players. Victorious also collaborated with the team on a T-shirt sold at the festival raising further funds and awareness for this incredible team.

Victorious continues its efforts as a force for good beyond the festival, making improvements to the city and its community. We can’t wait to see what Victorious in the Community comes up with next with another year of fundraising efforts, generous local donations, and event support ahead, Portsmouth will continue to see its positive impact grow.