10 days of arts, culture and heritage for all, across 30 unique locations.
Located on the South Coast of England,the waterfront city of Portsmouth provides a backdrop for ten days of some of the summer’s most diverse, exciting arts and cultural experiences. With a great destination and a fantastic programme, why not plan a visit to Portsmouth and Southsea during the festivities?
The theme for this year’s festival is PLAY with an interactive city-wide experience, PLAY CODE CITY. Combining over 100 events in the main programme, PLAY CODE CITY, offers participants a multitude of extra FREE live performances and events. Join the game, find the happenings, and collect the codes; uncovering interactions with game characters, performers and installations in locations throughout the city.
With so many events to choose from, here’s just a taste of what’s on offer. Download the full programme from the website.
- Opening Gala Concert: The Maggini Quartet featuring Peter Donohoe, 16 June 8pm to 9.45pm
Performing works by Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, and Whitacre, the evening features Peter Donohoe, acclaimed as one of the foremost pianists of our time and the Maggini Quartet, one of the finest British string quartets who’ve twice nominated for Grammy Awards.
- Everything comes from the Egg: 16- 18 and 21-25 June 11.00am–4.00pm
Stephen Turner’s Exbury Egg was created on the Exbury Estate as a studio/home/resource for the artist. The wooden structure will be at Gunwharf Quays’ Quayside Canal and the accompanying exhibition detailing Turner’s journey will be on display at Aspex Gallery.
- Playing Live on Albert Road: A guided walking tour, 17 June 7pm-9.15pm.
A guided walk like no other, taking in the sounds of Southsea through performances by local musicians in unusual Albert Road venues, starting at the Kings Theatre.
- Hotwalls Studios: Open Studios 17-18 and 24 – 25 June 10.00am–4.00pm
Artists and designer-makers work together in an exceptional heritage location, to start and grow their creative venture. The Open Studios event is a great opportunity to view the work of each studio and meet the designer-makers and artists.
- The Incredible Moving Picture House: 17 June 11.00am–10:00pm
No.6 Cinema is emerging from behind the dockyard wall and taking the show on the road! The Incredible Moving Picturehouse will be located on Southsea Common (it’s huge so you won’t miss it). Four screenings throughout the day, provides something for everyone.
- The Spice Box: 18 June, various sessions from 11am-3pm. Free (suitable for families)
A riotous, interactive performance based on Tudor life and the spice trade. This one-woman show surrounds a Lady’s Spice Box: an interactive box with wings and doors, puppets and pirate ships who capture people in a world where spices are worth more than gold!
- Playpower:The 1960s Counterculture and the Summer of Love, 20 June
This marks the 50th anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival and ‘Summer of Love’. Bruce Barthol performed at Monterey with Country Joe & the Fish. The other events/acts offer a local perspective; the title comes from the underground magazine Oz. Entry by a tube of
Love Hearts if you believed or Humbugs if you didn’t, which will be donated to a children’s charity. Includes: Autumn of Love Book Launch, Nigel Grundy – Film Launch Portsmouth
1960s Documentary, Portsmouth Music Experience, New Exhibitions about 1967, Q&A with Bruce Barthol (Monterey Pop, San Francisco), Scarlet Town, Bruce Barthol.
- Sherlock Holmes: ‘Playing the Game’ 20th June 7pm-8pm. Free ( Limited capacity – book) Michael Gunton will explore how ‘the game was afoot’ with each new case for Sherlock
Holmes, and look at how fans now ‘play the game’
- Speakers Day: 22 June.
Various speakers: Diana Darke – My House in Damascus: An Inside View of the Syrian Crisis; Adrian Tinniswood – The Long Weekend: Life in the English Country House between the Wars; Andrew Lownie – Stalin’s Englishman; Dermot Turing – Alan Turing Decoded; Denis MacShane vs Peter Hitchens – ‘Is the EU like the Hotel California? You can check out, but you can never leave?’; Peter Clark – Walking with Charles Dickens.
- Savitri Grier: 22 June
Selected by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT), Savitri made her debut at Carnegie’s Weill Hall. Accompanied by Richard Uttley, Savitri will perform works by Mozart, Brahms, Benjamin, and Enesco.
- Double Bill Night:Martha and the Vandellas and Mary Wilson from the Supremes, 23 June
For one night only Martha Reeves and the Vandellas will be performing with Mary Wilson
at Portsmouth Guildhall. Mary Wilson is best known as one of the world’s most famous female trio, The Supremes. Martha Reeves is a Motown treasure.
- Wayne Marshall: Pre-concert talk and Concert, 24 June
British conductor, organist, pianist and Chief Conductor of WDR Funkhausorchester Cologne, and Organist and Associate Artist of the Bridgewater Hall. He is a celebrated and award-winning interpreter of Gershwin, Bernstein, and other 20th century American composers.
- TALISK: 24 June
Winners of the 2015 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, TALISK are one of the fastest rising bands on the British folk scene. Mohsen Amini (concertina), Hayley Keenan (fiddle), and Craig Irving (guitar), create a captivating, energetic, and dynamic sound.
So much to see and do, you’re spoilt for choice… and there’s plenty of cultural experiences on offer throughout the year with Friday nights at the Wedge Comedy Club and a sizzling summer of FREE live music, with an array of styles and genres, at the Bandstand from 27th May to 13 August (1-4pm). Choose from a varied programme at The Kings Theatre, New Theatre Royal, The Groundings Theatre and Portsmouth Guildhall.