From Friday 15th to Sunday 24th June 2018, Portsmouth Festivities host a ten-day programme of artistic and cultural events. This year, Portsmouth Festivities celebrates the theme of ‘FREEDOM’, marking the centenary of women’s suffrage and the 100th birthday of Nelson Mandela. Events will explore ideas of creative freedom in a wide-ranging programme of music, theatre, talks, and film, and so much more.
Here are 12 Portsmouth Festivities 2018 events which are free, and either unticketed or organized on a ticket reservation system due to capacity limits. Enjoy arts, culture, and performance without breaking the bank!
📍 High Street, Old Portsmouth
⏳ June 15th — June 24th
Could you escape from the world's smallest escape room? This year, in partnership with Houdini's Escape, Portsmouth Festivities hope to create a record-breaking event by working with local schools to design and build the world’s smallest escape room! Be part of the world record attempt at book your free time slot online.
Weekly Mini Makers Workshops
📍 Aspex Gallery, Gunwharf Quays
⏳ 20th June, 10:30am
‘Mini Makers’ is a weekly arts workshop for toddlers at Aspex Gallery in Gunwharf Quays — an opportunity for early years to take part in accessible and friendly arts and crafts activities alongside their parent(s) or guardian(s)! Mini Makers takes place on Wednesday 20th June, between 10:30am and 11:30am. No need to book — just turn up and get creative!
Dragon Quest at Southsea Castle
📍 Southsea Castle, on the seafront
⏳ Sunday 24th June, all day
Your once-in-a-lifetime chance for an extraordinary encounter with a Goblin Queen and her huge and ancient dragon! Let go of reality and enter the world of fairytale and myth as you become involved in goblin mischief and are entranced by the enchanting, smoke-breathing, true-to-life dragon. A free, fun, family event taking place on Sunday 24th June, all day.
Hotwalls Open Studios in Old Portsmouth
📍 Hotwalls Studios, Broad Street
⏳ 10am — 4pm, 16th — 24th June
While hopping between various Portsmouth Festivities events, be sure to make time for a visit to the Hotwalls Studios, which will be open to visitors from 10:00am ‘til 4:00pm between 16th June and 24th June 2018. Meet the designers, makers, and artists of the Hotwalls Studios in their exceptional heritage location, view their work, and get an insight into how the studio spaces came to be.
‘Transitions’ — new art by new artists
📍 Jack House Gallery, High Street
⏳ 18th — 23rd June
All under 20, this group of local artists tackles themes ranging from intensely personal life stories to socio-political anger. This is their second Portsmouth exhibition, following involvement in Play Code City in 2017. They return for this, another Portsmouth Festivities event, on display at Jack House Gallery between Monday 18th and Saturday 23rd June. Entry is free and unticketed.
Trumpet Tours at Portsmouth Cathedral
📍 Portsmouth Cathedral
⏳ 18th June, 2:30pm
Enjoy a private tour of Portsmouth Cathedral Organ’s 5,000 pipes, including high-level access to the new Trumpet En Chamades installed in the West Towers in late 2017.
This tour is free and unticketed. Head along for 2:30pm on Monday 18th June.
Rest As Resistance
📍 Becket Hall, Cathedral House
⏳ 21st June from 7:00pm
In a restless world, it can be hard to find peace and freedom from the pressures of life. Explore this theme in a little more depth in a practical workshop offering creative opportunities to reflect.This free unticketed event takes place at Becket Hall in Cathedral House from 7:00pm ‘til 8:30pm on Thursday 21st June.
📍 Portsmouth Cathedral
⏳ 22nd June from 1:10pm
Join Catherine O’Leary (soprano), Emma Sharrock (cello), and Karen Kingsley (piano) for this Lunchtime Live! performance at Portsmouth Cathedral on Friday 22nd June, from 1:10pm ‘til 2:00pm.This Portsmouth Festivities event is free and unticketed — just turn up!
Art Space Open Tours
📍 Art Space Portsmouth
⏳ 23rd/24th June
A wonderful chance to have a look round the amazing organisation that is Art Space Portsmouth, with over 30 artists’ studios and galleries. Look at work, chat with the artists, and even buy work at cheaper studio prices. Head along between 1:00pm and 5:00pm on Saturday 23d and Sunday 24th June. This event is free and no ticket is required.
📍 New Theatre Royal
⏳ 23rd June from 8:00pm
In a digital world where we’re free to express ourselves via technology on a daily basis, are we really more connected? Glitch is an immersive dance performance, exploring disconnection and isolation — being surrounded in a city and yet feeling alone. A smartphone is required for this performance. 18+ only, due to some nudity. Tickets are free, but reservations are required due to capacity limitations. Make yours online.
How the Vote was Won
📍 Kings Theatre, Albert Road
⏳ June 15th ‘til June 22nd
This exhibition celebrates the centenary of women first winning the right to vote in the UK. ‘How the Vote was Won’ runs from 15th June ‘til 22nd June 2018, at the No. 28 Albert Road exhibition space beside Kings Theatre Southsea. Aurora Metro Arts and Media present the wonderful exhibition. It serves as a reminder that women fought long and hard to eventually win the right to have a voice in society and change it for the better. Unticketed!
Young People’s Debate
📍 Portsmouth Grammar School
⏳ 19th June from 4:30pm
Marking Refugee Week, this annual event debates the stance on issues concerning refugees in the UK, forming part of the 2018 programme for Portsmouth Festivities. If your secondary school would like to attend, sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. Places are limited. The debate takes place from 4:30pm in Portsmouth Grammar School’s Sixth Form Centre Café on Tuesday 19th June.