2019 Marks the 20th Anniversary of the City’s Longest-running Arts Festival

SEED, Pif Paf theatre company’s immersive show will be at Southsea Castle this year

SEED, Pif Paf theatre company’s immersive show will be at Southsea Castle this year

Today is the official launch for the Portsmouth Festivities 2019, Portsmouth’s annual arts and culture festival.

Now in its 20th year, the festival continues to impress with a diverse range of events. From June 14-23, visitors and residents of the city are invited to a 10-day extravaganza — showcasing the best of Portsmouth and the world.

The theme for this year’s festival is TWENTY, which provides the inspiration for the Festival’s centre piece ‘20 Love’, a live multi-arts event on Governor’s Green, Old Portsmouth. This ambitious undertaking brings together film, music, and spoken word poetry. Working with Portsmouth Poetry, Gregg Mosse, The Urban Vocal Group, Egg & Spoon Films, and many talented young writers, the event will produce modern day interpretations of Pablo Neruda’s 20 Love Poems and a Song of Despair.

20 Love also invites the public to submit their own poems on postcards distributed around the city, some of which will be featured in the evening show. 

As well as hosting some of the most innovative work in Portsmouth this Summer, the Portsmouth Festivities are hosting some of the biggest names in the creative arts today. The festival’s guests this year include internationally renowned choirs The Cardinalls’ Musick and the Tenebrae Consort, jazz legend Jason Rebello, and Estonian folk sensation Mari Kalkun. It also boasts a fabulous line-up of speakers including restaurant critic Jay Rayner, science writer Simon Singh, and bestselling author Kate Mosse. 

As Aspex Gallery host Homage, an exhibition of artwork that celebrates the festival’s 20-year history, Hotwalls Studios and Art Space will open their doors to the public during the festival’s run. Portsmouth’s only independent cinema, No.6 Cinema, are honouring classics on film by screening three films in their 20th anniversary this year. SEED, Pif Paf theatre company’s immersive, free show at Southsea Castle is also an event not to be missed. 

Festival Director, Erica Smith, wants the community to make the most of this 10-day offering. She said: “It’s been a joy to programme our landmark anniversary.

“Despite growing year-on-year, 70% of the events remain entirely free, enabling it to reach out to those parts of the community not normally reached by arts events. Here’s to another 20 years!” 

Portsmouth Festivities 2019 will run between Friday 14 and Sunday 23 June. Discover more about events taking place during Portsmouth Festivities 2019 at portsmouthfestivities.co.uk 

Jay Reyner - Ten Food Commands

Jay Reyner - Ten Food Commands

The Cardinall’s Musick will play at Portsmouth Festivities 2019

The Cardinall’s Musick will play at Portsmouth Festivities 2019