As always Portsmouth and Southsea looks set to play host to some amazing events in the coming year. With the ongoing success of Victorious Festival, Portsmouth Festivities, Beach Dubbin, Portsmouth Comic Con, and many more smaller events around the city, 2018 will be hard year of events to beat.
However there’s plenty to look forward to in 2019, events old and new being played out on our vibrant island city — with many events still to be announced over the coming weeks to get excited about.
Here’s the Team Locals rundown of some of the already scheduled events hitting Portsmouth and Southsea over the coming 12-months, 20 so far but much more to add! If you have an event in 2019 you’d like to let us know about then please get in touch with the details.
1. Portsmouth Comic Con
Taking place this year on 4th and 5th May, Portsmouth Comic Con returns and promises to be bigger and better than ever. Last year’s inaugural event was an resounding success and the event saw thousands of attendees enjoying the best of comic, film, TV, and pop culture entertainment on the south coast.
Event organisers are promising to top last 2018’s stellar line up of guests, which included Walt and Louise Simonson, Frank Quitely, Rafael Albuquerque, Shelly Bond and more. Expect plenty of cos play, roll play, exhibitions, steampunk, and plenty more to be announced soon.
Keep up to date with all announcements via the official Portsmouth Comic Con website here: https://portsmouthcomiccon.com/
2. Guildhall Gamesfest
When some of the cities most exciting businesses come together to create and event you just know that it’s going to be special. This year Portsmouth Guildhall have teamed up with Dice board game cafe, retro arcade specialists Game Over, Victorious Festival, and computer company Novatech to bring you a full day of gaming fun.
Taking place on Saturday 2nd February 2019, Guildhall Games Fest will be your one stop event for all things gaming and celebrates more than 40 years of gaming, from Pong and Pac Man to Mario and Minecraft, with an unbeatable selection of board games and retro games consoles on hand. Ages 14 and under must be accompanied by an 18+ adult.
Find out more about Guildhall Games Fest via Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2170126629705267/
3. Icebreaker Festival 2019
The south coast’s biggest unsigned music festival will return to Portsmouth on 25th and 26th January. The event takes place at several locations along Albert Road in Southsea including The Wedgewood Rooms, One Eyed Dog, and the Wine Vaults.
Find out more about the event and book tickets from the event’s website here: https://www.icebreakerfestival.com
4. Stargazing 2019 at Portsmouth historic Dockyard
This popular event takes place on 30th January 2019. The event is free but very popular so booking your place early is advised. Enjoy an evening of astronomy, stargazing, space activities, cosmology chat and talks at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, with activities taking place on board HMS Warrior and in Action Stations.
Join astrophysicists and cosmologists from the University of Portsmouth's Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, navigation experts from Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, amateur astronomers from Hampshire Astronomical Group — exploring navigation through space and time.
During the event you will have the opportunity to take a look through a telescope, learn how sailors navigate by the stars, and find out more about our Universe. Short talks will be given throughout the night on topics within stargazing, cosmology and space.
5. Portsmouth Tattoo Festival 2019
Portsmouth Tattoo Fest returns to the shores of Portsmouth to bring you some of the best tattoo artists from all over the country.
The two day event, taking place on 6th and 7th April 2019, will feature live tattooing from more than 65 world class artists! Plus, there will be a whole host of live music to enjoy throughout the weekend.
Tattoo Competitions will take place featuring Rival Ink, where artists compete at a selected theme of tattoo and have 7 hours to complete the challenge.
Find out more here: https://www.tattoofest.co.uk/
6. Victorious Festival 2019
The south coasts biggest festival will be returning to the city on the weekend of 23rd to the 25th August 2019. The first phase of lineups has already been announced. Friday Night’s first act revealed will be legendary two-tone band The Specials. Kicking off the Saturday will see platinum-selling singer-songwriter James Bay, alongside indie rockers The Hives and The Rifles. Grammy award-winning electro-pop group Clean Bandit and indie heavyweights The Vaccines are lined up for Sunday. More headliners will be announced soon.
Find out more about the event and stay informed of all new acts as they’re announced via the festival website here: https://www.victoriousfestival.co.uk
7. D-Day 75 Commemorations
Although no date has been confirmed by Portsmouth City Council, the Ministry of Defence have indicated that events for D-Day 75 are expected to take place between 5th and 9th of June 2019.
The last major D-Day celebrations took part in Portsmouth for D-Day 70, which saw thousands of people descend on Portsmouth and Southsea to pay their respects. The D-Day 70 events included the Red Arrows, amphibious landing craft displays, veteran parades, and events at various locations around the city. Defiantly one not to be missed!
8. Portsmouth Festivities 2019
Portsmouth’s annual festival is scheduled for the 14th to the 23rd of June 2019. Expect all the usual top music, comedy, arts, and unique events that have made this Festival so special, and a must for visitors and locals to the city.
Portsmouth Festivities host a ten-day programme of artistic and cultural events and you can keep updated with all the latest news via their website here: http://www.portsmouthfestivities.co.uk/
9. Portsmouth Cheese Fest 2019
Date to be confirmed but some time in July 2019. Cheese Fest Uk will return to Portsmouth following two successful years. Experience the cheesiest cheeses in the world with melted raclette, cheese wheels, gooey mozzarella sticks, and a whole host of cheesetastic tastes from the UK’s best cheese traders.
Check out the Cheese Fest website and social media for the latest news and confirmed dates for 2019: https://www.portsmouthcheesefest.co.uk/
10. Beach Dubbin’
One the the highlights of the summer in Portsmouth and Southsea. Hundreds of VWs, retro, and vintage cars will descend on Southsea Common for the return of Beach Dubbin’.
Tagged as the ‘ultimate VW show by the sea’, and after making its debut in 2018, newly established free to attend not for profit charity event Beach Dubbin’ will return on Sunday 4th August.
Find out more via the event page on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/292079161620442/
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11. Big Mouth Comedy Festival
Over the weekend of 1st/2nd and 7th/8th of March 2019, The Big Portsmouth Comedy Festival returns with an even bigger lineup of renowned comedians. Performances include absurdist genius Milton Jones, and one of the finest female comics at work Jo Caulfield. These are just the first names to be announced in what is set to be a fine four days of folly, frivolity, and tomfoolery guaranteed.
Also added to this exciting opening night line-up is Ivo Graham, who with a gauche charm and crafty, self-aware wit is “One of the best young comedians around” said Time Out, who at the age of 18 became the youngest ever winner of the prestigious ‘So you think you’re funny’ award at the Edinburgh Fringe.
With further announcements set to come, you will not want to miss the opening of this four day extravaganza presented by Portsmouth Guildhall and local comedian, actor, and writer, James Alderson.
12. Love Southsea Markets
The ever popular Love Southsea Market will be returning to Palmerston Road, as well as a host of other locations around the city, in 2019. Now it their 10th year of operation, the events company have come along way since their inception. Expect all the favourites that have made Love Southsea Markets a ‘must do’ event in the city, as well as a host of new and unique traders from around Portsmouth and the south coast.
The first 2019 Love Southsea Market in Palmerston Road, Southsea will take place over the weekend of 8th and 9th March.
Find out more about Love Southsea and their events here: https://www.facebook.com/lovesouthseauk/
13. Portsmouth Book Fest
Taking place from Monday 18th February to Sunday 10th March, Portsmouth Book Fest sees a wide range of exciting events presented at a variety of locations across the city. Listen to and meet some of the most exciting authors writing today and try your own hand at writing at one of the many writing workshops on offer.
Find out more here: http://www.portsmouthbookfest.co.uk/
14. Southsea Food Festival 2019
The 2019 date is yet to be confirmed but the event takes place in the month of July.
Tens of thousands of shoppers descend upon the Southsea Shopping district for the annual Southsea Food Festival on Palmerston Road.
100+ street food and drink traders offer up wares and produce ranging from fresh fruit and veg, confectionaries such as sweets and macarons, and beers and IPAs to international dishes like German wurst, Thai curries, and Spanish paella.
Restaurants, bars, and cafés throughout the shopping district are also taking up stalls, along with a stage hosting culinary demonstrations and live acoustic music.
15. Portsmouth International Kite Festival 2019
The weekend of 10th and 11th August 2019 will see the skies above Southsea Common filled with colourful kites in a range of shapes and sizes. The Portsmouth International Kite Festival is a free event, organised by Portsmouth City Council and The Kite Society of Great Britain, and is considered one of the biggest kite festivals in the world.
This year the Festival will be celebrating their 28th year. Find out more about the event via the official website here: http://www.portsmouthkitefestival.org.uk
16. Spinnaker Tower Events Schedule 2019
Portsmouth’s most iconic landmark has a host of events during 2019 — too many for me to list on here! Highlights include Stories from the City, new for 2019 and focusing on fascinating stories from some of the extraordinary places you can see through the Tower’s windows, Valentine’s High Tea, a met and greet with kids favourites Bing and Flop, and more to be announced.
Find and more and keep up to date with all forthcoming Spinnaker Tower events via their website here: https://www.spinnakertower.co.uk/events/
17. Gunwharf Quays schedule of events 2019
Gunwharf Quays never disappoint with their lineup of free events during the year. From Chinese New Year celebrations, acoustic music nights, seafood festivals, school holiday and summer family events, to their larger events including Christmas the centre are always looking to involve the local community.
You can keep up to date with all the latest event developments via their website here: https://gunwharf-quays.com/whats-on/events
18. Portsmouth Pride 2019
Organisers of Portsmouth Pride has confirmed that the event will return in 2019. The official launch party to unveil the date and location will be held on Friday 18th January.
Stay connected with the event’s Facebook page to find out the latest news here: https://www.facebook.com/portsmouthprideuk/
Autumn and Festive Favourites Later in 2019
19. The Great South Run 2019
Hailed as the runners favourite running course due to its scenic route and flat roads, the Great South Run will return to Portsmouth and Southsea on the 20th October 2019.
Starting and finishing on Clarence Esplanade in Southsea, the fast and flat course takes you through Old Portsmouth, home of the Portsmouth Cathedral, before entering the Historic Dockyard. Here you’re granted permission to run past the Royal Navy’s current naval ships, and some of the most famous in the world – including HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose museum.
Find out more and book your space for the 2019 Great South Run here: https://www.greatrun.org/great-south-run
20. Dickens Christmas Festival (formally Victorian Festival of Christmas)
The newly named Dickens Christmas Festival will return to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard between the weekend of 29th November to 1st December 2019.
The festival will see the return of all the family favourites, transporting visitors to a bygone era where colourful characters roam the snow-covered cobbled streets.
You’ll encounter an ever-popular traditional Father Christmas dressed in green, Scrooge in his carry carriage, chimney sweeps, and Victorian magicians and musicians.
Fagin’s Tavern in the Spiegeltent, a bustling Christmas market, and street performers along the snowy lanes — it’ll all be there.
Find out more about the event via the Festival website here: https://www.historicdockyard.co.uk/dickens-christmas