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Victorious Festival 2014

Like many, I loved the Dockyards as a venue and was excited to see how Victorious would look in it’s new home on Southsea Seafront. Victorious Festival 2014 surpassed all my expectations, it has evolved into a far superior event that will rival all others in the South of England.

The site looked impressive with two large stages situated on Castle Field and the Southsea Bandstand. Just north situated around Southsea Skate Park were the Silent Disco, Beer Festival and it was great to see so many market stalls selling a whole variety of different crafts, fashion and gifts from local artists and vendors.

My one regret of the weekend is the amount of things I missed, this wasn’t for the want of trying, there was simply so much great stuff going on.

On Saturday afternoon friends and I camped out at the Castle Stage underneath the most photographed sight of the past five days, the Victorious sign at the top of the hill. While enjoying a few ciders I was treated to a bit of a throw back to my college days with Sophie Ellis Bextor and Razorlight. The highlight of the day was unquestionably Dizzie Rascal. He had the whole crowd bouncing and it was a great way to end day one. If only it did end there for me though!

On Sunday morning I woke up with after very little sleep and with a slightly sore head. Never the less I was determined to get back down the seafront to catch some of the amazing music on offer.

Early in the afternoon The Day of the Rabblement amassed a bit of a crowd at the Pie & Vinyl Tent which was situated amongst the market stalls. After some food and a bimble round the arts area, some of my favourite local bands then took over the Seaside Stage. Blackfoot Circle, Burning Beaches and Kassassin Street all entertained large crowds, and by the way they were dancing around; the crowd were enjoying what they were hearing.

Next on stage were Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip. They must have had the largest crowd of the day so far, and the Essex pair had most of them jumping up and down to their unique blend of Hip Hop and Electro beats.

The band I was most looking forward to was easily British Sea Power, and they didn’t disappoint! As dusk was settling in, the band treated us to hits including ‘Carrion’, ‘Machineries of Joy’ and ‘Remember Me’. You could see some of the more die hard British Sea Power fans had even brought their own tree branches to wave in the air.

As a flood of people passed me coming into the Seaside Stage for Ocean Colour Scene, I made my way over to the Castle Stage to check out another of my musical heroes, Seasick Steve. With a host of home made instruments in tow, he put on a typically great show and got a great reception from the crowd. To say I was jealous of my Strong Island colleagues watching in back stage would be an understatement. I know how hard they were worked on our stall over the weekend so I can’t begrudge them that treat! Obviously it would be criminal not to compliment the closing DJ set of the festival by 2manyDJs, a large crowd were not put off by the incoming rain and they were witness to another top performance by the Belgian duo.

I don’t think I was alone in using Monday as a day of recovery, however I still couldn’t quite shift that feeling that I wanted to do it all over again. Although perhaps not in that rain! Special mention has to go to the group of friends who made it such a fun weekend. it was the perfect way to make me forget about my imminent birthday and turning yet another year older.

It’s great to hear that the overwhelming majority shared my positive views and experiences. Everyone I encountered was in high spirits and was having a great time. I’m proud of everyone I know who were involved, the boys and girls done good, very good! I hope the staff involved had a chance to enjoy it as much as we all did. They have thrown an event which all of Portsmouth can be proud of!

Be sure to keep and eye out on our Strong Island and Victorious Festival‘s Facebook pages to see some of the amazing photo’s. I’ve had a sneak peak of what the photography team have produced and it looks great!

Photos below are by Matt Ankers, Tom Langford and Todd Lawton

TomLangford_CrowdGirl_230814

Todd Lawton Victorious

Todd Lawton

Todd Lawton Victorious

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Sub Focus - Victorious Festival 23/08/14

Dizee Rascal - Victorious Festival 23/08/14

British Sea Power at Victorious by Matt Ankers

Victorious Todd Lawton

Tristan Savage

Victorious Festival Competition | Win Two Sunday Tickets

The team behind Victorious Festival have kindly donated two tickets for next Sundays festivities. All you had to do was answer to the following questions.

Q. What artist appearing at Victorious did I dress up as at Bestival?
A. Seasick Steve
Q. Name the former Southsea resident who is now the bassist for London based band Felt Tip?
A. Jade Spranklen
Q. Which Brit Award winning artist appearing at Victorious is from Chichester?
A. Tom Odell

Congratulations goes to the lucky winner Jamie Horn.

Saturday is now a sell out but there are a few tickets left for Sunday so get in there quick! You can purchase adult day tickets for £20 from the website HERE, or directly at Little Johnny Russells or either of the Belle Isle restaurants. Kids tickets cost £6 but those under the age of five can enter the festival for FREE, but still require a ticket.

You can stay up to date on all things Victorious via Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

Victorious Festival 2014

Victorious Festival Competition | Win Two Sunday Tickets

The team behind Victorious Festival have kindly donated two tickets for next Sundays festivities. This is a great chance for you and a plus one to see the likes of Seasick Steve, British Sea Power, The Southsea Alternative Choir, Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip and tons of other awesome artists.

The event is more than just a music festival, there will be lots going on in the Kids Arena as well a Real Ale Festival featuring many local breweries. For the weekend local seafront attractions will be FREE, these include Southsea Castle, Blue Reef Aquarium, D-Day Museum and Southsea Skate Park.

If you would like to win the tickets, then all you need to do is email stuart@strong-island.co.uk with your answers to the following questions. Because I am a nice guy I’ll give you a clue, some of the answers can be found in our Strong Island Victorious Festival Previews.

1) What artist appearing at Victorious did I dress up as at Bestival?
2) Name the former Southsea resident who is now the bassist for London based band Felt Tip?
3) Which Brit Award winning artist appearing at Victorious is from Chichester?

The deadline to enter the competition is midnight on Thursday, with the winners to be announced on Friday morning.

Victorious James White
Photo by James White

If you don’t want to risk missing out then you can purchase adult day tickets for £20 from the website HERE, or directly at Little Johnny Russells or either of the Belle Isle restaurants. Kids tickets cost £6 but those under the age of five can enter the festival for FREE.

You can stay up to date on all things Victorious via Facebook and Twitter @VictoriousFest, or by signing up to the mailing list HERE.

Victorious Festival 2014

Southsea Night Markets

Local creatives Tom West and Georgina Giles have been running through August a series of events to promote artists using the space on the prom to sell their work. These Southsea Night Markets take place every Friday in August, 4pm to 8pm and have stalls from lots of local artists, designers, crafters, photographers and more.

To find out more information visit HERE.

Poster below for the event is by Kendal James, photos from previous events are by Matt Cleveland.

Southsea Night Markets














Sketch Crawl

I am genuinely pleased to see how strong and vibrant our creative community is becoming. It always seems to be shifting and growing in such a natural way. There seems to be more and more ways in which we can all participate. So when I got an invite to join ‘Sketch Crawl’ I again was reminded of how awesome our community is for its DIY and ‘all welcome’ attitude.

Sketch Crawl was created by local water colourist and urban sketcher Chris Webb.

Our first group sketch crawl. Meet at Manna Tea Rooms for a coffee or cup of tea then we shall move across the road to the Cathedral and then down to the Old Spice Island. Bring sketch/watercolour pad, pens, pencils and water for travel paints and finally refreshments and a portable seat or towel to sit on.

So come along on Saturday 16th August 2-5pm and meet at Manna Tearooms, 39 High Street, Old Portsmouth. All abilities are welcome and you can join the Facebook event for Sketch Crawl here.

Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers

Last week’s Southsea Comedy Festival was a huge success, bringing international and national stand up comedy stars to Southsea Common and audiences packed with local people. Local photographer and friend of Strong Island Matt Ankers was in the big tent and backstage with his camera to capture the atmosphere of this new event and major highlight of the summer calendar in the city. You can read our review of the festival by Stu HERE.

Check some of Matt’s photos below and over on our Facebook page for more plus be sure to take a few moments to check out Matt’s awesome photography over on his website: Matt Ankers.

Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (1)

Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (2)
Adam Hills
Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (3)
Russell Kane
Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (4)
Russell Kane
Marcus Brigstocke
Marcus Brigstocke
Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (5)
Dana Alexander
Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (6)

Southsea Comedy Festival Photos by Matt Ankers (7)
Russell Kane

Declaration of War at Portsmouth Guildhall Square Tonight

As you are no doubt aware, today is exactly 100 years since the outbreak of the Great War, as part of the events remembering this centenary in Portsmouth there is Declaration of War, starting this afternoon and running until late at Portsmouth Guildhall Square.

From 6.30pm to 9pm the Big Screen will be showing live coverage of the commemorations from the St Symphorien Military Cemetery in Belgium, where British, Commonwealth and German soldiers are buried alongside each other. Poems and testimonies will be read by serving British and German soldiers as musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic perform together to mark the occasion with British and German music.

At 9pm, the Big Screen will be showcasing the Portsmouth Festivities ‘FACES’ film, depicting life in Portsmouth on the eve of the First World War, retold by current residents of the city through the diaries and letters of residents from a century ago.

From 10pm a narrator will guide the audience through the events that led to the outbreak of the First World War and the impact on the city and the residents who lived here. Themed readings, music, extracts from war diaries and poetry will help to retell the story and provide a context to the event.

From 10.30pm a candlelight vigil will be held as a moment for the current residents of Portsmouth to reflect on the events a hundred years ago and to pay their respect to the lost generation that never returned. The candles will then be extinguished as part of the nationwide ‘Lights Out’ initiative whereby we will be joining in with other villages, towns, cities and communities across the UK in marking the Centenary by the lights being turned off and candles being extinguished. A single candle will remain lit as a focus for reflection.

At 11pm the Declaration of War transcript will be read out, signalling that war has been declared. The remaining candle is extinguished to reflect the famous words of Sir Edward Grey, Foreign Secretary: ‘The Lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime’. War Bells are rung out across the city and Royal Navy vessels sound a siren ringing in the war. A bugler will play the Last Post followed by a two minutes silence.

Reflecting the events that happened in London on the outbreak of the war, the National Anthem will be played. At first there was much excitement at the prospect of a war with thousands signing up across the country, many from Portsmouth. The evening reflects this with uplifting music of the period.

At 11.20pm a telegram was sent to forces across the British Empire confirming that Britain and her Empire were now at war: ‘WAR. GERMANY. ACT’. The tone of the event takes a more sombre tone as the true picture of war becomes uncovered, portrayed through some of the poetry of the First World War: ‘Dulce et decorum est’ by Wilfred Owen and ‘In Flanders Field’ by John McCrae, whilst a WW1 Ambulance enters the square symbolising the true cost of the war that follows. The evening ends with the famous poem ‘For the Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon, followed by the bugler playing the Last Post and the names of those who were killed, continue to be shown on the Big Screens.

Throughout the evening, a particular focus for the event will be remembering Portsmouth’s sons who were killed during the First World War. This event is dedicated to the 5,988 who didn’t come back to our city, their home. Their names will be shown on the Big Screen during the event as the residents of Portsmouth, today, pay respect to them, of yesterday – a lost generation. Members of the public will also be invited to write a personal message on a cut-out of a First World War soldier.

This is a free event and no tickets are required. Bring a chair, a blanket and wear warm clothes.

Declaration of War at Portsmouth Guildhall Square Tonight

Read Rees book launch at Blackwell’s

Literature lovers can head down to Blackwell’s bookshop this Saturday for the Portsmouth launch of Read Rees, the long-awaited new book by local author Gareth Rees.

Read Rees contains stories of war, theology, blackberry crumble and the oppression of cleaning staff. ‘Forty years’ wanderlust, menial labour and mindful rebellion.’

A graduate of the University of Portsmouth (UoP), Gareth has written for The Guardian, The Contemporary Review and the award-winning No Such Thing as a Free Ride? series of travel anthologies.

Read Rees is published by 137 Albion Road Books, a project involving another UoP alumnus, the photographer and writer Alexander Sebley, and Tom Sykes, Lecturer in Creative Writing at UoP and regular contributor to the New African magazine.

At the launch there will be readings plus a Q&A with Gareth. Copies of the book will be on sale priced £6.

Summery snacks and drinks will be served.

The launch is in association with the School of Media and Performing Arts at the University of Portsmouth.

7pm, 2nd August, Blackwell’s bookshop, Cambridge Road, Portsmouth.

Writer Gareth Rees

Southsea Comedy Festival

Wow! So I’ve just got home from an amazing night of comedy on Southsea Common. A lot of laughs were had by all, and it was great to see such a good crowd turn out for the very first Southsea Comedy Festival.

The sun was shining bright as the crowd entered the festival site. I managed to arrive early enough to enjoy some sunshine and an ale from our friends Kings Street Tavern. I ventured into the comedy tent to see local compere James Alderson greet the crowd and introduce Larry Dean. I didn’t know very much about Dean before tonight but I quickly became a fan. I’m sure we will see much more of him in the future.

After a brief interval, 8:30pm rolled around and it was time for Alderson to introduce the headline act, Mr Eddie Izzard. When Izzard walked on stage the crowd gave him a huge round of applause, what a welcoming bunch we are! In return he put on a very funny show, covering obscure topics such as French speaking kings of England, how to improve dressage and the Lord of the Rings. He even handled the departure and arrival of a noisy Hovercraft like a pro! I wouldn’t want to risk any spoilers before Friday evenings performance but you are in for a treat. If you don’t have a ticket then I urge you to check out the Comedy Festival website to pick up and of the remaining tickets (if there are any?). It was that good that I will be going back tonight to see it again.

Southsea Comedy Festival is part of the build up to tomorrows Southsea Show which is also being held on Southsea Common.

You can follow the Southsea Comedy Festival on Twitter @SouthseaComedy and the Southsea Show @SouthseaShow.

Southsea Comedy Festival

Southsea Comedy Festival

Eddie Izzard Southsea Comedy Festival Logo

The Southsea Show Competition Winners

The Southsea Show returns next weekend. If you’ve been passed Southsea Common you will have seen the tents and marquee’s going up in preparation. It looks like this years event is going to be even bigger and better than last years!

The Southsea Show team have kindly donated two sets of family tickets to give away, so thats two adults and two children. These tickets can be redeemed on a day of your choosing. All you had to do to win this prize is answer the following question…

Hampshire based Batala Portsmouth are a local samba band playing authentic Afro Brazilian Samba Reggae music. They are returning this year and can be found performing on Sunday 3rd August. What three colours make up their uniforms?

The answer was of course Red, White and Black. The two lucky winners are Jean-Philippe Soulie and Nathan Jones.

Tickets for the event are £8 or £5 for concessions and are available on the website HERE. You can follow all things Southsea Show on their Facebook and Twitter @SouthseaShow.

Southsea Show 2014

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Southsea Common Barbecue Zones

I’m sure a lot of you enjoyed the fantastic weather this weekend and many of you no doubt had a barbecue on The Common. I was out of town on Saturday but heard it was seriously busy down the seafront. A few of us had a BBQ on Sunday and we’re approached by some council officials regarding our position. They were very polite and let us carry on as we were already cooking and handed us some details of all the new zones.

Unfortunately the new zones now means hundreds of people are going to be packed in to single areas. The main common by the War Memorial will be extremely busy over the summer. More so than usual for sure. I fully back having these zones in place, but feel I’ll no longer be going to the common for BBQs if I can help it as they have made a lot of areas no go zones. It was always more appealing when you could spread out from other groups.

Hidden Treasures

Steve Bomford gave us the heads up on this wonderful short film made up of old film footage, from the 50s to the 70s, filmed around Portsmouth and Southsea. If you like looking at some vintage Portsmouth and Southsea you will love this (really interesting to see the Guildhall before it was pedestrianised and the buildings were demolished for the council offices).

Nike Football’s ‘Risk Everything’ by Portsmouth Studio ilovedust – Exclusive Interview

In the last few weeks Nike launched ‘Risk Everything’ their new football marketing campaign that features the England football team as well as other players from all around the world including Cristiano Ronaldo & Neymar Jr. Risk Everything also includes the new England kit for the 2014 World Cup with striking imagery of the players and the three lions. The artwork & branding of this vast, international marketing campaign by one of the largest brands in the World was created by Portsmouth’s very own award winning ilovedust design studio, located at the heart of the city. Established in 2003 the company and design team have grown dramatically, working with international brands as well as on local projects. Strong Island caught up with ilovedust’s Matt Howarth, senior designer, and found out more about ILD’s involvement with Nike’s Risk Everything:

ilovedust has been working with Nike for some time, can you give us a quick history of how you hooked up with them initially? Some of the past projects with them that you guys have been particularly stoked on?

We’ve been working for Nike for the last 7 years, it all started off with an illustration for a Jordan x Levis 501 project back when we were a small 4 man studio, i guess we did a pretty good job and the word spread internally at Nike world headquarters that ilovedust knew their shit! Since then we’ve grown our relationship year on year and been lucky enough to meet some inspiring people and work on some great projects along the way.

Can you give us some background on when and how you guys got involved in the England World Cup promotional branding and Risk Everything?

The initial brief for the “Risk Everything” campaign came from advertising agent Wieden & Kennady (W+K) in Portland, Oregon, over the years we have a made a few friends there and they emailed us way back in September saying they’ve got the perfect project for us! The project became so big that we ended up working directly with the Nike Football department directly.

Nike Football's 'Risk Everything' by Portsmouth Studio ilovedust

From what has been released already I’ve seen the mural on the Southbank of Jack Wilshire & Wayne Rooney the backdrop for the England team for their World Cup kit, retail displays and more, it is clearly a huge project, can you break down what is involved in a project of this scale?

Oh god… where to start!! Initially W+K briefed us to create illustrations for their 5 top footballers to be used in a print campaign (these will released in a couple of weeks), then Nike Football tasked us with creating illustrations for 7 different countries which Nike will be sponsoring at the World Cup, these would be used online and across retail destinations in each of the 7 countries. Since all of these have been completed we’ve been contacted by W+K London, Amsterdam, Rio and Tokyo for additional illustrations, this is where the Wayne Rooney/Jack Wilshere piece comes in to play, curated by W+K London and currently on display on the Southbank.

Nike Football's 'Risk Everything' by Portsmouth Studio ilovedust (5)

With Risk Everything you guys have stamped your distinct signature style all over it, what level of creative control do Dust and the team have in the collaboration with Nike?

When the brief came in it referenced a lot of our work, the client had a distinct idea of what they wanted, we took it, run with it, and made it better. Luckily we have good, open relationships with our clients, and we know a thing or two about football, so they trusted us.

As well as having your main studio in Portsmouth you have a studio in Portland, working with a brand the size of Nike and a project of this scale have there been practical issues with working with a brand on the other side of the World? Advantages?

We’ve visited Nike HQ 3 times during this project and our small studio in Portland has allowed us to work on the project in real time with the clients. We’re used to being 8 hours ahead of them everyday, and working until midnight is not uncommon, so being able to work and get feedback instantaneously was a real advantage.

Nike Football's 'Risk Everything' by Portsmouth Studio ilovedust (1)

The ilovedust lion is the striking backdrop for the England team in the new Nike kit in the run up to the World Cup, what design constraints did you experience (if any) with working with essentially a national sporting icon? Were the FA involved in sign-off?

This project was a fun one to work on with hardly any design restraints, and as far as we know The FA were not involved in sign-off, but as with all Nike work it had to go through legal checks, we we’re pretty safe with the 3 lions.

The lion and associated artwork are already gracing huge sports retailers’ windows plus on TV adverts, how does if feel seeing your work on this level in the UK?

It’s always nice to see months of hard work pay off when it’s released to the world – a bit surreal to see it in shop windows in your hometown!

Nike Football's 'Risk Everything' by Portsmouth Studio ilovedust

I’m assuming there is still much more to come in the run up to June and the World Cup? Will you guys be getting out to Rio?

Yes, lots more to come. The “Risk Everything” campaign will run beyond the World Cup and into next season so we have started to work on a different style of illustration for Europe’s top clubs; Barca, Man Utd, PSG, Juventus etc etc

ILD is home to some die hard Portsmouth FC fans, ever think about what you could do in regards to the club in respect to design? Maybe a new kit for 2014/2015 season?

Ha, the current kit’s not too bad but i’m sure we could improve it if given the chance!

Without letting too many cats out of the bag, what other projects are you guys working on for 2014?

Some very cool projects in the pipeline, one for Pepsi which is also World Cup related, we’re continuing to work with Microsoft for the launch of Xbox One’s Sunset Overdrive computer game in 2015, hmmm what else… lots more Nike that’s for sure, a few bits for Red Bull and a couple of top secret projects which you’ll have to wait for… sorry!

The Risk Everything artwork continues to roll out through the press and on TV, below are some images of the artwork already in the wild, be sure to keep up with the ILD website, blog, Twitter, Instagram & Behance to see more.

Nike Football's 'Risk Everything' by Portsmouth Studio ilovedust (3)

Nike Football's 'Risk Everything' by Portsmouth Studio ilovedust (4)

Big Rave Night

Clearly ‘that top group from Portsmouth The Parkas’ used to rave hard at the licensed bar The Drill Hall in Camberley back in ’67. Awesome stuff for sure.

Flyer Seen : Pompey Pop Pix

Seafront Lights: Adam Wintle

Southsea web designer and photographer Adam Wintle has recently been taking some really nice photos of the Southsea promenade lights and of the pier at night. Be sure to look through his Flickr for loads more great photos.

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