At the Square Tower, Portsmouth Festivities announced its programme and unveiled a new form of eventing in the City of Portsmouth.

From Friday 16 to Sunday 25 June, Portsmouth Festivities plays host to one of the most vibrant summer festivals on the south coast:
· over 100 dazzling and diverse events across the city
· internationally acclaimed artists
· showcasing stunning local talent
· FREE activities and events
· commemorative events
· something for all ages

The Festivities is Portsmouth’s flagship multi-disciplinary arts festival. Now in its 18th year, the programme continues to develop and grow, with a fantastic mix of concerts, art, exhibitions, plays and outdoor events planned for 10 days during June.

The theme for this year’s festival is PLAY. We should all make more time in our lives for play; therefore we have granted audiences of Portsmouth the opportunity to experience the imaginative use of play in a fantastic range of events and forms, including this year’s interactive city-wide experience, PLAY CODE CITY.

Get ready for a new and exciting form of eventing in the City of Portsmouth, collaborating with Torchlight Heritage and the University of Portsmouth’s School of Creative Technologies. PLAY CODE CITY is a new interactive game app for residents and visitors of Portsmouth! Your task is to join the game, find the happenings, and collect the codes. Players will face 10 days of action via our web app where they will uncover interactions with game characters and performers and unusual installations around the city.

Our first weekend of Portsmouth Festivities 2017 opens with one of Britain’s finest string quartets, THE MAGGINI QUARTET. Its acclaimed recordings have won international awards including Gramophone Chamber Music Award of the Year, Diapason d’Or or the Year, and have twice been nominated for Grammy Awards. The OPENING GALA CONCERT will also feature world renowned pianist PETER DONOHOE, whose recent performances include appearances with the Dresden Staatskapelle, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, and Gurzenich Orchestra.

Here at Portsmouth Festivities we feel you’re never too old and never too young to play, that’s why we are delighted to include BABIGLOO: MUSIC FOR BABIES. These non-verbal sessions are led purely by the use of classical music, vocal sounds, and rhythms mixed with theatre props and visual elements, exclusively for babies aged 0-12 months.

On Saturday 17 June, No.6 Cinema is emerging from behind the dockyard wall and taking the show on the road! In partnership with Portsmouth Festivities, THE INCREDIBLE MOVING PICTUREHOUSE is coming to town. It will be located on Southsea Common somewhere along Serpentine Road (it’s huge so you won’t miss it) and with four screenings throughout the day, there will be something for everyone. Pie and Vinyl will be there to provide sustenance all day.

3RUN is one of the most recognised Freerunning and Parkour teams on the planet. The holders of 15 Guinness World Records, and the British TV Craft Award, they are at the forefront of all things Parkour, Freerunning, and Street Stunt related. Saturday 17 June will grant the opportunity for PARKOUR enthusiasts to experience the professionals first-hand, demonstrating the art of moving through obstacles in the quickest and most effective way possible by climbing, jumping, or running.

Thursday 22 June will see the excellent emerging artist SAVITRI GRIER. Selected by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT), Savitri made her debut at Carnegie’s Weill Hall, and has appeared as soloist with the Bournemouth Symphony, English Chamber, Welsh National Opera, and Birmingham Sinfonia Orchestras. Accompanied by Richard Uttley, Savitri will be performing works by Mozart, Brahms, Benjamin, and Enesco.

For one night only on Friday 23 June, MARTHA & THE VANDELLAS will be performing with MARY WILSON of the Supremes at Portsmouth Guildhall. Mary Wilson is best known as a founding member of the world’s most famous female trio, The Supremes. Recording 12 No.1 hits from 1964 to 1969, the legendary singer’s career did not stop there, and she continues to soar to untold heights.

Portsmouth Festivities is also privileged to welcome British organist, WAYNE MARSHALL, Saturday 25 June. Wayne is a celebrated and award-winning interpreter of Gershwin, Bernstein, and other 20th century American composers. As an organ recitalist, he draws a varied repertoire and performs worldwide. Recent seasons have included recitals at Notre Dame, Paris; the Royal Festival Hall; Symphony Hall, Birmingham; and Westminster Abbey.

Saturday 25 June also sees winners of the 2015 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, TALISK. They are one of the fastest rising bands on the British folk scene. Creating a captivating, energetic, and dynamic sound, in little more than a year, TALISK has won multiple awards and nationwide media and audience attention. Coupled with Mohsen’s recent crowning as the 2016 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year, the trio’s experience far belies their years.

Portsmouth Festivities are also fortunate enough to welcome acclaimed British saxophonist and composer JOHN HARLE, talks with KEN LIVINGSTONE, and MARTIN DAUBNEY, along with many more inspiring thinkers, creators and performers.

“It promises to be a great summer for the Portsmouth Festivities in June, with even more events and opportunities on offer for everyone to get involved. We have taken the idea of ‘PLAY’ as our theme for 2017, and are particularly excited to be launching PLAY CODE CITY – an on-line interactive game in which members of the public track down codes through a series of cultural happenings in Portsmouth. With our usual mix of music, talks, art and drama, it’s going to be a lot of fun!” James Priory, Chairman of Portsmouth Festivities.

“This year sees some great collaborations for Festivities which I have enjoyed working on immensely. For me it’s always about people discovering new things and there is plenty to choose from in this year’s diverse programme so be sure to make time to explore and PLAY.” Erica Smith, Director of Portsmouth Festivities.

So, bring along your family and friends and join in the fun as Portsmouth bursts into life with arts and culture this summer! Public booking opens on Friday 17 March.

Discover more about the events taking place during Portsmouth Festivities 2017 at