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  • Writer's pictureMike Douglas

Mike at Victorious Festival

So many thoughts, where to start?! I wanted to write this post last night when I got in, but I needed a bit of time to recover. Im going to split this post up a bit as theres so many bits I want to mention.

The Event Itself

Overall the end was fun, I had a good time. It was a welcoming and friendly environment. There was a good range of music and food.

The Food & Drink

Personally I found the service great. Very friendly, staff looked like they were having a good time too, which is nice. However, I took in two bottles of water and am currently a non drinker, so I wasn't exposed to the bar. Which, I have heard from a few people wasn't great. The queueing system looked way more organised than I've seen before. So I thought that was good. Other people have mentioned the cost (£5.20 for a bottle) being expensive and staff struggling with working out the price of multiple drink purchases. Why its not a flat £5, I don't know.

My Mental Health

For me, towards the end of the afternoon I was really struggling with my mental health, my mind was starting to spiral a couple of times. Then I got caught up in feeling crappy and trying to decide if I was going to wait 2 hours to see the headliners, Stereophonics. I knew I needed food, drink, to sit down and some calm. I was winding myself up thinking that it was going to cost me £10 for food and drink plus I'd have to wait until the performance. Then there would be the 'mad' rush to the train. Not to mention that there where railway works happening and I wasn't 100% on if I had one to two trains I would be rushing for.

I didn't want to leave and I was getting annoyed I was making myself worse. I think seeing all the happy families, friends, and couples through the day had gotten to me over the day too. After beating myself up for about 40 minutes, while walking around to find something to watch. I eventually decide to leave.

I felt crap for leaving before the headliners. But I tried to remember I had seen the acts I wanted too most and that leaving was the best thing for me.

Good point though, I wore my Mike's Open Journal t-shirt, which did start two conversations about mental health which was great, so I am super pleased about that.

The Stages

There seemed to be more stages this year. I liked that there were more smaller stages, it was really cool to listen to some of the lesser known acts and enjoy the new music.

However, both the castle and common (main) stages felt noticeably smaller. Im not sure if this was part of a plan to spread people out more, I don't know. Something that annoyed me a lot was the placement of the very popular Radio X stage. It was at the back of the same area the common stage was. This just seemed stupid to me. It prevented you from hearing the 'main stage' from farther back as the music was battling with the Radio X stage. Plus Im sure the were less speakers on the 'main' common stage than last year.

Maybe its my taste, but the Butserfest stage (I thought that was its own festival?) was empty and sounded pretty poo the three or four times I walked past.

I loved the small tents with acts signing inside. Its a really nice casual setting to listen to music, discover cool bands and have some time away fro the big stages.


Again, come on! Theres so much going on at Victorious now, please put up some flipping maps around the site.

Kids Area

This seems to grow year on year. Its lovely to see families more welcome at events like this. There was a kids stage, fun activities (including faceprinting, drawing, sports, circus fun), along with stalls from the local College, Uni and charities.


I felt very safe at the event. I liked that we were all given contact information fro the security team at the gate. While the queue to enter was long, it didn't really take that long to get though. So well done to the team.

Everything seemed well managed. Though at one point in the afternoon I saw three security members run through the crowd over to an area. They were immediately followed by almost every person under 16. Without knowing the seriousness of what was going on I don't know what else could have been done. Or if anything else even should have been done. It just looked awful from my point of view. I think its possibly linked to the number of young people drinking (and possibly for the first time?). I don't know, it just left me with a very negative impression of those young people.

The Acts

I have included a video which shows you clips of most of the performances I saw.

Absolutely loved Jerry Williams again, amazing! So cool to see Jerry rock out on one of the two main stages.

FM Live were good and got people up and dancing.

Otherkin, who I have never heard of, were pretty cool (definitely going to look out for them in the future!). Frank Turner the same. Feeder were good. I stumbled on some other cool acts, who I unfortunately don't know the names of.

Sitting down to Maximo Park was pretty cool too!

Open Mike

I had a fun time at Victorious this year. It was great to see friends Amba and Paul perform on stage (separate acts), and to catch up with Paul and some of his buddies in the afternoon too.

Every Jerry performance is cool!

I loved seeing another big event in Portsmouth, there does seem to be a buzz around the city at the moment. Theres been a lot going on through the summer. Plus we will soon have Pompey Pride back in the city too!

I think I really spent a lot of time walking around this year, and did miss out a bit on the sitting down and chilling out. That said, I did get to sit down for most of the Maximo Park performance, it was so good to listen to their music while half sitting half laying down on the common.

To me, it appears the festival has become more kid and family friendly. Theres the growth in the kids area along with their own stage, bigger funfair and activities, along with a massive tent for breastfeeding and mum space.

Personally, unfortunately, I wasn't able to stay to the end and see headliners Stereophonics. But I'm learning to accept that accept that its more import to have a good time and leave when YOU / I need to.

I do feel like the festival maybe lacked more 'big' names if thats your thing.

The common stage needs to not be so close to the Radio X stage, that was just silly.

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