Portsmouth Summer Show // Saturday 30th April and Sunday 1st May
You may have noticed that your newsfeed is slowly being filled with bottles of cider on blue sky backgrounds and that your local ASDA now only sells swimming pools and trampolines. This can only mean one thing… That’s right my friends Summer time is upon us and what better way to kick it off than visiting the 2016 Portsmouth Summer Show.
This year promised to be a huge hit, with the likes of Diversity, Reggie n Bollie, Union J, Scouting for Girls, Lucy Spraggan, Peter Andre and Fun Lovin’ Criminals gracing the Main Stage while many local artists filled the Summer Stage over the weekend.
So how was it? Let’s get right to it shall we.
Day 1: Saturday
The day began with the amazing Southsea Alternative Choir on the Main Stage, Paige Monroe on the Summer Stage and Mollie Scott on the Casemates Stage.
Along with the music, the Portsmouth Summer Show also offered fairground rides and activities such as face painting, a painting wall, donkey rides and more. There really was never a dull moment for people of all ages, with a big top arena for local dance groups, cheerleaders, martial arts and DJs in the evening.
I was particularly impressed by the the charity fundraising / awareness efforts, with the Air Ambulance setting up a helicopter fuselage for people to experience the Air Ambulance for themselves. The coast guard also had a display of vehicles and attracted a lot of attention across the weekend. There was even a cycle safety awareness experience going on, allowing people to see a cyclist from a truck driver’s perspective – sending a very clear and sobering message.
As the evening rolled in, the larger acts appeared on stage, starting with some classic songs from the Silver Beatles, followed by a crowd pleasing performance from Lucy Spraggan inspiring everyone to sing along. This was then followed by Union J – gracing the stage with an injury and continuing to please the adoring crowd.
While the Main Stage was gaining huge attention, the remaining stages had a lot of local talent for the remaining crowds. On the Summer Stage, Saturday night finished with the well-polished and experienced BEMIS, following on from The Silhouettes. The quieter acoustic acts of the Casemates Stage came to an end with Shoot the Duke and Dicey Riley.
The evening was then topped off with performances from Scouting for Girls and Peter Andre with a particularly fantastic performance from Scouting for Girls that proved their ability to get a crowd pumped. Peter Andre really couldn’t have asked for a better warm up.
Day 2: Sunday
Saturday was going to take some beating but with local talent from Fleetingwood Mac, Urban Vocal Group, Rhythm of the 90s, Ben Brooks and the big names of Diversity, 5ive, The Hoosiers and Fun Lovin’ Criminals there was no shortage of talent to keep an even larger crowd entertained.
The day started with Urban Vocal Group overflowing from the Summer Stage into the photo pit – with many people agreeing that they should have been featured on the main stage, as clearly evident by the sheer number of fans they pulled in.
Competing for crowds, Great Scott had a longer than planned set due to an unfortunate event stopping Kodaks Revenge from performing. This allowed the crowd from Urban Vocal Group to watch the Main Stage and provide a great start to the day.
I tended to stay close to the Main Stage on Sunday, with the pleasure of gaining stage access to Fleetingwood Mac and capturing some excellent video footage of the very popular Fleetwood Mac tribute band. With an amazing set, they left the crowd wanting more as the Bog Rolling Stones got ready to keep the classic songs flowing and the crowd excited.
Each time I wandered to the Summer Stage and Casemates Stage I found myself pleasantly entertained. I enjoyed the likes of Just Millie, The Machete, Andy Muscat, Katy Smith, Paper Trains and Rhythm of the 90s.
As the day rolled on, the Main Stage was clearly the place to be. Reggie n Bollie proved a great hit and got the crowd all riled up and ready for Diversity. With a great performance and excited crowd, Diversity provided a huge action packed set with plenty going on and a full stage. This included a chance for the crowd to win tickets to a future show, by pushing a giant ball to the stage and then having to catch a towel and post a photo to twitter to win the tickets. This proved to be a huge crowd hit and provided a lot of entertainment.
The night continued with The Hoosiers and 5ive proving to be a great hit with the crowd, with many waiting for the final act of Fun Lovin’ Criminals.
So the verdict?
The whole weekend was an amazing event. Well managed with very few delays and an outstanding effort from the event management, stage management, security and medical staff on site.
Each act was well prepared and had a professional team to ensure the music was at its best. Plenty of smiling faces, lots of activities and the management worked hard to restore the grounds after. The acts themselves were amazing and there was no shortage of alternative music for those who preferred other genres.