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Portsmouth Festivities 2017 is underway! This year’s schedule comprises over 100 dazzling and diverse events taking place across the city from Friday 16th to Sunday 25th June.

This year’s programme features by internationally-acclaimed artists, local talent, plenty of free activities, and commemorative events, spanning all ages and interests.

Portsmouth’s flagship multi-disciplinary arts festival is now in its 18th year, and the theme for 2017 is ‘PLAY’. The idea of the theme is promote the idea that we should all make more time in our lives for play.

The core event tying everything together is Play Code City, a Pokémon GO-esque game unfurling across Portsmouth during the week. It’s a huge hunt for clues which anyone with a smartphone can get involved in. Read more about Play Code City, plus 10 other Festivities highlights, below!



Play Code City: an immersive outdoor game in Portsmouth and Southsea

1) Play Code City

Prepare for a new and exciting form of eventing across Portsmouth, as Portsmouth Festivities collaborate with Torchlight Heritage and the University of Portsmouth’s School of Creative Technologies. Play Code City is a new interactive game app which will see players looking for and collecting codes hidden at events and happenings throughout Portsmouth.

Over the ten days of Portsmouth Festivities 2017, from Friday 16th June to Sunday 25th June, players must uncover interactions with characters and performers at unusual installations around the city. Keep a keen eye!

The adventure will start at 11:00am on the first day of Portsmouth Festivities — Friday 16th June — and will be live every day from 11:00am to 7:00pm until Sunday 25th June. Happenings will feature events including Electric Eden, Circo, Rum Ba Ba, B-Boys, and Escape Rooms.

Your task is to join the web-based game via your phone, find the happenings and outdoor events, and collect codes. There will be over 40 interactions with game characters and performers and unusual installations in locations across the city.

All of the happenings are free to access over the ten days, and will be in place at its destination for two hours.

Register and start playing on the Play Code City website »


The Maggini Quartet: Portsmouth Festivities 2017 opening gala

2) The Maggini Quartet: Portsmouth Festivities 2017 opening gala

The Maggini Quartet perform with world-renowned pianist Peter Donohoe at Portsmouth Cathedral on Friday 16th June, celebrating the launch of Portsmouth Festivities 2017.

The Maggini Quartet are one of the finest British string quartets. Their acclaimed recordings have won international awards, including Gramophone Chamber Music Award of the Year, Diapason d’Or of the Year, and a Cannes Classical Award.

They’ve twice been nominated for Grammy Awards.

Performing works by Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, and Whitacre, the evening features Peter Donohoe, who has built an extraordinary world-wide career, encompassing a huge repertoire and over forty years’ experience as a pianist, as well as continually exploring many other avenues in music-making.

Read more » and book your tickets online »


No. 6 Cinema, Portsmouth’s only independent filmhouse, are partnering with Portsmouth Festivities to bring The Incredible Moving Picturehouse to Southsea Common for a screening

3) The Incredible Moving Picturehouse

No. 6 Cinema, Portsmouth’s only independent filmhouse, are partnering with Portsmouth Festivities to bring The Incredible Moving Picturehouse to Southsea Common for four movie screenings on Saturday 17th June:

The Incredible Moving Picturehouse will be located on Southsea Common near the Queen’s Hotel.

Southsea’s Pie and Vinyl will be there to provide refreshments.


Parkour workshops with 3RUN

4) Parkour workshops with 3RUN

3RUN is one of the most recognised freerunning and parkour teams on the planet, and they’ll be running workshops at Portsmouth Cathedral in Old Portsmouth on Saturday 17th June 2017.

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.

Parkour enthusiasts will be able to experience the professionals up close, as they demonstrate the art of moving through obstacles in the quickest and most effective way possible by climbing, jumping, or running.

There will also be a short performance after the workshops, from 4:00 to 4:15.

The workshops, which are open to anyone looking to push their physical. philosophical, and spiritual boundaries regardless of discipline, run at 12:00pm and 2:30pm.

Both workshops are £11.00. Book your tickets via the Portsmouth Festivities website »


The Spice Box

5) The Spice Box at Southsea Castle

A riotous interactive performance based on Tudor life and the spice trade: ‘The Spice Box’ comes to Southsea Castle on Sunday 18th June.

This one-woman show surrounds a lady’s Spice Box: an interactive box with wings and doors where puppets appear and pirate ships come to capture people off the beach in a world where spices are worth more than gold!

The Spice Box runs at three times during the day: 11:00am to 11:40am, 1:00pm to 1:40pm, and 3:00pm to 3:40pm.

All three performances are free and unticketed, and are suitable for a family audience including children aged three years and up.

This event forms part of the Portsmouth Festivities 2017 programme. See all events on the Portsmouth Festivities website »


John Harle masterclass at Portsmouth Grammar School

6) John Harle masterclass at Portsmouth Grammar School

Ivor Novello Award-winning composer and saxophonist John Harle coaches some talented young woodwind players from the 2017 Portsmouth Music Festival.

Harle composed the theme tune and music for six seasons of the BBC TV series Silent Witness.

Expect a very high-standard event — informative and interesting for participants and the audience alike, with plenty to interest musicians of all ages.

It takes place at Portsmouth Grammar School on High Street — the road leading into Old Portsmouth — from 2:00pm to 5:00pm on Sunday 18th June 2017.

Tickets are £8.00 for adults and £4.00 for concessions and those aged under 16. Book yours via the Portsmouth Festivities website »


Savitri Grier at the Lord Mayor's Banquetting Room, Portsmouth Guildhall

7) Savitri Grier at Portsmouth Guildhall

Savitri Grier, who made her debut at Carnegie’s Weill Hall, performs in the Lord Mayor’s Banquetting Room at Portsmouth Guildhall on Thursday 22nd June as part of Portsmouth Festivities 2017.

She has appeared as soloist with the Bournemouth Symphony, English Chamber, Welsh National Opera, and Birmingham Sinfonia orchestras.

Accompanied by Richard Uttley, Savitri will perform works by Mozart, Brahms, Benjamin, and Enesco.

The night, which starts from 7:30pm, follows this programme:

  • Mozart Violin Sonata in B flat, K.454
  • Enesco Violin Sonata No.3, Op.25
  • Benjamin Three Miniatures for Solo Violin
  • Brahms Violin Sonata No.3 in D minor, Op.108

Tickets are £13.00 with £11.00 concessions. Book yours via the Portsmouth Festivities website »


Martin Daubney Talk at Portsmouth Grammar School for Portsmouth Festivities

8) Martin Daubney: ‘Porn on the Brain’

Martin Daubney, former editor of lad’s magazine Loaded, presents a talk, ‘Porn on the Brain’, at Portsmouth Grammar School on Friday 23rd June.

Martin, a journalist with 22 years of experience, is also a columnist for Telegraph Men, and writes regularly for the Sunday Times and The Times on men’s issues.

He presented Channel 4’s Porn on the Brain, which has now been aired in seven countries. Martin talks to teenagers and parents about pornography safeguarding.

This is a free event, open to all aged 13 years and up. It starts from 7:30pm.

This is a Portsmouth Festivities event. Tickets are free, but must be claimed due to capacity limitations. Claim yours via the Portsmouth Festivities website »


Mary Wilson of the Supremes and Martha Reeves & The Vandellas

9) Mary Wilson of the Supremes and Martha Reeves & The Vandellas

Mary Wilson of The Supremes and Martha Reeves & The Vandellas will be coming to Portsmouth Guildhall as part of Portsmouth Festivities on Friday 23th June.

This will be the only date of their separate tours where they will be playing together, so it really is a special night not to be missed!

The show kicks off from 7:00pm.

Tickets start from £28.75. Book yours via the Portsmouth Festivities website »


Come Sing A Sea Shanty at John Pounds Centre: Portsmouth Festivities

10) Come Sing A Sea Shanty at the John Pounds Centre

Have fun singing sea shanties at the John Pounds Centre on Saturday 24th June. Join shanty performers Pete Truin and Anna Cornish for the workshop — no prior experience necessary!

This family-friendly session explores Portsmouth’s connections with sea shanties, and is an opportunity to sing together. It runs from 4:00pm to 6:00pm.

The event is free, but capacity is limited, so you’ll need to claim your free ticket via the Portsmouth Festivities website »


Talisk at St George's Church for Portsmouth Festivities

11) Talisk

Talisk, winners of the 2015 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, create a captivating, energetic, and dynamic soundscape at St. George’s Church on Saturday 24th June.

Mohsen Amini (concertina), Hayley Keenan (fiddle), and Craig Irving (guitar) are experienced beyond their years. Mohsen was recently crowned the 2016 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year.

Talisk’s performance0 starts at 8:00pm. Tickets are £15 for adults and £13.50 concessions.

Book your tickets via the Portsmouth Festivities website »

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