100+ groups, 14 venues, 1 wristband and the slogan “Hello, Sailor”. Welcome to the Southsea Fest 2014.
The Southsea Fest, for a surprisingly reasonable price of £18 for entry into all gigs, provided an afternoon and night of fun, loud music and a chance to just forget about the stress of school, to just let your hair down. Beginning at 2:00 pm, the lucky ticket holder can party for hours on end, in multiple gigs and venues. Don’t like country? Fine, just respectively leave the venue and cruise on down the street until you find a band that gets your heart pumping. The free movement of the Fest was, in many ways, the selling point of the whole thing. There was no pressure, or expectation, to sit through a whole set if you didn’t want to. Only the quiet expectation that you cause as little disruption as possible on your way out, then just show the bouncer at the next venue your wristband and away you go.
As a female, festivals and large music events where alcohol and older people are present can cause discomfort or the feeling of being unsafe. Yet, as two females (as I attended with a mate) we never once felt threatened or unsafe during the entire event. Alcohol was not allowed to be taken onto the street from a venue and bouncers stood in every doorway: clear and definable. The crossing of roads was monitored and guided to prevent any traffic or collisions between drivers and partiers. The whole event came across as incredibly organised and safe for anyone of a reasonable age.
That said, however, the most crucial point of this review has to be the quality of music. Is it actually worth the money?
Well, in my opinion, yes. To be honest, I hadn’t heard of the Southsea Fest until the Wednesday before; it just happened to be something that we could go and do to escape the increasing pressure of the IB course. Nor would I have considered myself to be a fan of heavy rock or metal before this event either. However, I now come home most evenings and have a good 20 minutes of one of the bands at the festival blasting from my speakers. There was a good mix of music style with country, indie rock, house music and hard rock making appearances. I would say that it tended towards rock groups more, from what we saw at least, but if one doesn’t suit you, choose another at random and go see if that's more suited to your tastes.
In all, this yearly event is one I thoroughly enjoyed and hope that you will participate in as well next year. Hopefully, I’ll see some of your faces there!