About Ports Fest

Ports Fest, formally known as Portsmouth Festivities, is the longest running arts and cultural festival in the City of Portsmouth. The award-winning festival was incorporated in 1999 by The Portsmouth Grammar School who continue to support and sponsor the festival to this day.  

The first festival was held in 2000 when ten events took place over ten days; in 2019, 122 events took place. The festival is made up of commissions, bookings and projects, Creative Partner schemes and a community engagement programme.

Over the years the festival has had many thematic focuses from ELECTRIC to shipbuilding, to Freedom, and all have played an important role in creating a variety of memories for our audiences.  

Our ambitious multi-arts programme aims to respond to the city’s identity as a commuter belt, sea city, and area of both rich cultural history and high levels of economic deprivation.  

The festival has very strong links with education through its work with local schools and colleges. Each year we work with an average of 20 schools in the local area on partnership projects and events. The festival currently has three educational partners and the capacity to build on this in future.

We are continuously focused on improving our work in the community, planning our programmes around a desire to reach new audiences and participants every year. All our events take place in multiple venues in and around the city, and we work in partnership with a large group of Creative Partners.  

Ports Fest intends to deliver an ambitious creative, diverse and high-quality festival, connecting with all lives in places and spaces from the everyday to the unusual.


This year, Ports Fest will be held from the 2nd-4th July; many events will take place outside, and all will be run in accordance with government COVID-19 safety measures. Needless to say, the safety of our audience members, participants and artists is our number one priority.


Launch of Ports Fest 2021

Something new is coming to Portsmouth

News from Ports Fest

Launch of Ports Fest 2021

Something new is coming to Portsmouth

Aspex (life begins) at 40!

Portsmouth’s contemporary art gallery announces exciting plans to celebrate its milestone anniversary

BAFA Conference 2021

BAFA announces conference, 24 - 26 February 2021: Rewind, Play, Forward.

Be the first to hear about Ports Fest Events

Copyright 2021 © Ports Fest is a company limited by guarantee no.5447367 and a registered charity no. 1114695.