Launch of Ports Fest 2021


This year, Portsmouth Festivities – the city’s annual arts and culture festival – becomes Ports Fest. 

After 20 fantastic years as ‘Portsmouth Festivities’, we are taking the opportunity to rebrand our festival in line with its ever-changing reputation. ‘Ports Fest’ has already proved popular as the festival’s hashtag abbreviation for several years, and we feel that, as a new name for the festival, it represents our desires to connect with diverse contemporary audiences, and to strive to be exciting and relevant in new ways every year.

In the past, we have been grateful to host several well-known artists, including Sir David Frost, Professor Robert Winston, Supremes legend Mary Wilson, author Kate Mosse, and real-life astronauts from NASA. Furthermore, we have created fun thematic programmes with which to involve the public, such as ‘Play Code City’, ‘The World’s Smallest Escape Room’, and ‘20 Love’. 

Although we had to cancel the festival in 2020, we have been working hard to plan an outdoor weekend festival for 2021 that will involve as many young people and as much of the Portsmouth community as possible.

The dates for this year's festival, the theme of which will be ‘Remember, Reimagine, Reset’, are the 2 - 4 July.

We will be launching the programme for this year’s festival in early May. Please be assured that we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our audiences, and will only program events that can be run in strict compliance with national and local COVID-19 guidance.

“Our priority is to work around the stipulations in order to keep absolutely everyone safe. In light of this we are keeping positive that we will be able to deliver Ports Fest this summer. By then we will all need some live arts and cultural sustenance” – Erica Smith, Festival Director.

In these unprecedented times, we want to bring some fun-filled events in a scaled-down festival for the whole community to enjoy this summer. Looking further ahead, however, we are hopeful that our festival will return to normal in 2022.


Black Dyke Band to perform at the Kings Theatre

Black Dyke Band will perform at the Kings Theatre

News from Ports Fest

Black Dyke Band to perform at the Kings Theatre

Black Dyke Band will perform at the Kings Theatre

Looking back on Ports Fest 2021

Looking back on Ports Fest 2021

The Longest Johns brings sea shanties to Portsmouth

The Longest Johns brings sea shanties to Portsmouth

Ports Fest update June 2021

Ports Fest 2021 update

Ports Fest 2021 is live

Ports Fest 2021

Refocus: Submissions

Refocus art submissions

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