Monday 22 October 2018

Victorious Festival Portsmouth - The Perfect Festival for Kids

Back in the Summer Holidays, Elliot and I headed down to Portsmouth on Bank Holiday weekend to spend the day the Victorious Festival.

The Victorious Festival, now in it's 7th year, is a three day family friendly festival held on Southsea Common. Featuring many different stages and big names in music such as the Prodigy it really has gone from strength to strength over the last few years.

The music side of it wasn't really a draw for me as I'm rubbish at current music and haven't got a clue who's in the chart these days but the kids arena sounded fantastic and this is what swayed our decision to go!

Leaving Erin with my parents, we headed down to Portsmouth on the train from Poole. I've only been to Portsmouth a couple of times before so I was looking forward to going somewhere different - Elliot was excited just to be going on a train!

We arrived in Portsmouth just after 10am and we hopped on a Hover bus from the station which took us directly to Southsea Common. It was a beautiful sunny day and the view over the water to the Isle of Wight was stunning.

The festival itself was massive and I definitely underestimated how large it would be - we seemed to walk forever around the outside barriers to get to the entrance! Entry was nice and fast, our bags were checked and I picked up a lost child wristband to write my number on incase Elliot and I lost each other. We had a wander as we got inside the festival and it was the perfect time to get our bearings as it was still nice and quiet.

We decided to head straight for the kids area, where we quickly discovered that all the activities (including the face painting and bouncy castle!) were free - how amazing is that?! Featuring a whole variety of local businesses, all with children's activities we were spoilt for choice. Elliot decided to go on the bouncy area while there were no queues - this area was continuously busy all day so if you're thinking of coming next year, make this first on your list to do!

Some of the other stalls we visited were the RNLI where we learnt about safety in the sea, the Mary Rose museum where we were able to see and hold actual items that were on the ship, we played with ALOT of Lego with the team from the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and we couldn't resist getting a giant slush drink!

One of the things Elliot was looking forward to was the meet and greets and he was quite excited to spot Paddington Bear. He's always loved meeting characters and mascots...Erin is the opposite however, she runs a mile if shes anyway near someone dressed up! Through out the day we also met Finn & Jake from Adventure time and even some Princesses.

Just before lunch we headed to the stage where our favourites, Andy & The Odd Socks were due to perform. The sun was shining and it was a lovely atmosphere - there were rows of hay bales for the audience to sit on and space for the children at the front to dance. There was a children's entertainer, Ross Presto who was very funny and Elliot even got picked to join in with a game. He won a bag of sweets so that made his day!

After Ross came the Princesses who sang and danced to lots of recognisable pop/Disney songs - they even did Baby Shark much to the delight of the kids in the audience!

Finally the moment, we'd been patiently waiting for - Andy and The Odd Socks! We had a spot right at the front of the hay bales and Elliot had loads of fun dancing around and flossing to his favourite songs. It was probably one of the smaller stages the band have played but they certainly had a large enthusiastic crowd! The band have so much energy - they must have a pre-gig snack that includes weetabix and redbull because they do not stop! As always we loved seeing them rock out and it was great to hear Unique again. We love this song and the important message it puts across - and it's so blimmin' catchy!

As the band came off stage, eagle eye Elliot spotted Andy at the side saying hi to some of the audience so he dashed on over for a high five!

After all that excitement we decided to head out of the kids arena in search of something yummy for lunch and we were so spoilt for choice that it took us almost half an hour to decide! In the end we had ostrich burger and fries which was lovely, we sat under a tree with the Common Stage in the background and it was a nice moment of calm in the busyness of the festival. I have to say it was so lovely in the kids arena and then coming into the main festival where there were so many people was a bit overwhelming!!

After a quick stop at the Coca-Cola stand to try out the new zero flavours, we decided to head back to the kids arena where there was a ton of things still to be looked at! Top of Elliot's list was the Rebel Yarn Bombers - these lovely ladies had a massive selection of knitted monsters that were all lovingly handmade and even named. All the monsters were available to adopt for a donation and the money was being raised for the Roald Dahl Charity. Elliot took a l-o-n-g time to decide on a monster...and we even had to come back later in the day so he could get a couple more!

Some of the yarn bombers work on display - impressive!

The next few hours were jam packed with lots of making in the arts and crafts tents, Elliot played some football with Little Kickers, he built some sandcastles at the beach area, he checked out the instruments at the Ready to Rock school and we even got to sample some really really yummy Montezuma chocolate...guess which bit was my highlight ;)

I have to say that everyone we spoke to on the stalls was so friendly - we met a really lovely young lad on the Foster Portsmouth stall who spent ages colouring with Elliot and helping him choose about a thousand stickers to go on his sheet! He told us all about how Foster Portsmouth had helped him throughout his childhood and how passionate he was about getting the word out about fostering. He was called Elliot too!

Elliot and Elliot! Foster Portsmouth
Our final activity of the day was another Andy & The Odd Socks set - I think this one was even busier! We bumped into some friends of ours, Laura and her son Max from Max and Mummy and we had a fab time sat with them. The boys were off down the front throwing some shapes whilst we sat and relaxed on the hay bales!

After the show Elliot managed to get selfies with the band so he was one happy boy, always nice to chat to them and they are always so friendly to us.

With a fond farewell to our friends, it was time for Elliot and I to head home. As the kids area was drawing to a close, the rest of the festival was starting to get even busier with crowds of people streaming through the gates. Perhaps we'll stick around for the evening entertainment next year!

The Victorious Festival was bigger and better than I'd imagined and we were absolutely blown away with how amazing the kids arena was. There was so much on offer and you literally could spend all day in there - pretty much like we did!

We look forward to seeing what next year has to offer :)

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