Rapper Krept, University of Portsmouth graduate, performing

Live music, festivals and music societies

Passionate about music? Find out how to get involved in Portsmouth's music scene

If you're looking for live music at university, Portsmouth hosts events and festivals throughout the year. If you want to perform, you can join one of our music societies or bands.

Portsmouth has a long history of hosting famous bands such as Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix, and a growing local music scene supported by dedicated venues.

You can easily find yourself at gigs multiple times a week, rehearsing your own music at open mic nights, or playing at one of the music festivals for upcoming bands.

Victorious Festival

Victorious Festival is a homegrown Portsmouth festival. Held on Southsea Common with stages overlooking the sea, it combines local bands, world music and family-friendly areas with headliners like Bloc Party, The Prodigy, Two Door Cinema Club, New Order, The Libertines, Kaiser Chiefs, Mark Ronson and The Charlatans.
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Isle of Wight Festival

Every year, the Isle of Wight Festival takes place a short ferry ride away from Portsmouth. Over the years, headliners have included Jay Z, Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro, The Stone Roses, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Stereophonics and Liam Gallagher.
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Dials Festival

Dials Festival is an annual multi-venue festival providing a platform for local bands on the south coast. Dials showcases growing artists and raises money for a local mental health charity. In 2019, it raised £2,500 for Solent Mind.
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Icebreaker Festival

Icebreaker Festival is the south coast's biggest unsigned music festival. It showcases the best local and emerging bands every January in multiple venues in Southsea, including the Wedgewood Rooms, Lord John Russell and the Wine Vaults.
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Image copyright The Wedgewood Rooms

The Wedgewood Rooms

The Wedgewood Rooms, or The Wedge, is one of Southsea's oldest alternative venues. Since 1992, local music fans have had the chance to see big names like Primal Scream, Elbow, Kasabian, Oasis, The Strokes and Razorlight at this small but lively venue. The Wedge also has a smaller venue, The Edge of The Wedge, for new local bands and artists to play to an intimate crowd.

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Portsmouth Guildhall

Portsmouth Guildhall

Portsmouth Guildhall is a stone's throw from our campus. This historic building, dating back to 1890, regularly holds conferences and concerts, with a capacity for 2,500 people in the main hall. Previous acts who played at the Guildhall include The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Iron Maiden, Bob Dylan, Mumford and Sons, and Radiohead.

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Neverman playing on Albert Road

Albert Road

Albert Road hosts many small music venues. Promoters like Idols Promotions and Black Balloon Sessions regularly hold showcases for local bands in venues such as The Loft (above The Kings pub), Lord John Russell, The Vaults and the Royal Albert.

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Portsmouth's unique music café

Hear from Café owner, Steve Courtnell and students on why they love Pie and Vinyl and Portsmouth.

Person marking sheet music with light blue pencil

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