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Portsmouth Festivities returns in June 2019 and what's more, it will be the event's 20th anniversary.

As ever, there will be a whole host of cultural events taking place at venues throughout the city, many of which will be completely free to attend. You can expect live music, talks from some of the country's most fascinating individuals and insight into lives totally different from our own.

To celebrate the momentous year, the theme for Portsmouth Festivities 2019 is 'Twenty', which provides the inspiration for the festival’s centrepiece: 20 Love, a live multi arts event on Governor’s Green. This ambitious undertaking brings together film, music and spoken-word poetry. Working with Portsmouth Poetry, Gregg Mosse, The Urban Vocal Group, Egg & Spoon Films and many talented young writers, the event will produce modern day interpretations of Pablo Neruda’s 20 Love Poems and a Song of Despair. 20 Love also invites the public to submit their own poems on postcards distributed around the city, some of which will be featured in the evening show.

As well as hosting some of the most innovative work in Portsmouth this summer, Portsmouth Festivities hosts some of the biggest names in the creative arts today. The festival’s guests this year include internationally renowned choirs The Cardinalls’ Musick and the Tenebrae Consort, jazz legend Jason Rebello, and Estonian folk sensation Mari Kalkun. It also boasts a fabulous line-up of speakers, including restaurant critic Jay Rayner, science writer Simon Singh, and bestselling author Kate Mosse.

Aspex Gallery gets in on the action, hosting Homage, an exhibition of artwork that celebrates the festival’s 20-year history, whilst the Hotwalls Studios and Art Space will open their doors to the public during the festival’s run. No.6 Cinema will be honouring classics on film by screening three films in their 20th anniversary this year. Also, don't miss Seed, Pif Paf theatre company’s immersive, free show at Southsea Castle.

The Festival’s Director, Erica Smith, wants the community to make the most of this 10-day offering. "It’s been a joy to programme our landmark anniversary", says Erica. "Despite growing year-on-year, 70% of the events remain entirely free, enabling it to reach out to those parts of the community not normally reached by arts events. Here’s to another 20 years!"