We Shine Portsmouth dazzled over 90K visitors

Over 90,000 attend the FREE Art & Light Festival
5000 people shop local at We Create Market
30 local community groups involved in event

Discover the We Shine Portsmouth website – HERE

Opening on Thursday 17th November, over 90,000 people in Portsmouth wrapped up in their coats and headed out to enjoy the FREE art and light festival organised by Portsmouth Creates.

Brightening up the Winter evenings, this inclusive non-profit event saw families, couples, groups of friends and individuals visit hubs around the city. Over 2500 local people took part in free creative workshops and activities both in the lead-up and during the event days. In addition,the event engaged over 30 local community groups including support groups for adults with learning disabilities via MAKE, local scout groups, young people from the children’s ward at QA hospital and local asylum seekers via Portsmouth City of Sanctuary. These figures highlight the prolific desire for free family events and the demand for cultural experiences in Portsmouth.

Expanding even further than the 2021 edition, visitors enjoyed two new areas – Hilsea and Mountbatten as part of Portsmouth Creates efforts to bring cultural events to corners of the city that are often overlooked. IlluminoCity at Paulsgrove Cliffs was a welcome inclusion with dance collective Funk Format Soul Rawkus hosting dance workshops with special guest performers encouraging people to illuminate the cliffs with their movements. Alongside this Mark Kellett’s vibrant figures helped transform the space into another world like experience. While, at Alexandra Park in Hilsea Rewild by Limbic Cinema immersed crowds with an illuminated interactive projection of an evolving natural scene including wildlife and fauna triggered by audiences involvement.

St Marys Church proved popular once again with Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon acting as a captivating centre piece having travelled the globe and then appearing in Fratton! The lantern parade showcased community spirit with beautiful homemade lanterns and inspiring drumming from Portsmouth’s Batala Samba Band. While, We Create Market had over 60 talented local makers stocking everything from art, candles, craft beer and coffee, plants, jewellery, quirky fashion and so much more! Attracting over 5000 visitors to shop local this Christmas and support small, independent traders at a much-needed time.

Delivering the event was a real community effort with Portsmouth Creates and the team behind Victorious Festival, contractors and artists putting together the event in adverse weather conditions. Victorious Festival’s Tiffany Gaskell Head of Operation and Infrastructure said, ‘‘You always have to be ready for anything when it comes to events, in this case the weather made things a little tricky in the lead-up, but it was nothing teamwork and some mulch couldn’t fix. Seeing the weather clear up and people out enjoying the event is always a rewarding experience!’’

Phil Gibby of Arts Council England said: ” Well done Portsmouth Creates on a very successful We Shine launch tonight: glad to see the Portsmouth public out in force in Hilsea, Paulsgrove & Fratton as well as the city centre. A big win for Portsmouth Today and Victorious Festival”

Enjoy the highlights of We Shine 2022