First Mix Tape Free Festival Launches Summer on the Solent

Craig Jefferson and the Wonder of Elvis Band at Port Solent Mixtape Show Hampshire
Craig Jefferson and the Wonder of Elvis Band at Port Solent Mixtape Show Hampshire

On Sunday May 7th Port Solent Marina held its first outdoor music event of the season. Part of the ‘Sounds of Summer’ series the marina organisers invited berth holders and the public to

“Get ready to dance the day away in the sunshine with live music from the very best local artists.” (1)

Several local acts performed tribute band numbers to the delight of all who visited the venue near Portsmouth in Hampshire. From midday a variety pack of singers, guitarists, saxophone players, drummers and other musicians entertained the men, women and children of all ages who gathered to see the upbeat live groups recite many well known and loved tunes.

The sun shone and the restaurants and bars were busy and buzzing and many folks enjoyed a cool drink sitting in deckchairs and outdoor furniture. There were also many standing attendees and lots of people were having the first ‘jig about’ of the year to some of their favourite songs. Some enthusiastic crowd members danced merrily and the atmosphere was fun and celebratory, following the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla that weekend.

As this show was billed with a  ‘Royal Rythms’ theme most were dressed in red, white and blue and delighted to be amongst the marina community and their guests to toast the special weekend outdoors in the warm weather, which was a stark contrast to the driving rain of the day before for the royal Westminster Abbey church service and military procession.

Portsmouth was one of the cities that marked this special coronation weekend in the country’s constitutional calendar with a royal salute at the Royal Naval dockyard in Old Portsmouth. Thousands of families have military connections in this county and Portsmouth is historically known for being the home of the Royal Navy, in which King Charles III has been serving in one role or another since the 1970’s.

“Upon his mother’s passing in September 2022, all RN vessels became His Majesty’s Ship, while King Charles gained the title of Lord High Admiral, the historic, ceremonial role of titular head of the Royal Navy.”

The highlight of the afternoon was the excellent Elvis tribute band named Craig Jefferson and the Wonder of Elvis band’ who certainly got the party swinging. The King of Rock and Roll appeared in a shining gold jacket and sounded just like the late American legend. The track ‘Viva Las Vegas’ rang out and more than one local sung ‘Viva Gos Vegas’ as the town of Gosport, situated on a peninsular opposite Portsmouth harbour, is situated a few kilometres further south of the harbour estuary, from Port Solent marina.

The ‘Kings of Leon’ and Forever Queen’ ensured that a musical adventure and a good time was had by all. The marina asked that the rock favouring fans attending frequent the numerous bars and restaurants in the marina complex.

The next ‘Mixtape’ musical adventure in on Saturday 24th June from midday at Port Solent and there are more fixtures throughout the summer months. Bands appearing in June at the Bootlegs, Funkline and Ten Dollar Shake.

This commercial health and leisure and hospitality development was adversely affected by the loss of trade following the compulsory government lockdowns for NHS health reasons. Promoting this wonderful harbourside facility is essential to the future of the businesses in the area and livelihoods that depend on the local and tourist trade from visitors. The live mini festival series is just what is needed, in combination with other appealing activities such as regular car meets and craft fairs. Thanks to these talented artists the team at Port Solent can look forward to more successful days and evenings as everybody enjoyed the experience of soaking up the sounds, fine refreshments and good vibes by the water.

(1) ‘Sounds of Summer’ Port Solent website, 15 May 2023 ‘Sounds of Summer’ Port Solent

(2) ‘The King and His Navy’ Royal Navy website, 15 May 2023 ‘The King and His Navy’ Royal Navy