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Golden Touch Festival 2023

Golden Touch Festival reveals first wave of acts

Returning for their 4th edition, Golden Touch Festival is back and ready to take on Portsmouth’s iconic venue The Wedgewood Rooms & Edge of the Wedge. The festival is an all dayer that supports the best local and touring talent and has become a staple of Portsmouth’s music scene since 2019.

Showcasing some of the best up and coming talent of the moment, the lineup consists of the likes of Sad Boys Club, local favourites Dutch Criminal Record and Manchester’s Corella. The lineup is topped by Wedgewood Rooms headliners The K’s. 

Prior to the announcement we managed to check in and have a little chat with founder Billy Fitzjohn:

I personally can’t believe how quickly time has gone that we are here announcing the first round of bands again for GT 2023 – how you feeling about this year’s festival so far?

I know it’s crazy how quickly things come back around. We effectively start planning the next edition the day after the previous festival so it’s a constant cycle really. I’m feeling really good about this year’s festival so far. I know it’s a massive cliche but I do think we’re stepping up the lineup every year so this year is set to be the best lineup yet. 

Early birds selling out in 48 hours is testament to the support the festival has built in the last few years – that must have been reassuring to see the tickets fly out like that?

It’s something that still really shocks me. I love the support we’ve received in the last few years. For people to take that leap of faith right now and book tickets for a festival without knowing the lineup is normally reserved for the bigger festivals so it’s a nice heartwarming feeling. 

That’s a solid first wave that you have announced today – The K’s, Spangled and Sad Boys Club in one hit, you are spoiling us already – you must be pleased with this first drop?

I’m very pleased with what we’ve been able to drop as a first announcement. Some of these artists I’ve tried to book for previous festivals and for whatever reason it hasn’t worked out. It’s a real testament to what the festival is today that we’re able to get these over the line and present what will be our strongest lineup to date. 

Keeping the ticket prices fixed at last years price of £15 is a nice touch – a man of the people – there’s not many festivals you can go to this year and see 20 + bands for that price?

Honestly with the current situation for many households, especially in Portsmouth, things are tough. People shouldn’t have to miss out on music & events due to the cost of living. Personally I’m not in this for money, the enjoyment of the festival gives me more than money ever could. Some people think I’m crazy but I just love what we do and I want other people to love the day. Our two festivals since the pandemic have really shown it’s like a community at Golden Touch, people travelling across the country to support the festival and relationships develop. Of course we’re not alone in trying to keep things affordable, our friends at Icebreaker Festival have kept their prices at £15 again and this is what we stand for as independents.

Given the first drop, that’s a tough announcement to follow up – any spoilers or clues to what we can expect from the next drop of bands? 

We’ve still got 13 artists to drop. I think there’ll be plenty of surprises yet to come. The perfect thing with Golden Touch is you don’t have to know the whole lineup before, take a risk, you might just find a new favourite band. I’ve got people who came to last year’s event that fell in love with bands and then followed them around the country.

Early bird tickets sold out in just 48 hours but general admission tickets are available here

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