Retro Festival not only brags being the biggest vintage inspired festival in the UK, proven by the 200 stall holders and over 1000 vehicles, but also a thoroughly enjoyable one too!
As already established there were loads of cars to feast your eyes upon, but what made Retro Festival unique was it’s inclusion of motorbikes, hot rods, army vehicles, helicopters, campervans and even locomotives. It was interesting to have a look at all the different things, although I will always be pretending to own cars rather than a locomotive 😉
I also really really really enjoyed the air displays. It felt like they had a lengthy time to perform and with my, never to be fulfilled, dreams of becoming a pilot I was truly mesmerised by all the loop de loops and barrel rolls.
There was plenty of vintage shopping on offer and I nearly considered trying to squeeze into the most gorgeous prom dress but what with the heat and knowing that only a miracle would help me fit, I came away with a top, hair flower and bandana. I think the restraint did have a lot to do with the weather, which was hot, sunny and fabulous but made tent browsing less desirable.
After lots of Prosecco fuelled antics with my girls on the Saturday we ended our evening watching Geno Washington, which was an absolute pleasure and highlight of the weekend!
Those who didn’t hear the loud chants of, “Geno, Geno, Geno,” and run over to join the bopping might have been over at The Spitfire Cabaret. With 200 capacity and a £5 entry fee on top of the ticket price for an evening of burlesque, comedy and songs it was always going to cause some controversy, although personally I am thrilled I chose to see Geno instead, I only heard great things from those who attended. Also if this had run over two nights I’d have made sure I caught one of them.
With a slight hangover I woke up on the Sunday wondering when my friends had left me… it was time to attend with my Boyfriend Joshua. Again lovely weather, although slightly cooler which made it more enjoyable. We heard a mini cackle fest from the Drag Racers, visited The Echelon (ex servicemen with a passion for Military History) and made our way over to the Fashion Show.
Mid route we were stopped and I was asked to take part in ‘Best Dressed,’ which was an honour and later embarrassing when on stage I admitted that my shoes were in fact from Primark! Ah well what is a broke vintage lover to do! Needless to say I didn’t win but it was fun to take part in.
I then watched My Favourite Things set, which was another highlight of my weekend! They really know how to get a crowd whirling, and with lots of dancers taking part their Andrew Sisters style vocals were even more impressive. I caught up with them after their performance, so watch out for my following interview.
And with that my time at Retro Festival came to a close. One disappointment for me was the lack of punters dressed up! I thought what with the name Retro Festival that the majority of people attending would be dressed in all their finery, from whichever era makes them happiest… however that seemed to be very much from the millennium onwards. Despite this I managed to snap some very sharp dressers and found that this Festival had a zero snobbery vibe to the whole event, which at times can be intimidating at other festivals!
Not only a vintage event, there was a real family vibe to the whole weekend that made for a really good atmosphere. With the fun fair, children’s corner and craft marquee there were numerous things for all, however interested in vintage they were or weren’t.
Looking for an inclusive, feel good and affordable festival next year? I highly recommend Retro Festival, and what with The Guinness Book of Records attending next year I am already intrigued as to what they have planned.