Award-winning Lancashire festival bringing a dash of vintage, class, and good times to the North West
Should you ever fancy indulging a spot of nostalgia by dancing out a quick Charleston or perusing a vintage store, by admiring old-school classic cars whilst tapping your toes along to some musical ditties from yesteryear, well there really is only one place in Lancashire for you: Vintage by the Sea.
One of Lancashire’s most popular free family festivals, the award-winning Vintage by the Sea was founded in 2013 and has since blossomed into an unmatched celebration of the brilliance of timeless design, fashion, art, vehicles, entertainment, and culture. And, after a two-year absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s back.
“Over nine years, we’ve welcomed more than 250,000 visitors to Vintage by the Sea,” says Elena Jackson, co-director and co-curator of Deco Publique, the Morecambe-based art and culture company who help run the festival. “[That’s] why it was so hard to see the festival cancelled for the last two years, and why it’s so wonderful to see it return this September.”
Taking place this weekend, Vintage by the Sea will feature everything from authentic vintage afternoon teas, street theatre, and painting, a vintage marketplace, a cinema, and the headline event that is the Torch Club Ball featuring a lavish banquet buffet dinner and live music.
Dancing is set to feature heavily, with widespread opportunities to try your feet at the Charleston of the Roaring ‘20s and the groovy swing of the ‘60s, while Quite Unfit for Females, a tribute to the pioneering female footballers of yesteryear, will also take place courtesy of the Lancaster-based About Time Dance Company.
Old Time Sailors, a crew of 17 strong seamen, will also be presenting a musical show designed to take the audience back in time through an unforgettable trip filled with shanties and sing-a-longs, while there will also be a vintage hair and beauty salon as well as the always-beloved Bradford to Morecambe Car Rally.
“Audiences can expect the usual mix of vintage inspired street theatre, live music, DJs, workshops,” says Lauren Zawadzki, Deco Publique’s co-director and co-curator. “[We have] more dance classes than ever, the Makers Market, the Vintage Marketplace, and so much more including the chance to celebrate with DJ Dave Haslam late into Saturday night.”
Taking place in and around the Midland Hotel, Promenade Gardens, the Winter Gardens, and The Platform, Vintage Festival is funded by Arts Council England, Lancaster City Council, Morecambe Town Council, and Morecambe BID and is set to trigger a happy bonanza of childhood memories with its myriad free events.
Sponsored by The Midland Hotel & English Lakes and Taylors Funfairs, the festival has won countless awards from Visit England, Festival Awards, and the London Vintage Awards and returns in the lead-up to Eden Project North also coming to Morecambe, sparking a new wave of interest, investment, and cultural focus on the area.
"Morecambe's thriving festival and cultural scene already brings many visitors to the area and was one of the many reasons Eden was attracted to the location,” says David Harland, Eden Project International's chief global growth officer. “Vintage by the Sea is one of the highlights of this scene."