Colchester Invited to Get Involved With Vintage Festival

December 20, 2011 at 3:21 pm Leave a comment

By Anastasia Grabova

Vintage, the festival celebrating the best in British style and culture from the past century, is back! For its third year, this weekend of vintage fashion, music, and fun is moving to a brand new location; the sumptuous stately home of the Boughton Estate in Northamptonshire. And local businesses have been invited to join the party, for the weekend of 13th – 15th July next year.

“The festival is about vintage, upcycling and sustainability,” the event’s co-founder Wayne Hemingway tells me (the other founder is his wife Gerardine). “So we are looking for good quality vintage sellers, or people who upcycle anything from clothing and jewellery to furniture and homeware. We’re also looking for people who do great food. It could be someone making cupcakes, or somebody who’s got a cool, old ice cream van, or even someone who cooks burgers. But it has to be done with a twist; not the regular way, but in a cool way.”

It doesn’t matter whether your business is established, or if you just want to showcase something that you’re good at. “One-man bands, or one-woman bands are all welcome,” says Wayne. “You could also be a Women’s Institute or a group of people who get together to cook or bake.” Similarly, local talented musicians, who fit into the vintage theme are invited to be part of the festival. Of course there are plenty of these in Colchester, so urge your friends and favourite bands to have a go!

Boughton Estate, at which the three-day celebration is held, boasts over 2,000 acres of beautifully designed landscapes, waterscapes and woodlands. This is the first time that an event of this kind has been held at this venue, and Wayne is delighted to have found something that fits Vintage so well; “We were looking for somewhere that was genuinely beautiful and inspirational. Most festivals are held in farmers’ fields, which always get a bit muddy.This is a drained piece of land that’s beautiful, photographs stunningly, feels British and is very grand, and all of this was important to us.” Is this really a festival with no mud, I ask hopefully. “Judging by the land, it could rain in biblical proportions and still not get muddy,” says Wayne, giving at least this author a Utopian, sandal-wearing, mac-discarding vision of mankind’s first mud-free festival.

Boughton House

Then there’s the location; “80% of the population are within two hours away from Boughton House, and it is well connected by road and rail. We wanted to make it more national this year.” Set up in 2010, Vintage originally took place at Goodwood Estate in West Sussex, and was relocated to Southbank in London the year after. As Wayne explains, the first two festivals garnered huge amounts of national attention, from all echelons of the fashion and music press as well as bloggers, all keen to experience the first festival to focus exclusively on celebrating Britain through the twentieth century. However the event, as a result of its respective locations, was very London and south-east centric, something that the Hemingways are determined to change this time round.

Vintage promises to be a one-of-a-kind experience for anyone interested in style through the ages. “It will feature the best from the history of British creativity,” says Wayne, “from the 1920s right through to the ’80s. You can dance the dances of the decades, watch films, see catwalk shows, buy the clothing. On top of that, it’s seeing people really making an effort in terms of glamour. You really see the glamour of the history of music, the history of fashion, and you end up with a celebratory event. It’s very different to some of the other festivals – 16 year olds who have just done their GCSEs and are out to get drunk. This really is multi-generational, so you end up with a lot of different ages enjoying and teaching each other about the history of British creativity.”

Getting a complete make-over at Vintage

Tickets are now on-sale for Vintage 2012 at Tickets are priced at £139 for weekend adult camping, £89 for weekend young person camping, £125 for weekend non-camping and £75 for weekend young person non-camping. Children, up to and including 10 years old, go free.

Local businesses and community groups who want to get involved in Vintage 2012 are advised to email


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