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Retro Festival

A Checkmate Move: Retro Festival 2015

Retro Festival moved from its previous site in Hampshire to Newbury Showground this year. OX’s resident vintage vixen Chrissie Woodward put on her dusty party clothes and checked it out
Retro Festival

Over 200 vintage cars

Relocating a festival 60 miles away from its previous site is a risky decision, so if the festival season was a jolly great game of chess, then the team at the recently held Retro Festival trumped all with this checkmate move. These days with the festival calendar bursting at the seams, it could have been a difficult manoeuvre to pull off. But pull it off they did, and in spectacular style.

Retro Festival (7-9 August at Newbury Showground) were of course expecting their 3000-strong army of Retro devotees to attend, but what they didn’t expect was to smash their box office records before they even opened the gate.

Retro Festival


Spokesman for the organisers Andy Forster explained the risk they took not only in buying the 8 year old festival that caters for all vintage fanatics everywhere, but also by moving its venue 60 miles up the road from the old base in Hampshire.

“We bought the festival last year with a view to expanding its reach; the showground in Newbury was the perfect spot. Not only are the road and rail links fantastic, but the large well drained site will be our home for the next five years. We want to expand the festival in 2016 to include even more”.

The current interest in all things vintage has certainly raised the profile of the festival. The population now appreciate the wonderful heritage of previous decades.

With a large fairground, over 200 vintage cars, trucks, steam engines, bikes, re-enactments, Hot Rod display, army vehicles, plus over 300 vintage traders along with three stages...

The pre-sales of tickets reached over 10,000 before the gates opened


There was high drama in the sky with fabulous biplane air displays and helicopter rides. People dressed to celebrate those heady days of yesteryear and there was a packed programme appealing to a wide range of ages. The weather of course helped with temperatures topping 27 degrees, so the fun in the sun kept delivering. This family festival was a delight to attend!

There were three stages covering 6 decades of music from the 30s to the 80s. There was something for everyone: The Ricky Tick Mod stage, headlined by the legendary Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band, was devoted to Ska, Mod and funky soul beats of the 70s and 80s, The Spitfire Pavilion was home to the Swing beats of the 30s and 40s and the amazing Spitfire Cabaret, a cornucopia of Burlesque, song and comedy, and last but not least the Black Hangar Rock n Roll stage, where the jitterbuggers, jivers and rockers could dance all day and way into the night.

So next year make sure that you check out this friendly festival with its roots in the past but its eye on a fabulous future.


Related Articles: Geno Washington & the Ram Jam Band