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Retro Festival

  • Retro Festival Newark Showground NG24 2NY UK (map)

Retro Festival started 11 years ago in Berkshire, later moving to a larger venue at Newbury Showground, and has since become the largest festival of all things past in the UK. Two years ago, the organisers decided to duplicate this successful recipe and bring it further north to Newark. The Newark Showground for the second year running, will host the largest, and possibly best-value festival in the UK; where else could you camp and be entertained by over 30 live bands all for £50 each for a party of four?

If the line-up is anything to go by, both this years Retro Festivals will cement their place as the biggest in the UK. If you’ve never been, you’re in for a treat! The Newark Showground will be full of exhibits with over 1,000 classic cars, American RV’s, vintage caravans, Hot Rods, Airstream Caravans, Steam Engines, a 100-year-old vintage funfair, Army re-enactors, plus over 200 vintage stalls selling everything from clothes to furniture. Add this to three live music marquees, Spit re Pavilion – 1920s to 1940s swing and Jive, The Black Hangar – 1950s Rock n Roll and Rockabilly, and exclusively for the Newark event, a new Alternative Outdoor Stage, all playing until 11pm. On Saturday evening, the Spitfire Pavilion hosts their own ‘Spit re Cabaret’, transporting you back to the days of vaudeville with the best talent on the cabaret scene for your viewing pleasure. Expect glamorous burlesque beauties, tap dancing, songs from the music hall, not to mention skills from top circus acts.


The great news is that you can also camp. Last year over 6,000 people stayed over in their tents/caravans or in one of the glamping Brook Bell Tents available. Don’t worry if you’re concerned that camping might ruin your hairstyle, as there’s an onsite hairdresser and barber to keep you looking tip-top (handy if you want to enter into the best dressed competition)! If you’re a vintage fashion lover, there’s a Spitfire Fashion Show taking place on Sunday where the traders will be showcasing their latest fashion pieces.

As well as the Retro Festival being a fantastic show, they have also over the last few years raised more than £50,000 for local children’s charities and this year’s event will help raise money for The Children’s Bereavement Centre and various children’s cancer charities
through sales of specially designed T-shirts and fundraising activities over the weekend.

The really good news is – if you can’t make Newark this June, there’s always Newbury in August! You can read all about the Newbury Retro Festival in the next issue of VE.

Earlier Event: 1 June
Vintage Nostalgia Festival
Later Event: 17 June
Hot Road & Custom Drive-In Day