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Retro Festival - Newbury

  • Retrofestival Newbury Showground Berkshire, RG18 9QZ UK (map)

After the phenomenal success of last years Newbury Retro Festival, the organisers have had to rent a further 44 acres next door to the showground to accommodate this year’s visitors, which promises to be the biggest and best yet!

Event organiser Paul says: “Last year was the most successful Retro Festival ever, with over 30,000 people attending. This year we have already exceeded last year’s sales and have filled the campsite already. We have had to hire another 44-acre field right next door for another campsite, and we have already sold 50 per cent of that! This means that Retro Festival Newbury will now be covering 221 acres!”

The festival is quickly becoming the biggest of its kind in the UK, and the only one to keep expanding at such a rate, year on year. We asked Paul what the secret to this success was? “There’s no secret really. We just give people what they want. Other festivals concentrate on a certain era, we cover every era from the 1920s to the 1960s. We have three live music venues playing differing music. The Black Hangar is our 50s Rock ’n’ Roll and Rockabilly, The Ricky Tick is our 60s Mod and Soul marquee, and in the Spitfire Pavilion you can jive away to the best music of the 1920s to the 1940s.

“Our curators of each marquee are experts in their field. A little thing people don’t know about is that our Ricky Tick stage was actually a night club back in the 60s. It was one of the first venues for the Rolling Stones. In fact the original club DJ is still DJ’ing for us.”

As well as music there will be over 1,000 classic vehicles on show including cars, motorcycles, over 100 American RV’s, steam engines, airstream caravans, portafold caravans, tear drop caravans, military vehicles, a field hospital, hot rods and race cars. On top of all this there will be over 300 vintage stalls selling everything from furniture to clothes and toys to car parts. In the arena there will be live shows plus the car exhibits will be paraded around the arena. Added to this there will be a steam powered fun fair to complement the retro feel.

Another little known fact about the Retro Festival is that over the last three years they have managed to raise over £60,000 for charities, and this year’s chosen charity is the Children’s Bereavement Centre. Hopefully lots will be raised from the T-shirt and brochure sales.

All in all, there will be over 40 live acts over the weekend which opens at 5pm on Friday afternoon, right through till 11pm on Sunday.

Camping space is still available and you can either purchase tickets from the website or, at slightly more cost, buy them when you arrive.

Earlier Event: 5 August
Summertime Swing
Later Event: 11 August
Firle Vintage Fair