Morecambe is renowned for being a hub of cultural happenings and this September the seaside town will once again be transported back to the 20th Century with Vintage by the Sea. This award winning family festival sees a range of free events including music, dance, markets and performance taking place across the Midland Hotel, Promenade Gardens, the Winter Gardens and The Platform in Morecambe.
An essential part of the festival is the Vintage Marketplace, curated by Dotty’s Vintage. This is the perfect place to pick up truly unique clothes, homeware and curiosities from independent sellers based across the UK. Over in the Winter Gardens you can find the Makers Market curated by Hopeful & Glorious. Loose yourself amongst the cornucopia of up-cycled, handmade and expertly crafted items that pay homage to older design aesthetics and celebrate kitsch.
After a morning hunting for hidden gems in the markets, you can refuel with a decadent vintage afternoon tea. Served in the Midland Hotel’s sun terrace, you’ll have views out across the bay to accompany your culinary treats before indulging in a good old fashioned dance. For an alternative bite to eat you can visit Brucciani’s Art Deco Cafe, where you’ll find Destination Morecambe, an exhibition of portraits by internationally renowned photographer David Stewart.
Music can be found throughout the festival, with highlights including the UK’s No.1 swing drummer Sticky Wicket as well as songs that have lasted generations with 17 piece shanty band, Old Time Sailors. Later in the evening, Dave Haslam will be filling the festival after party with wall to wall bangers. His own description of DJing is ‘playing the best records ever made, one after the other’.
For those who are keen to let loose and twist their way through the weekend, there is plenty of chance for a dance. Join in the pop-up dance classes in the carpark of the Midland Hotel, where you can practise your toes in, heels out twisting steps or rock a Charleston. Once you’ve perfected your moves in a workshop, take them to the dance floor at the Torch Club Ball. This lavish evening of fine dining live music and dancing set against the backdrop of the 1930’s Midland Hotel will have you transported to a bygone era.
Sunday is the best day to go if you’re a vintage motor enthusiast. There’ll be a very special car rally where over 100 vintage vehicles will be arriving along the promenade as they reach the end of a 130 mile round trip rally. Expect to see every manner of motor from Morris Minors and Triumphs to historic buses and bikes. Each will be displayed across the stunning backdrop of Morecambe Bay, showing the hard work and passion that goes into maintaining these feats of engineering.
Throughout the weekend you can also catch serendipitous goings on from pop-up street theatre performers, interactive installations that take swing very literally and a bike ride for classic makes and models. There will also be DJ’s soundtracking the festival from the top of a bus and the effervescent Meyer Dancers, whose show stopping hairstyles and 60’s Go-Go moves are sure to get you feeling nostalgic.
Although the festival is largely free, some events are ticketed or require registration to participate. Check the Vintage by the Sea website for specific details.