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Retro Festival welcomes record numbers

The hugely popular vintage delighted massive crowds at Newbury Showground last week

Fiona Tomas

Fiona Tomas


01635 886639

Retro Festival welcomes record numbers

TENS of thousands of people flocked to Newbury Showground at the weekend as Retro Festival returned to delight a record number of vintage enthusiasts.

The three-day event saw a range of classic vehicles, motorcycles, retro bands and hundreds of traders descend on the 177-acre site.

Three jam-packed marquees with 60 live acts across a variety of music genres provided the entertainment at the festival, which was celebrating its 12th year.  

Headline acts over the weekend included Scar Faces, Highwasters, British singer Si Cranstoun and Soul and R&B band Straight 8.

Saturday night saw one of the marquees – the Spitfire pavilion – transformed into a 500-seat arena for a burlesque cabaret and comedian circus act – with the money raised from ticket sales donated to the Children’s Heart Association and Children’s Bereavement Centre.

An impressive array of pre- and post- war military displays were also on show, alongside a selection of miniature steam engines.

Guests could also treat themselves to a vintage hairstyle and makeover, courtesy of Retro Dolls Hair and Beauty Parlour.

There were more than 30 vintage rides and the children’s motorcycle club Tigers Motorcycle Display Team performed fire jumps and riding stunts – impressive considering the youngest participant was just six years old.

Head of marketing at Retro Festival, Andy Forster, said more than 20,000 visitors arrived on Saturday – the busiest day the event has ever seen.

Mr Forster said: “The weekend was fab. We had a bit of rain on Saturday evening, but we got away with it very lightly.  

“Next year, we’ll be bigger and better.

“We’re going to increase the camping site and we’ve got some really exciting acts.

“Three-quarters of this year’s traders have already signed up again.”

Tickets are now available for next year’s Retro Festival and guests are being encouraged to book their camping pitch early. More details on 2019 will be released on the festival’s website 

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