Vintage Glasgow: Retro Chic

Looking forward to the second Glasgow outing of the Vintage Festival, returning this month as part of the Commonwealth Games Culture 2014 programme

Feature by Morgan McTiernan | 07 Jul 2014

The past has a story which influences all that we experience today, and with this in mind, husband and wife duo Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway founded the Vintage Festival in 2010, where the concept is to embrace the history of British creativity. The Vintage Festival rewinds to the sub-cultures of the 20th century, bringing everything from food to fashion to music to be experienced in the present day. The festival, which sold out last summer, is now being held on a larger scale as part of Merchant City Festival across venues in the Merchant City on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 July. The Vintage Festival falls on the first weekend of the highly anticipated Commonwealth Games and we think it's one of the must-go-to events of the summer.

Vintage Glasgow began in 2007 when Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway, both designers, created a concept to found a festival that proclaimed British creativity through the decades. The team worked alongside researchers from Wolverhampton University who archived British culture by researching music, fashion, art, design, film and food from the 1940s to the 1980s, and enlisting experts who analysed how these decades, known for their cultural achievements, influenced present-day Britain. The first Vintage Festival was held in August 2010 on the Sussex Downs with over 50,000 attendees and won Best New Festival at the 2010 Festival Awards. The popularity of the event proved to the Hemingways that there was a gap in the market and the success of Vintage continued into 2011, where the festival coincided with the Festival of Britain at London's Southbank, with over 200,000 people per day experiencing culture through the decades.

For its second year running in Glasgow, the designers announced the Vintage Festival programme at the Old Fruitmarket, where, for the first time ever, the festival will celebrate all things vintage from across the Commonwealth to pay homage to the Games as well as rejoicing in British music, fashion, film, design and art from the 1920s to the 1980s. Wayne Hemingway explains, "Being part of the Commonwealth Games Culture 2014 programme will allow us to explore international elements of vintage culture that will take us all on a voyage of vintage discovery." The 2014 Festival will be one of its kind in bringing international cultural history to Glasgow.

The events of summer 2014 will make Glasgow a popular hotspot, with thousands of people expected to visit the city for the Commonwealth Games. Glasgow will be transformed into a cultural hub during the Merchant City Festival, which has been extended to 11 days, a step up from the typical five, and the Vintage Festival will be one of the highlights of the summer. Some of the key events to truly experience the past decades include the Vintage Makeover Salon, which will be situated in Merchant Square and will provide makeover transformations by experts in vintage hairstyles and beauty. Curated by Jacqui McIroy, founder of The Make Up School, and hairstylist Marcantorio from Miss Dixibelle, armed with a team of 30 experts to help festival-goers transform into their favourite vintage era look, offering 1940s finger waves, 60s bouffant beehives, 80s New Romantic curls, accompanied with thick black liquid eyeliner and of course, the red lip. To perfect the vintage look, the Vintage Marketplace and Fashion at Vintage will celebrate the best of British fashion through the eras. The Vintage Marketplace, managed by The Vintage Vendors, provides a space for 50 hand-picked vintage vendors, selling clothes from the 20s to the 80s, mid-century homewares, and furniture with a mini car boot sale.

Music at Vintage Glasgow will be era appropriate, with performers dipping into the genres and sounds that have influenced pop culture as it is today, with specialist musical acts such as The Charleston Brunch (20s) and Martin Compston (rockabilly to Northern Soul).

From experiencing the eras in fashion to music, the festival will also offer festival-goers the chance to experience the decades by taste. The Food Marketplace will take place in Candleriggs, outside the historic Old Festival, offering high quality street food traders serving British produce from vintage Volkswagon campers and buses, and street performers parading the festival.

The Vintage Festival is a unique event in exploring international decades that hold a major influence on the arts, music, film, fashion, theatre and food of today. After a sell-out last year, Vintage Glasgow is set to be a success once again.

Tickets can be purchased on and for more information visit