Wayne Hemingway is bringing a smaller version of his mega-popular Vintage festival to his home town. GREG LAMBERT met up with the Morecambe-born design guru to find out more
While sitting atop the Midland hotel roof in glorious Thursday sunshine, Wayne Hemingway gazes out at the uplifting Bay views and proudly rattles off a series of facts and figures.
“We pulled in 50,000 people to our first festival on the Sussex Downs, then we did one on the South Bank in London for the Festival of Britain and got 200,000 on the second day.
“We did the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, it p***ed it down but it was still amazing and we got 90,000 people. Tickets were changing hands for 200 times face value.
“Then we were the best part of the Preston Guild last year. We got 250,000 on the Saturday and 175,000 on the Sunday.”
The TV personality now aims to sprinkle some of this magic vintage dust on his birthplace.
Wayne is back home to launch his first ever Vintage Day at the Midland, set for Saturday, September 14, part of the hotel’s 80th birthday celebrations.
“We’re going to make this a vintage wonderland,” says Wayne.
“I think the Midland is a fantastic iconic building. It’s going to be full of vintage cars, a vintage marketplace selling vintage clothes and furniture, a street food market. Inside it will be full of dancing, workshops and general fun and games, with glamour where people can dress up.”
Wayne also wants local people with a love of music, art, film, fashion and design of the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s to come forward and be part of the event.
“As long as it’s got creativity at its heart, not someone who wants to come along and sell crass burgers,” he says.
“The people who follow this event are design-aware. They want the best things in life. We’ll see what comes out of the woodwork.”
Wayne had his run-ins with Lancaster City Council in the past but says they have been extremely supportive of this new event.
“There’s no reason why we can’t make this annual and even extend it. The council is up for us doing more if the people of Morecambe are up for it. They’ve done some great work along the promenade. The front is looking tidy and clean.
“Hopefully through this we’re starting a dialogue with the council’s marketing department.
“They are excited about this event...as they should be.”
But Wayne says the council and the town’s businesses still need to raise their game.
“(Morecambe) has to understand about the modern world, and that the competition out there is amazing.
“The quality of B&Bs elsewhere in the UK, and the food.
“We were in the coolest part of New York and we went to this amazing food market. Oh my God. It set a benchmark. Six hundred people queueing on one stall for pulled pork. It’s the food of the moment.
“How many cafes and restaurants along the front know what pulled pork is?”
So will Wayne be attending his event on September 14 in person? “That’s a daft question. A DAFT question. Where else would I be?”
See our video interview with Wayne HERE