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Vintage Festival: 'It's about taking you to another time and place'

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Sir Peter Blake selects the British icons of his life to mark his 80th birthday celebrations at Vintage Festival

© Sir Peter Blake/ Vintage Festival

While there will always be a place in the festival calendar for wading through a muddy field to hear the latest tunes, the options have expanded somewhat over the last decade.

One up-and-coming event is the Vintage Festival. Previously held at Goodwood in West Sussex and on London's Southbank, this year's event takes place at Boughton House, Northamptonshire from July 13-15.

Digital Spy got in touch with the event's co-founder Jack Hemingway - as well as superstar DJs Graeme Park, Danny Rampling and Greg Wilson - to find out all about it. Here's what they had to say.

Jack Hemingway (co-founder of Vintage Festival)
"It's more than just a music event. It's an arts festival really: music, fashion, film, art, design and increasingly food as well on a level playing field. Obviously music is a massive part of what we do, but what makes us different is a massive emphasis on fashion too. It's glamorous.

"Festivals as we know them, people dress down. The norm is to expect it to be muddy, you're in your wellies, living in squalid conditions for three days... we want to be the antithesis of that. It's about glamour, it's about getting dressed up, it's about learning to dance, creating venues that are immersive, that transport you to a different time and a different place.

"We live in a time where it's so difficult to create something new, to create something fresh. It happens all the time in music, it happens all the time in fashion. Young people who are cool, who are creative, will always look back at what went before to inform the future... We don't 'just look back', we look back to inform the future as well."

Graeme Park (Former Haçienda resident and house pioneer)
Graeme Park

"I just love the variety on offer. You can span seven decades if you want or just concentrate on one or two decades. It's great going to festivals and hearing the music change so dramatically.

"Most festivals you go to tend to be themed around one particular genre. At Vintage you can hear a bit of rockabilly, a bit of electro from the early '80s, some funk and soul and then some house music and rock music. I love it.

"To see so many people over 40 enjoying themselves like they did 20 years ago is fantastic. But the good thing about Vintage is that it's not just about the older crowd. You get a lot of younger people who have a real attraction to the heritage of British culture.



"In 1977 I was 14. I was just old enough to get the angst of punk rock. I bought The Damned's first album. I went to see them when I was 15. Also the Sex Pistols, The Clash. Punk rock has stayed with me. That's still music I love to dip into.

Fast forward from '77 to '88 when I was 24, 25, and one of the people who discovered acid house and played it in the UK. It just touched a nerve of a generation who were sick of the really cheesy pop disco dancing stuff around. It was just like punk - a generation who were sick of the bloated progressive rock scene

"I totally understand why people in their late 50s want to go and see The Damned, just like people want to hear me play acid house. Me included. Now you've told me The Damned are on, I might not be pogoing down the front like I used to, but I'll definitely be bopping at the back."

Danny Rampling at the Ministry of Sound Club, London, Britain
Danny Rampling (Shoom founder and all-round acid house legend)
"I like the fact that it encompasses all the culture and years of British music and presents it at one festival, which is quite unique. I played at Goodwood and was really impressed with what they did there. The whole production of the festival.

"They had a whole shopping area with vintage clothes which was absolutely fantastic. There was something there for everyone, spanning all the decades. It's great that Vintage presents the British talent and music under one festival umbrella.

"I was on the peripherals of punk when it emerged... when that died down I thought that nothing could ever replace it in a musical form and in a youth fashion movement.



"Then acid house came along and it had the spirit of punk. It was open to everybody. It transcended the class barriers and it broke down a lot of taboos in this country. It's still revered today, and that's why festivals like Vintage actually platform the music.

"It is there to be celebrated, and we have a very strong affinity and a huge amount of history here in what we've created here and pioneered. Taking music from America and then presenting it in the UK way - and the fashion that followed and the whole scene.

"It gave so many people opportunities to create a career in music and associated industries. That was the whole power and ethos behind it. It was a whole DIY movement."

Greg Wilson at Lovebox
Greg Wilson (Electro-funk trailblazer and re-edit king)
"They do it properly, which is obviously important with something like this. They have the knowledge of the history and everything. It's not half-heartedly approaching it. They don't leave any stone unturned.

"One of the things which sets it apart from any other festival is that it's a celebration of the British DJ. Often people look at US DJ culture, which is fascinating obviously, but forget this rich history in the UK which goes back to the '60s.

"Certainly with the Warehouse we're looking at the late '70s, early '80s period and then into the acid house revolution. We're trying to show that lineage and cover it. The DJs that we bring into play are a real history from a UK perspective.



"We're in one of those periods of time where there's a necessity to rediscover what went on before. Vintage Festival covers music of the '40s, rock 'n' roll, what was happening in the '60s, Northern Soul, all these subcultures.

"It provides a really good purpose in terms of allowing people to look back into what British music culture has provided and the riches of it. I think people take it for granted. Especially when they're living in an era of celebrity culture and X Factor.

"Everything's been diluted to a certain level, so it's great for people to be able to see what vibrant kind of scenes emerged out of a relatively small island."

Vintage Festival takes place from July 13-15 at Boughton House, Northamptonshire. Tickets are available now.

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