Wayne Hemingway: "Morecambe's vintage festival is a national event."
The driving force behind Morecambe Vintage-by-the-Sea festival says the event can only go from strength to strength in future years.
Wayne Hemingway MBE spoke as the annual celebration of British culture once again pulled big crowds to Morecambe Promenade - particularly during sunny weather on Saturday.
Crowds came out in force to enjoy the sunshine and a whole manner of vintage-themed entertainment centred around the Midland hotel and the Platform.
The designer and TV celebrity, who was born in Morecambe, helped organise the event with his wife Gerardine and Morecambe events company Deco Publique.
The head of London-based Hemingway Design was hands-on during the weekend, hosting the 'Best in Show' which gave awards to the best dressed people who attended the festival and DJing at the '45 Live' club night held in a marquee behind the Midland on Saturday night.
Mr Hemingway spoke exclusively to us on the second day of the annual event by the seaside.
“We started off five years ago with just one day based around the Midland and the car park," he said.
"A lot more people turned up than we expected so we turned it into two days.
"The scale of it is phenomenal, how it’s grown organically. There are so many things that make us proud it’s here. Saturday was phenomenal. There were tens of thousands. The sun was out and that makes a big difference. At 5pm on Saturday there wasn’t one spare inch of grass...every single bit of the steps of the Rotunda Bar, all the way down the Stone Jetty there were people. It was absolutely mobbed everywhere.
“Morecambe is really starting to get behind the event. There were cafes outside the festival zone had bands outside. They had dressed their shop windows. The Winter Gardens is doing its own thing (with a 1940s weekend) and complementing brilliantly to the event.
“One person had driven their car nine hours from Southampton to be here. There were people from all over the south, loads from London, French people, Spanish people, here to listen to the music and visit the marketplace in the Platform. We’ve created a national event here."
Mr Hemingway also explained the theory behind '45 Live' which proved to be a smash hit with 400 people packing into the 'Little Big Top' to dance to music from The Templebys, DJs Beatphreak, Paul Thornton and Mr Hemingway himself, all hosted by MC Kwasi.
“We’re always looking at ways to improve the festival.
“We normally use the Platform (for the Saturday night) but it’s a good place for the vintage marketplace and it’s hard to put a nightclub in there and move everybody out. So we decided to build something on the front and make it more festival-like.
“I DJd at 9pm, thinking there wouldn’t be many people in. But there were 400 people in there, wall to wall, all dancing. There was a (Torch Club vintage) ball in the Midland at the same time.
“Things have to evolve. Festivals often have a lifespan or nine or 10 years and then go stale. We have to keep adding new things.
"The stats are amazing, the tens of thousands of people who come here, the festival is winning national awards. We know it brought in Â£950,000 to Morecambe last year and I’d imagine it’s more this year, after Saturday."
Mr Hemingway was still in Morecambe on Monday doing an interview with BBC Breakfast about coastal regeneration.