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Morecambe vintage festival 10th anniversary being planned for 2023

The Best in Show catwalk at the 2022 vintage festival. Photo by Robin Zahler.

Organisers of the Morecambe Vintage by the Sea festival are planning for a 10th anniversary event in 2023.

The event celebrating 20th century popular culture is likely to return to Morecambe on the first weekend of September, subject to funding.

A spokesperson for Deco Publique, co-organisers of the town's vintage festival, said: “2023 marks a decade since the first Vintage by the Sea festival and 10 years since we founded Deco Publique in Morecambe.

"We are planning for the anniversary festival on the first weekend in September and looking forward to developing a programme that is completely celebratory of Morecambe, its communities and the thousands of visitors who return to Vintage by the Sea every year.

“Achieving funding that supports the festival is critical to ensuring Vintage by the Sea returns and we anticipate hearing the outcome soon.”

They have also revealed that the 2022 festival, held in and around the Midland, the Winter Gardens and the Platform areas, generated more than £1.5 million for the local economy and attracted 45,000 people.

The Platform, run by Lancaster City Council, saw a record number of visitors over a single weekend as 15,000 people attended the Vintage Marketplace. The Winter Gardens also had their busiest weekend, attracting 7,500 visitors.

An evaluation report calculated the festival’s positive financial impact to Morecambe as £1,562,148 which means £16.86 was returned into the local economy for every pound spent on the festival, its programme and delivery. This was money spent by festival visitors in shops, cafes, bars, hotels and restaurants. The report also shows that, on average, overnight visitors stayed two nights in the resort.

The report shows that 31 per cent of people surveyed were new to the festival and 43 per cent travelled from as far as London, Dumfries and Cardiff.  When surveyed, 93.55 per cent of visitors agreed that Vintage by the Sea highlighted Morecambe’s potential as a tourist destination. 

Related Story: INTERVIEWS and PHOTOS: The sights and sounds of Morecambe Vintage by the Sea festival - Beyond Radio

Just one of the Morecambe businesses which felt the festival’s positive impact was Brucciani’s which hosted the Destination Morecambe exhibition.

Paolo Brucciani described the event as incredibly busy for the café.

“All I can say is this broke the scales, off the chart in numbers!" said Mr Brucciani.

"Two days of non-stop customers… we couldn’t have wished for a better turn out.”

A visitor to the town said: “This event is a complete asset to Morecambe.

“It’s the most vibrant I have ever seen. It completely celebrates all the beautiful things about Morecambe and invites people from all walks of life.”

Vintage by the Sea was co-founded in 2013 by designer and TV personality Wayne Hemingway (pictured on the right), who was born in Morecambe, along with his wife Gerardine Hemingway and Morecambe-based culture company, Deco Publique. 

Last year’s festival was supported with funding from Arts Council England, Lancaster City Council, Morecambe Town Council and Morecambe BID with sponsorship from The Midland Hotel & English Lakes and Taylors Funfairs.

News that the Vintage by the Sea festival is likely to happen in 2023 will come as a boost for the town's events programme following this week's announcement that Morecambe Carnival will not take place this year and is unlikely to return in future.

Related Story: Morecambe Carnival: "It's probably the end" - Beyond Radio

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