I first heard about the Arcade Vintage Festival about a month back. Back then it was just a facebook page and name, but over the last few weeks, posters have started to appear and news and whispers have been heard about what exactly is happening.
Taking place on Saturday 19th July, and based in and around The Arcade, festival organiser Rebecca Howell hopes that the festival, which will feature all kinds of stalls selling the best of vintage, will showcase some of Barnsley finest businesses and artists. I met up with Rebecca (or Beck actually) to find out everything you’ll need to know about the festival.
Hi Rebecca. Tell me about yourself?
Hi Jason. I live in Bolton-on-Dearne and grew up in the area. Everyone calls me Beck. I’m 28 and a mature student at The University of Huddersfield doing a post-grad in promotion. My specialist area is PR and event management focusing on non-mainstream, niche markets.
So why the idea of the Arcade Vintage Festival?
The idea of the festival came from the council. They contacted Glass Onion Vintage who then contacted me. I’ve been working with Glass Onion over the past few months to do my masters thesis, which is based on the vintage market. I’ve know Ben (Woodhouse- GOV Sales Manager) for years and he knew this is the sort of thing I love to get involved in so asked if I wanted to organise the event and I jumped at the chance.
The Arcade is one of those great little treasures you find in old market towns and I think it deserves more attention. There are a number of empty units that would be great for more independent businesses and that’s what’s really at the heart of this event, supporting local and independent, whether it’s companies, makers or musicians.
There are lots of people in this area doing great things and we should celebrate it…and we will on the 19th July. I hope that this event will be a success and we can do it again next year and make it even bigger.
What experience do you have of vintage festivals?
I’ve never run a festival before but had organised a few craft fairs for Sheffield Students’ Union so applied the same principles.
I’ve been buying vintage for over 10 years so have a personal understanding of the market and what people expect from an event like this, not to mention 8 months of research on the subject.
What are your thoughts of and experiences of both shopping in Barnsley and local live music and arts- some of which you’ll be incorporating into the festival?
I’ve found that a lot of the great little independent, quirky shops end up disappearing, as they don’t get enough custom. Barnsley high street is pretty boring – it’s the same stores you find everywhere. I think there should be greater investment in independent stores in Barnsley. Leeds and Sheffield have seen great results from doing this. The Arcade and the surrounding area has the potential to become like Division Street in Sheffield.
I think arts and culture in the town are getting better. The Civic have some great exhibitions and I often make time to go in to the gallery for a walk around. There is definitely room for development though, as I often have to go to Sheffield for my culture fill.
I think the music scene in Barnsley is thriving though, with events like Live In Barnsley and Coalfields, people really get behind the local music scene around here.
We held the smallest gig in Barnsley on Thursday with Feral Indie doing a short set, as promotion for the event. We had a few people turn up and people were stopping on the street to listen. I think people really appreciate live music around here.
What can visitors to the town on Saturday expect to see?
We have a lot going on and people are still contacting us about how they can get involved. We have a few a couple of pop up vintage shops, food, children’s face painting, businesses from The Arcade and the surrounding area will be holding special events or offers. There will be lots of live music, art and we now have a marquee in Mandela Gardens, so we will have stalls and activities there too.
STALL HOLDERS INCLUDE:
VINTAGE POP-UP SHOP IN REHAB UNIT including five local businesses, Vintage Vixen, Julie Nugent, Hannah Jones, Muse Lamps and Vintage-Alice Hire
GLASS ONION VINTAGE – Vintage Kilo Sale in the Rehab Unit (£15 for a kilo of vintage clothing)
KARL SMITH MEN’S GROOMING – cutthroat shaves
EXPERIENCE BARNSLEY MUSEUM
UNIQUE GIFT CO.
8 OZ BURGER – opening up on the day and will be doing a chilli burger challenge.
THE LITTLE SANDWICH SHOP – doing apple chip smoked ribs and pulled pork sandwiches outside the store.
DEBUT RECORDS – selling vintage vinyl
ACORN BREWEY – giving away samples of their award winning ales outside
ARCADIA – holding a workshop making vintage style hair pieces
DJ’S CAKES – making a birdcage cake that will be raffled off for charity KidScan
CRAFTWORKS – owner/artists Tony Faulkner is doing a live airbrush demonstration with the piece being sold and proceeds going to BIADS
OAK STAR – vintage inspired menu
ONE OVER THE EIGHT, run by Chris Scarfe and NU-TEK SOUND have put together two acoustic stages, one in the middle of the Arcade and another in Durty O-Dwyers.
Performers include J-MART, LAUREN CONWAY, STRAY TARGETS, FERAL INDIE, SARAH JONES, BETH FARRELL, KENT & ETHAN, GEORGINA GILMARTIN, ROSIE SETHI, DAVID MICHAEL HIRST, LAURA KELLY, DEL SCOTT MILLER and more to be announced.
OLD NO.7 – afternoon long folk session / Vinyl Underground in the evening with guest DJs
BURN DOWN THE DISCO – planning a live DJ set
Artist/Illustrator Rio Simic will be creating ornate temporary art pieces on the floor of The Arcade and Scott Jefferies, Tom Holmes and Kate Rose Smith will be doing window displays in some of the store windows. Most stores are doing window displays or have staff dressing up in vintage style. You’ll also find an arm wrestling table, Childrens face painting, wood turning demonstration, a card seller and a bag maker.
Beck goes on to say, ‘all of this wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the local community and is amazing to think all of this has been achieved in just six weeks, start to finish. The community has really got behind the event and it has definitely been a collaborative effort. Estate agents Smith’s and Chris Rowlands have allowed us to use the units free of charge and Barnsley council have provided funding and stalls so this has allowed us to keep the festival free for all involved.
It has been encouraging to know that people are behind this sort of thing and want it in the town. I think it will make way for future events.
Hopefully the day will be a success, I think there is something there for everyone to enjoy. Whatever happens, I think everyone involved should feel proud of what has been achieved. I’m overwhelmed by peoples generosity and community spirit.
THE ARCADE VINTAGE FESTIVAL TAKES PLACE ON SATURDAY 19th JULY.
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