When I received a mysterious Tweet in July asking me to RT about a free vintage music festival in Spinningfields, I was instantly intrigued. A free vintage themed event in Manchester? Of course I was in!
The event took place in the Avenue Courtyard in Spinningfields. We rolled up mid-afternoon and found the festival already in full swing – couples were getting their jive on, everybody had a beverage in their hand, and the smell of barbequed meat wafted through the air. I was surprised to see so few dressed in vintage attire, but a lot of the attendees seemed to have just stumbled across the event whilst wandering around Manchester with their kids, and of course it’s always great to see new people discovering the contemporary vintage scene.
The venue was laid out really well with most people being able to fit under the sheltered areas of the courtyard during the short heavy bursts of rain throughout the day (we did get caught in a storm on our way home, but that’s another story…) and the music travelled beautifully. The courtyard was also littered with giant beanbags which was a thoughtful touch.
My one qualm was that the line-up wasn’t exactly as it was advertised online or on the flyers, which may have been frustrating for anyone who came to see a particular band. I was personally stoked to see Kiki De Ville at 5.45, but despite staying until 6.30, didn’t manage to catch her. I’m not sure if this was down to poor planning or supply and demand – a certain Michael Buble sound-a-like seemed to do an extraordinarily long set, but many audience members continued to cheer for more. And a true gentleman always complies! Either way, the acts I did get to see were all excellent and demonstrated a great range of mid-century sounds. From Rock ‘n’ Roll to Rat Pack crooners to Tom Waits meets Harlem Swing.
Of course the day didn’t exactly end up being spend-free, mostly due to the lure of delicious Oast House nibbles so close by, but such an amazing selection of Americana artists for no admission fee is definitely not to sniffed at.
Spinfest returns in August for a “Beer and Blues” festival, combining two of my great loves! The line-up looks superb, and I urge anyone looking for a cheap and cheerful way to spend the August bank holiday to come along and check it out!
Words; Our lovely Adele
Find out more about Spinfest here