THE RETURN OF SEASIDE REVIVAL

VINTAGE festival Seaside Revival is swinging back into action in August. The free one-day event on Bangor’s central shorefront is expected to bring around 20,000 people to town to enjoy retro-styled live music, swing dancing, classic vehicles and a vintage car boot sale. It’s the first proper return for the annual event after Covid forced the festival to take place in back gardens and street parties for the past two summers, with its usual seafront crowds of thousands blocked by pandemic restrictions. First set up in 2018, the celebration of all things vintage, local and seasideinspired looks back at Bangor’s past as Northern Ireland’s premiere summer resort while also plotting a way forward to the cultural renaissance that’s hoped to regenerate it for the future. Centred around the Queen’s Parade and McKee Clock area, the festival takes place on Saturday, August 13, and is organised by Open House with support from Tourism NI and Ards and North Down Council. Headlining the music line-up are rockabilly favourites the Sabrejets, while also appearing are Bangor duo Jenna Frazer and David Arthur, singing hits from the American big band era. DJs will be spinning vintage tunes throughout the afternoon, with dancing from the era of swing, jazz and big band – a nod to Bangor’s famous dancehall days at Caproni’s, Milano’s and the Savoy. All afternoon the organisers will be handing out ‘best dressed’ spot prizes for people in their nattiest retro outfits, while Queen’s Parade car park hosts a vintage vehicle show, with prizes on offer for the best original car, bike and van, as well as best modifications. Other features include a car boot sale, vintage makeovers, food trucks and a pop-up bar. This year’s event isn’t, organisers concede, quite up to the same scale as the massive inaugural bash in 2019, but Seaside Revival is still making a gradual comeback from Covid and organisers hope it will bring crowds flocking to check out summer celebrations by the sea in Northern Ireland’s newest city. Said Open House director Kieran Gilmore: “From the 1940s to the mid70s, Bangor was a thriving seaside town with a strong local community and a successful tourism economy. “At Open House we work hard to reconnect the people of Bangor to the seafront and town centre through arts and cultural events, and Seaside Revival is a perfect way to embrace the things that made Bangor a great place in the past and help shape its future as a modern seaside city resort.”