Bedford has many festivals we know and love, but did you know about the one hiding just up the A6 in Clapham? Each year in August, the Twinwood Farm Airfield steps back in time and holds Twinwood Festival one of the biggest vintage music and dance events in Europe. Our reporter, Zoe Stafford spent the day there…
Walking from the car park into the arena really is like stepping into an old film. At times it’s easy to forget it’s a wet, August Sunday in 2018! Each direction you turn there’s vintage music playing, couples dancing and some impeccably dressed revellers.
Don’t worry if you forgot your hat or even if you want to add to your collection, there is an abundance of stalls with vintage and reproduction clothing and accessories with some really fantastic buys. I’m glad I left the credit card at home!
Of course, the music is incredible. As someone who was brought up listening to their grandad’s skiffle collection and reminded of his love of Jerry Lee Lewis every week, I was in musical heaven. Different stages provide you with different genres of music from the 1920s-1960s, so there’s something for every vintage music fan, and it’s superbly played by passionate and talented musicians.
But my favourite part? The dancing.
Oh, the dancing!
Those that know me know I can’t do anything without a dance routine to accompany it (supermarket aisles are basically made to dance down. Awkward when you work in one.), so as soon as I found the dance tent I had to join in. Each hour there is a free dance class, suitable for all levels, teaching you a different dance craze or style from the 40s and 50s. Fancy learning how to lindy hop or having a go at a jitterbug stroll? There’s the place to go! There’s even free, beginners swing dance lessons, which are perfect to put in to practice on the dance floor in the Control Tower stage where the floor is full of couples twirling around and having a good old jive. The ones who know what they’re doing don’t even mind it when you don’t (Thank you to the lovely man from Peterborough who put up with me constantly twirling the wrong way!), as long as you’re having fun!
It was so easy to get lost in the world of the different eras and it’s one I want to get lost in each year. Everyone I spoke to had been coming back year after year and I can really see why. Anyone who has an appreciation for anything vintage would love it, you don’t even have to dress up (but that’s probably the most fun part). It has the modern day necessities (excellent phone signal, pizza and cocktails) but is a real life time machine, and it’s only round the corner, so no campsite showers needed for us!
So, if anyone wants to know what to get me for Christmas, I’ll have a weekend ticket for Twinwood Festival, please.
Twinwood 2019 takes place on 23 – 26 August and you can pre-book your tickets here.