What is Seaside Revival?

Seaside Revival is a vintage festival celebrating Bangor’s heyday as a thriving seaside resort. It is a free event, conceived and organised by Open House Festival, that takes place on the seafront and features rock ‘n’ roll, vintage stalls, sea swimming, vinyl record fair, fashion show, classic cars and a revival–themed picnic in beautiful Ward Park. There is also live music and dancing from the era of swing, jazz and big band which celebrates Bangor’s famous dancehalls, Caproni’s, Milano’s and The Savoy.

Why are we doing it?

In recent decades local people have become increasingly disconnected from the town’s heritage. With very little cultural infrastructure and a failed retail sector, Bangor has suffered a downward social and economic spiral symptomatic of many British and Irish seaside towns.  

Older people in Bangor look back with fondness to its heyday, but with a sense of regret for all that has been lost, while many of the younger generation who know little of the town’s past condemn it as a boring place to live. But we believe that Bangor has so much to offer everyone who lives here.

Our aims

Through this new vintage festival we want to revive positive memories and use them to create new ones. We hope to reposition Bangor as a modern seaside town, drawing on its unique assets of the seafront, a thriving community of artists and creatives, Victorian architecture, its closeness to Belfast – and most importantly, an appetite among residents for change and regeneration.

We believe that if local people can connect with their past, they will start talking the town up again and become a key part of the next chapter. 

2019 seaside revival vintage festival

Seaside Revival will take place at Bangor seafront on Saturday 6th July 2019 and there will be other vintage festival events including Bangor’s Ghost (Thursday 4th), Seaside Stomp (Friday 5th) and Revival Picnic (Sunday 7th). 

More information to come. If you’d like to get involved, contact caroline@openhousefestival.com


2018 photos

Partners & funders

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Great Place Scheme, Seaside Revival aims to re-position Bangor as a modern seaside town – the Brighton of Northern Ireland – with a distinctive cultural offer. 

Led by Open House Festival, the Project brings together seven organisations representing different businesses and community interests in the town: Ards and North Down Borough Council, Bangor Chamber of Commerce, North Down Community Network, North Down Development Corporation, Boom! Studios, and Main Street My Street.