For those of you that don't know! Retro Future Festival is a celebration of all things Retro Electro, Synthwave and 80’s - From the music, movies, gaming, neon, lights & lasers.
We like to book artists from across the globe to give our fans the chance to see their favourite acts live on stage. There’s also console retro gaming, fantastic merchandise and giveaways, live entertainment, movie and music cos-players and more!
A party not to be missed and we’re extremely excited to be going live again for Retro Future Festival 2021 and we’ve been thinking of ways to make your festival even better and secure for the future - The Retro Future -.
People are often very surprised to hear the amount of Organisation, Promotion and especially the costs every year to host a festival and RFF (Being a niche genre in terms of the music) is no different, and a big chunk of these costs are paid for far in advance of the event. The larger the financial support we have, the more secure our future and the longer we can continue to bring you the festival with a line-up and a Groovy Cult 80s future vibes you won't find anywhere else.
We're doing everything we can to survive through this unprecedented year; budgeting, live online events and exploring new concepts. But Government help is limited and Raising over 5k, or any amount toward this gets us a significant step further towards our goal. Your investment in Retro Future Festival will make a very impactful contribution to the financial black hole we find ourselves in and need to fill, but the situation we are facing is overwhelming, and anything we can raise over the coming 6 weeks will make a massive difference toward us being able to exceed expectations and to continue to produce the uncompromised and affordable Retro Future Festival events you Love for years to come.
We are truly independent and one of the first festivals in the UK of its kind, and are only accountable to our community. So please keep doing your thing, pledging and sharing our Crowdfunder with your friends.
Why Are We Crowdfunding?
The actions of an incompetent venue and the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world and the subsequent restrictions imposed on the events and entertainment industry to slow its spread has meant that we had no choice other than halt all our planning for this year's Retro Future Festival - which would have been our 4th Year running the event (and we were so sure 2020 was going to be a good year for the scene). This is heart-breaking as Retro Future Festival is an annual reunion of a growing community of like-minded Retro-Futurism and 80's lovers, Artists and Musicians.
This also meant as a company we have had to survive with little to no income for 12 months. What does this mean for Retro Future Festival?
The devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world has had a detrimental effect on the music industry. The team were disheartened that we couldn't get together Live in the Summer of 2020 but we are also excited to bring you the "Retro Future Festival - Lockdown Weekender" which is an online FREE to view streaming event Via Youtube and Twitch taking place on the Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th of October.
Two days packed full of 80s, Synthwave and Dark Synth artists and other retro viewing for your pleasure
Suicide awareness and charity fundraising
We are also raising money for a suicide crisis charity in our home county of Gloucestershire, Suicide Crisis is a registered charity (charity number 1170444) which runs a Suicide Crisis Centre. Recent statistics have shown that suicide rates have almost doubled over the Covid 19 Pandemic and especially during the Lockdown period.
Suicide Crisis provide face to face support for people in Gloucestershire who are at risk of suicide. They have been providing excellent service for seven years, and have never had a suicide of a client under their care. 10 percent of your pledges will go to helping those in need during these crazy times.
The Stark Financial Challenge We Face
- We now find ourselves in a very grave financial situation. We have already invested significant, unrecoverable costs into Retro Future Festival 2019/20 as well as the ongoing overhead costs simply required to exist.
- We are now having to put aside funds from odd jobs and temporary part-time work.
- As well as seeking out and securing small investments from Friends and Family.
- But this will still not be enough to fill the black hole we are staring at, and now we look to you, our Retro community and family, to help us get through these turbulent times.
- We know that, with a little help from our friends, we can weather this storm and emerge stronger.
- RFF has significant Cultural importance ("the scene") in the UK (and globally) and has always stood by the integrity of community resilience, and now more than ever this crisis has shown how important the concept of ‘Community’ really is. We all need each other in this mad year, not only to continue to survive but to continue to thrive!
How You Can Help
- We need to raise as much as possible to help keep our little Retropia alive. The money will help us bridge the gap into next year; covering essential costs like paying for and securing a venue in Central London on the Saturday 31st of July, also ensuring that our small and dedicated organisation continues to exist (with belts tightened), and making sure we are able to produce next year’s festival without any compromise to you, to our ethos or to the quality of the festival.
- Retro Future Festival is also part of a wider community and ecosystem in the world, and your donation supports this as much as our own core costs.
- Retro Future Festival is too precious to so many people not to exist. It is so much more than a festival, it’s a space that we can live by the Cult Retro values we hold so dearly, and clearly demonstrate a different world is possible. And you, our community and supporters, are an integral part of making this happen.
- Pledging for your ticket early can immensely support the festival, someone's birthday coming up? Christmas not far off? Bring your friends to Retro Future Festival 2021 and please share as much as you can.
We will work non-stop to ensure that Retro Future Festival will return next year, stronger and more resilient than ever. We will also continue to develop and support the community that promotes a safe space to get away, have fun and meet new people, in new places, as well as carrying on the work we do with all our artists & creative partners.
What We Are Offering
We got some seriously Rad rewards up for grabs, Discount on pre-sale single and group tickets, become a Trustee with lifetime VIP entry, the chance to win one-off collectable Retro future festival & artist memorabilia, some amazingly intricate exclusive art prints from ZIRK, more food and drink than you can shake a stick at, and more!, Check out the rewards section for the full list of what's up for grabs!
If you have any queries on the rewards or would like to get in touch about donating please reach us at [email protected]
Investors option and Business sponsor
- As well as our Rad rewards, Retro Future Festival is looking for investors for next years festival, if you are passionate about the festival and would like to see if flourish then check out our rewards section for the investors option. Not only will you allow us to continue to put on excellent nights, but you will also be closely kept up to date with exclusive behind the scenes news leading up to the event. You can reach us to discuss investment options at [email protected]
- As well as the investor's option, Retro Future Festival are looking for sponsors for next year, Sponsoring Retro Future Festival 2021 will include your brand/all your links on our website/social media, your logo on our posters/promotion for the 6 months leading up to the event (with a fan base of 20k across our social media, and an event reach of over 100k), being closely kept up to date with exclusive behind the scenes news leading up to the event and the option to set up your own stall at the festival itself. You can reach us to discuss investment options at [email protected]
Our Promise To You
With your help, we can in return promise to:
- Present an incredible musical line up that you won’t find elsewhere – and that perfectly compliments the vibe, atmosphere and rhythm of your weekend.
- To grow as a community and to keep getting better and better each year adding new aspects to the festival whilst keeping the festival values at its core alive.
- Give you a thousand chances to participate, whether you’re after escapism into a Life of Retro Futurism, there for the music and to meet up with long lost friends, or if its the first time you've experienced the festival to continue the dream for yourself and future generations to enjoy.
- Provide a Synth, Retro adventure, where you can watch history being made year in year out, make lots of new friends and return to the "real world" hyped up on the joys of the music and the beauty of being alive.
Retro Future Festival - The Story So Far
By William Holder
Like the huge vibrant disco parties in the 80s and the gigs/tours of some of the most fantastic artists in the era, the message of Retro Future Festival is one of absolute radness and feel good energies, bringing people together to experience the joys of being taken away to a different dimension or a place in the past that is synth/retro-wave music. As Wang Chung once sang, “Everybody Have Fun Tonight!”.
2016 - Inception
Retro Future Festival is currently the UK’s longest continuously running specialist Retro Futurism & synth music festival. This idea was created in late 2016 when two small independent business owners from the south-west of the UK (Cheltenham) came together to discuss putting on an event to showcase the Cyberpunk Dystopian 80s inspired concept trailer for 'Retro Grade Future'.
On the date of inception Winter 2016, Final Film and Beholderwear promotions met in the Frog and Fiddle Bar and Venue in Cheltenham for a few solid brewskis to discuss ideas for the event, bringing their combined love of 80s culture and science fiction into the future, using their expertise and pushing the boat out to make the event the best it could be for our friends and fans of the scene in general, and quite to the surprise of everyone involved, it took off like a rocket! And the term 'Retro Future Festival' was coined.
2017 - From Dreams To Reality
We decided to settle in London for our first event and since then RFF has taken a nomadic journey through the south of the UK, putting on events in different areas of England's capital as well as Cheltenham and even franchising to Malmo in Sweden! Retro future festival has also sponsored smaller events in London and Bristol working with collaborators to spread our message far and wide. But for a handful of Shire Folk, putting on thefirst event in London right at the heat of summer wasn't an easy task. The more and more we looked into booking venues & artists in a large city the bigger the costs became and the amount of investment we had at the time wouldn't be enough for us to organise the event. This was a huge learning curve for the team which leads to our first Crowd Fund on Kick Starter which succeeded at 3.6K of investment, thus securing deposits on all of our acts and the venue at Styx in Tottenham! Retro Future Festival was now live and after a few months of extra planning the event turned out to be a success.
After experiencing the buzz of what it was like to put on the first event, the absolutely amazing feedback we had from the crowd and the artists and the drive to keep the dream alive, we decided promptly to get rid of the post-event blues and plan our next event for Winter of 2017, bringing some of the artists from (what was soon to be) the annual summer event! Neon Winter was born and took place on December 15th hosted at two venues (The Frog and Fiddle and The 2 Pigs) in our humble home town and again also returned huge positive feedback from the attendees and artists involved allowing us to continue our journey and grow as a community even until this day.
2018 - The Year That Rocked
Fast forward to February 2018, after setting our sights higher and landing on 229 the venue for our second year in London, we knew we needed to step up our game, thus organising 'Back to the 80s' which was a Retro Future Festival club night at Thirteen Degrees in Cheltenham to fund-raise for our festive summer show. BTT80s took place over two floors and was our first event to incorporate retro gaming, bringing that aspect of our ethos into the events. The event again got a lot of good publicity and had a great turn out which allowed us (along with more investment from interested parties ) to secure Retro Future Festival II for later in the year.
Roll on summer 2018, the hottest day of the year in a massive (for us) multi-roomed venue in Central London After months of planning and promotion we were back for our second event and the biggest one to date at the time. With even more Retro gaming, Face painting, Merchandise and more Synthwave than you can shake a stick at RFF 2018 turned out to be a massive hit, doubling the capacity of the first year's event and allowing us to work with more artists from overseas and growing our following even more. It was at the festival we were approached by Witch and the Wolf who were happy to get involved and organise an autumnal event for retro future fest which was named 'The Aftermath'. Witch and the Wolf - an arts and entertainment company in Bristol - then took us to New Cross Inn, London for our next smaller event which took place on the 5th of September, with dedicated teamwork and a great location the event went super well and kept the Retro Future Train rolling. Around the same time, RFF received a message that would eventually take them overseas which made everyone at Retro Future HQ very excited. We were approached by a promotions company in Malmo, Sweden to franchise the festival for springtime 2019. We we're stoked! From what started as a handful of people was now turning into a venture into Europe. RFF was expanding and we were loving it. Roll on 2019!
2019 - Tough Times At The Office
This year turned out to be a turbulent time for Retro future festival with the excitement of promoting a big event overseas and searching for a venue to start planning our Summer UK event in London. Four months into the year we find ourselves at Heathrow airport, London, flying to the beautiful city of Malmo, After a night in the hotel, it was time to get ourselves awake and down to Kulturbolaget which was a fantastic venue (in the past hosting bands like Muse, The White stripes, The Kyle Gass Band and more). The guys on the ground in Sweden organising the event were awesome and pulled off a fantastically epic festival. Retro Future Festival Summer 2019 in the UK was a different story. We found a Gem of a Venue in a fantastic location (Waterloo, London) that had just come under new management and was going through immediate renovations. Unfortunately for us, the turnaround of staff at the venue was high and this lead to poor management of our event from the venue itself, thus incurring extra hidden fees (leaving us at a huge loss) and not allowing us to set that standard we would like at any of our events. This aside we continued to plan an epic event bigger than anything we pulled off before flying artists in from all over to smash it live on stage for everyone who attended. Despite the stresses of organising this event we had a wicked time and really enjoyed ourselves!
2020 - The Year That Shalt Not Be Named
And here we are in 2020! After our shortfall in the last year and The Pandemic halting any plans for a 2020 event, The team at Retro Future Festival decided to cease trading and take a break as a company whilst the spread of the virus increased and strict lockdown measures were imposed. Which leads us to present day. seeing all the old memories of last years Festival on social media and coming to the realization that we may lose Retro Future Festival, the team took action and started planning 'Retro Future Festival - Lockdown Weekender' which is a completely free Online live stream event to give you your annual fix of Rad Synth wave artists and to Fund-raise for next years Summer Festival as well as releasing our very own branded clothing store (announcements coming soon), Check out Retro Future Clothing to be the first to hear about it.
2021 - The Skies The Limit
For next Year Retro Future Festival is planning a HUGE event, we have a few venues on standby for the weekend of the 31st of July (and possibly the 1st of August ;). Our 5K goal will allow us to come back next year to synth your socks off!
Anything over our target will go to making the festival more badass that anything we have done previously bringing you Unforgettable music, Retro gaming, Fantastic Entertainment, Cool Cosplay, Amazing Merchandise and that feel-good attitude you can only find at Retro Future Festival.
Hitting our 10k stretch goal will allow us to not only put on a night you will never forget but to put on 2 nights Back to back for a weekend of epic synth. The sky really is the limit on this one guys!
- We wanna start off by saying a Huge thank you to anyone that has ever attended a Retro Future Festival event, We do this for the passion of bringing everyone together for a shared ideal but without you, the fans, we would never be able to put these kind of events on, Big up every single one of you.
- We also wanna thank everyone one of our followers across our social media platforms for keeping up with us and interacting to posts, pics and more on a daily basis. Cheers for keeping us going!
- We Next wanna shout out to all the Artists and Creative Partners inc Sponsors and Venues for continuing to provide superb entertainment each year. Keep doing what youre doing with passion!
- And last we wanna thank the organisers and promoters that work tirelessly each year to make this all possible:
Simon Redmile, Christopher Stratton, Tim Hills, Rob James, James Secker, Jody Coombes, Kat Walpole, Alex Thompson, Darren Detoni, Luke Hudson, Ashley Anita, Martin Larbey, Martin Tucker, Chris Józefczyk and everyone else who has helped us throw these events.
Disclaimer - Covid and the Future
With more and more restaurants, pubs and businesses opening up slowly over the later part of this year following guidelines it still doesn't mean the events industry is out of the water yet. Whilst we are confident that social distancing measures, as well as lockdown, will be lifted by summer 2021 we cannot guarantee that the virus will be gone. In the case of a continued lockdown into summer 2021 we have taken measures with all of our financial partners (venues, Artists, Creative partners) to have a clause in which any deposits we put down will be completely refunded to us in the case of another spike in the pandemic and we will postpone the event until everything is back to "Normal". We are sure it won't come to this but after living through this crazy year, anything is possible.