Event Coverage: Retro Future Festival 2019

It may only be in its third year, but Retro Future Fest is quickly shaping up to be one of London’s premier music events. This year, the festival was located at 26 Leake Street, a suitably large and imposing venue situated inside London’s infamous graffiti tunnel, which, given the stylish nature of the event, seemed oddly appropriate.

Some of the artists and bands playing throughout the evening included Maxthor, Sunglasses Kid, Starcadian, Makeup and Vanity Set, Danger, Betamaxx, and Lebrock, with each act being introduced by the DJ known as She-Ra.

Vincenzo Salvia, whose song “Italian Gigolo” can be heard in the third season of Stranger Things, was also on hand to perform, and he engaged the audience by dancing while grasping his handheld keyboard, which generated quite a response from his legions of fans. Salvia’s music can also be heard in The Summoner (review), which was directed by James Secker, one of the evening’s organizers. Secker provided us with the following quote about the highly successful evening:

“The third year was our biggest and best yet. Every act came together to deliver the definitive synthwave night of 2019. A huge thank you to the acts, the people who attended and to the crew involved in putting together a night to remember. We will see you next year.”

Along with the music being performed to hundreds of guests in the main part of the venue, there was also a suitably named Cardboard Arcade area, where you could enjoy playing some of your favorite video games housed inside cardboard arcade machines. While I couldn’t quite get the hang of Gang Beasts, I thought Superflight was super addictive (pun intended), and if it wasn’t for the queue of others waiting to have a go, I might have been tempted to play it all evening. Being an aficionado of retro gaming, I was also delighted to see Sega Mega Drive Classic and SNES Classic machines hooked up throughout the venue, even if I did get my butt kicked at Street Fighter.

The Terminator was also walking around the venue looking for Sarah Connor. The cosplayer even spoke in a hilarious Schwarzenegger voice and was kind enough to pose for pictures with fans, which added to the overall friendly atmosphere of the evening. Needless to say, I had a blast at this year’s Retro Future Fest, and I can’t wait to come back next year. If you’re a fan of synthwave or just live music in general, this is an annual event you also can’t afford to miss.



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