A Sixties Celebration to get Northampton swinging once more

The Sounds of the Sixties will come swinging back into Northampton town centre this September as part of a magical mystery tour celebrating music, culture and memories from the iconic decade.

Top tribute act The Counterfeit Beatles will headline the main stage in Market Square as part of the event, while local bands will also be performing classic tracks throughout the day and BBC Radio Northampton presenter Bernie Keith will treat crowds to an hour-long DJ set.

The town centre will be transported back to the 60s, with vintage street circus acts performing throughout the main shopping streets, hit movies based on the decade being shown at Northampton Filmhouse and a vinyl fair taking place at Element.

The event, on Saturday, September 10, has been organised by Northampton Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID) and will be one of the final major events in the Market Square before much-anticipated redevelopment work gets underway.

Mark Mullen, operations manager for Northampton Town Centre BID, said: “The 1960s is arguably one of the most iconic decades in British history and this is a chance to celebrate everything about that era that people look back upon so fondly.

“It was a particularly exciting period for Northampton, with The Beatles coming to town to play at The Old Savoy, the Cobblers enjoying their rapid rise to the top flight and the town bustling with families enjoying the new-found freedoms of those feelgood years.

“We have curated a line-up with something for everyone, whether it’s enjoying live music and entertainment, looking at classic cars or reminiscing over old photographs of our town centre capturing a bygone age.”

As part of the event, Northampton Museum & Art Gallery will stage a digital exhibition looking back at the 1960s while a display of local sporting memorabilia from the decade will be on show in Grosvenor Shopping Northampton.

Jo Gordon, Chief Executive of Northamptonshire Arts Management Trust, said: “Northampton Filmhouse is delighted to play an integral part in this fabulous festival, as we look forward to setting the scene on the Friday night with Danny Boyle’s romantic comedy, Yesterday. Our themed events will continue on the Saturday with some iconic Beatles moments and footage, featured specially for this occasion.”

Further activities will be held at Northampton Central Library while town centre retailers will be taking part in a photography collection showing how their buildings looked in the era.

Shops are encouraged to create 1960s-themed window displays while cafes, bars and restaurants can create typical menus and drinks lists from the period.

West Northamptonshire Council will be providing all-day free parking in the council owned town centre multi-storey car parks on the day itself.

Leader of West Northamptonshire Council, Jonathan Nunn, said: “Just the mere mention of the 1960s puts a smile on peoples’ faces so this promises to be a day to really celebrate a golden period in our proud history. Northampton will be swinging to the sound of the Sixties and we want as many people as possible to enjoy it.”

Members of the public can get involved by sharing their favourite photos of beloved buildings and shops from the town centre at that time, plus memories of life in Northampton. It could be treasured snaps of the Cobblers’ glorious rise to the top flight or maybe even snaps of a trip to see The Beatles at The Old Savoy in 1963.

Send a digital copy of your photograph to info@northamptonbid.co.uk.

The full line-up and additional activities for the event, which has received funding from Northamptonshire Community Foundation and Northampton Town Council, will be confirmed in the coming weeks.