Vintage fans in London gear up to recreate 60s mood at festival of mod | Festivals

Hundreds of vintage fanatics, dressed in tailor-made suits and berets, are expected to descend on London this weekend for a three-day event celebrating mod subculture.

Modstock, launched 30 years ago by a British vintage fanatic, Rob Bailey, and his organisation New Untouchables, returns for its fourth edition.

Taking place only every 10 years, each edition of Modstock is a three-day and all-night event with vintage car shows, talks and panels, live music, market stalls, a scooter run, club nights, and a Thames boat party.

Alexandra Mason has been attending mod and 60s events for several years. Photograph: Andy Blakeley

“We are celebrating the culture which has, over the last six decades, influenced a lot of things in this country – particularly music and fashion, which is two of our greatest exports,” said Bailey.

Modstock will take place in west London, and welcomes 60s icons including the singers PP Arnold and Fay Hallam and the drummer Kenney Jones. It will also host bands, DJs, clothes makers, vintage car sellers and more who were not around in the 60s but drew great inspiration from it.

Bailey said: “We are having people from all over the world. Mod now is not just something that is unique to the UK, it’s worldwide and the fanbase is always changing it in their own ways. There’ll be people from all over the world coming to London this weekend to celebrate that.”

David Davidson, who is celebrating his 60th birthday this year, has travelled from Toronto, Canada, to be at Modstock.

“My wife said to treat myself for my birthday year and go on a trip, and I follow the New Untouchables and others on social media so I thought I’d go here,” he said.

Davidson has been a 60s fanatic since he was a university student in the early 1980s. He began dressing up in 60s suits, driving vintage vehicles and throwing events with the guidance of his father.

As the internet community of mod-style lovers grew, he began connecting with other people from around the world who share his interest.

He said: “I saw a bunch of people I liked and followed online who will be attending so I thought it would be a good opportunity to meet people.

“It’s genuinely fun to be around a lot of people with similar taste to you. In Toronto, we have regular Motown and mod events, but there’s a smaller group of us. But we’re spread out all over the place, so it’s fun to have so many people in the same place for this.”

Mods and Rockers in Brighton in 1982. Photograph: Paul Brown/Rex

Modstock has attracted mod and 60s fanatics from across generations, with some younger attenders keen to learn more from the older generations.

Alexandra Mason, 24, is travelling from Stoke on Trent in Staffordshire to take part in the festivities. This is her first Modstock, although she has been attending mod and 60s events for several years.

“I’m excited to see some 60s icons performing because it’s not often you can do it,” she said.

“I’m especially excited for PP Arnold because she’s always been an inspiration to me as a female musician, and she’s an incredible woman with an amazing life.”

Mason will perform at Modstock with her band, The Crystal Teardrop. “We have an affection for classic artists such as the Beatles and the Kinks alongside West Coast favourites including the Great Society, Love and the Byrds,” she said.

They were invited to play the event by Bailey and the organising team,. Mason said: “We are delighted to be part of Modstock – music will always be a vital part of the mod scene and we hope we can make our own contribution to making the weekend really special.”

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