What’s the Retro Future Festival all about?

Retro Future Fest is an idea Christopher Stratton – director of “Retro Grade Future” which is a buddy cop time travel film currently in production – and myself (William Holder) came up with to premiere their concept trailer for the movie. Originally it was meant to be a small, one off event but the reception was amazing so we all pushed the boat out and decided to go forward as an annual festival. Retro Future Fest is a celebration of all things Retro Electro and Synthwave - The music, the 80s lifestyle, movies, gaming, lights, neon, lasers. We like to book artists from across the globe to give people the chance to see their favourite acts. There’s also console retro gaming, fantastic merch and giveaways, live entertainment, movie and music cosplayers and more! A party not to be missed.

What exactly is Synthwave?

Synthwave is a genre of electronic music influenced by 1980s cult film and retro video game soundtracks as well as the synthesizer explosion of the early 80s. Beginning in the mid 2000s, the RetroFuturism aspect of the genre developed from various niche communities on the internet, reaching wider popularity in the early 2010s. Synthwave (and Retrowave) is also the wider spectrum term for all of its sub genres like Outrun, Dark Synth, Future Funk, Dreamwave, Italia Disco etc. In its music and artwork, Synthwave engages in RetroFuturism, emulating 1980s science fiction, action, Horrormedia, Miami Vice and Cyberpunk.

Who are some of the artists we have worked with?

So far we have worked with Nina, WaveShaper, Robert Parker, Futurecop, Kalax, StarNoir, Siblings Of Us, Player One, The Department, Cryocon, Kenji Run, NightStop, Duett, Lebrock, Absolute Valentine, Sunglasses Kid, Iversen, Occams Laser, The Frixion, Electric Littany, Maethlvin, VHS Dreams, Vincenzo Salvia, DJ She-Ra and Highway Superstar!
We hope to work with many more of your favourite artists in future events.
(these will be updated with more events)

What are some of our previous and upcoming events?

-Retro Future Fest, 28/07/2017
-Neon Winter, 15/12/2017
-Back to the 80s, 23/02/2018
-Retro Future Fest 2, 28/07/2018
-The Aftermath, 06/09/2018

- Retro Future Fest - Sweden, 30/03/2019
- Retro Future Fest 3, 27/07/2019

(these will be updated as time goes on)

What are some of the biggest Synthwave movie and gaming titles?

I would have to say a lot of the cult 80s classics inspired the movie side of modern Synthwave. Titles like 'Blade Runner', 'The Terminator', 'Robocop', as well as some of the horror titles of the era. As for recent releases, we have films like 'Drive', 'Kung Fury' and 'Bladerunner 2049' bringing the culture more and more into the mainstream. Even films like 'Thor Ragnarok' has that Synthwave edge about it. As for gaming, it’s typically rooted in the 80s and early 90s 8/16 bit consoles, with all their retro midi sounds, so I couldn’t pick just one, but it’s definitely an integral part of the culture.

Do we think Synthwave is here to stay?

We reckon so, as long as producers keep producing and we keep putting on events then definitely. Synthwave is global for sure, but still niche and we hope to change that.

Our journey so far...

From an idea between two friends having a drink at the Frog and Fiddle (a local bar and music venue in Cheltenham) to over 3000 followers across our networks we have come a long way in the past couple of years. We started our first event (which was the first retro festival of its kind in the U.K at the time) at Styx In Tottenham, London and took the synth events world by storm with an amazing reception that had the fans crying out for more, so we started planning for the second festival which was held a year later (with a few small events in between) at 229 the venue, Central London which just about doubled in size to the 1st fest! After the second fest we took a bit of a breather but now we are back and planning Retro Future Fest 3 for summer 2019 in London and our very first overseas event.

William Holder

To keep up to date with all that is Retro Future Festival and the first to hear about all the updates, please fill out the form. We promise not to shoot you with too many lasers!

Follow us on social media