New Romantic festival to honour Steve Strange will be held in Porthcawl

A one day music festival that celebrates the life of Steve Strange will be held in Porthcawl this October.

The New Romantic Festival will honour the pioneering style icon, who died in February, and the ‘80s scene that he helped create.

The event will be staged in the town’s Grand Pavilion on Saturday, October 31, and feature live music from artistes past and present who have links to the New Romantic movement.

The salute to the life of the former Visage frontman and kingpin of the Blitz Club that fostered the early careers of the likes of Spandau Ballet and Boy George is being masterminded by Welsh musician Jayce Lewis and Steve Strange’s former PA Amanda Lloyd.

Steve died aged 55 from heart failure on holiday in Egypt and the pair organised the singer’s star-studded funeral that was held in Porthcawl last month.

Boy George and members of Spandau Ballet carry Steve’s coffin

Crowds of fans and well-wishers lined the street outside All Saints Church in the seaside town as the pop star was given a lavish send-off.

Pop icons Boy George, Spandau Ballet’s Martin and Gary Kemp and Steve Norman, and close friend Jayce fought back tears as they carried the coffin.

An icon of our times

Spandau Ballet lead singer Tony Hadley, ABC’s Martin Fry, hairdresser Nicky Clarke and Liverpudlian actress Margi Clarke were among the 400-plus mourners who filled the church.

Following Steve’s funeral, it was decided to create an annual event in his memory.

Related: Steve and me, by the friend who knew him for 40 years

“We’re currently in the early planning stages and negotiating with some familiar names from the ‘80s,” said Jayce, who is the singer with rock outfit Protafield.

“It’s a reaction to the unbelievable coverage that Steve received after his untimely death.

“I think everybody was blown away by the reaction and the love that there was for him. It also made us think that this movement is still very much alive and there is still so much interest in it.

Steve (far right) with friends in 1976

“It captured a moment in music that has influenced and keeps influencing bands. We realised the magnitude of what he started and what we could carry on with the festival.”

“I couldn’t believe a festival like this hadn’t been done before.”

Jayce added that while they have grand ambitions for the New Romantic Festival they don’t want to get ahead of themselves.

“We’re going to start it off being realistic and careful, and see how it goes. We’ve got the Elvis Festival in Porthcawl and that’s massive and we can’t see why this festival can’t do as well as that eventually.

“The reaction we’ve had so far has been great and Steve’s family are very much behind what we’re planning.

“Tickets will be online soon and available through the Grand Pavilion. People should keep an eye on the Facebook page for the latest news.”

Article source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/whats-on/music-nightlife-news/new-romantic-festival-honour-steve-9050859