On Saturday 14th June, designer Wayne Hemingway along with his son Jack, will present Land of 1,000 Dances. Inspired by Wilson Pickett’s classic R&B hit ‘Land of 1000 Dances’ Hemingway and Son will transform the Isle of Wight Festival Cabaret Tent into an uplifting party where visitors can learn dances from the 1950s onwards.

These include The Pony, The Mash Potato, The Twist, The Alligator, The Watusi and Jerk.

Festivalgoers can practice their moves under the guidance of specialist dance teachers, all to the soundtrack of a medley arranged by the UKs top vinyl spinning DJs.  Afternoon sessions begin with unashamed dancing to pop hits; Walk Like An Egyptian, The Birdie Dance and Oops Upside Your Head.

Picking up the pace the day continues with a series of more serious but no less fun dance sessions going through the decades of dance from R & B to Northern Soul and Funk.

The Cabaret Tent  will certainly be the place to be  with expert tutors on hand to keep everyone dancing as well as  teaching  those new to the genres how to jive or do a northern soul spin. The evening culminates with a fully blown Disco workout.

Wayne Hemingway said: “From Keb Darge to Eddie Piller, we have assembled some of the best vinyl  DJ’s Britain has ever produced and a team of dance teachers . Polish your dancing shoes and get in your best togs. After your dance lessons we might allow you an hour or so to rehydrate then its boogie time  to the best dance music from the late 50’s R&B through northern soul, funk, disco and boogie.”

For his visit to the Island Wayne should feel at home as he is no stranger to seaside towns having been born in Morecambe. His earliest memories are of his mum dressing him up as Elvis, a Beatle or Tarzan and being held aloft in a wrestling ring by his Red Indian father, Billy Two Rivers. Later he discovered Northern Soul, at the tender age of 13, then Disco, Punk, New Romantic and Rockabilly.  

Hemingway left school with 10 O-Levels and 4 A-Levels. In 1979 he went on to undertake another “inappropriate” move for a future fashion designer by gaining a Degree in Geography and Town Planning at University College, London. 

To fuel funds for the band that he then played in he decided to empty his wardrobe and that of his childhood sweetheart (now wife Gerardine) and took the contents to sell on Camden Market. The realisation that money could be made from fashion suddenly dawned. 

With Gerardine, Wayne built Red or Dead into a label that received global acclaim resulting in winning the prestigious British Fashion Council’s Streetstyle Designer of the Year Award for an unprecedented 3 consecutive years in 1996, 1997 and 1998. 

After 21 consecutive seasons on the catwalk at London Fashion Week, Wayne and Gerardine sold Red or Dead and in 1999 they set up Hemingway Design, which specialises in affordable and social design. Their highest profile project is, The Staiths South Bank, a 800 property mass market housing project on Tyneside for Taylor Wimpey Homes.


Hemingway Design’s other projects have included design work for the John Lewis Partnership, B&Q, Sainsbury’s and The Royal Mail.

Currently the fashion team is working on a New Uniform for London Underground. In 2015 around 14,000 Transport for London staff will be wearing this uniform.

Wayne is on the Design Council Trustee Board and the Design Council CABE Committee and he got an MBE in June 06 Queen’s Birthday List.

Wayne and his son Jack who will also be at the Isle of Wight Festival turned The Tate into a silent disco and put on a major new cultural event in August 2010, the Vintage Festival followed by the official party for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June 2012 in Battersea Park.

Wayne has got a massive vinyl collection. He started collecting at Wigan Casino and Blackpool Mecca in the 70’s and has thousands of 70’s and 80’s dance, disco, funk and northern soul records.