1. Location - the location was perfect for me. Right on my doorstep the Bailgate is just a 5 - 10 minute walk (depending on heels) from my door. I also think that the surrounding area really lent itself to the event with the backdrop of the amazing Cathedral and Castle (the grounds of which are now free to enter). I love my home front events and always prefer those to a muddy field of tanks and explosions. Even the cobbles of the Bailgate are easier to walk on in my heels than a field of rabbit holes and dug outs.
2. Local Participation - this was mixed as in some parts it felt as though the local business went to lots of effort with some great displays and doing additional things, such as the Afternoon Tea at Lady's Rose's Edwardian Tea Room. In other parts though it felt that the local businesses were not on board with it which is such a shame. Despite being the first time the event has been held it still drew a good crowd of visitors so not to make at least a little effort seems almost a bit ungrateful. There are a lot of other parts of the city that don't get as much attention as the Bailgate and those areas would probably be really grateful of the extra trade an event like this would bring.
3. Turn out - as mentioned before the event was really well attended and this was only the first one they have done. Once word of mouth spreads more people will attend, hopefully more re-enactors too, as this really helps the give an event atmosphere.
4. Shopping - there were a number of stalls which I felt were not even remotely vintage or 1940's which is a shame. The shopping is a big thing at events and also if people attend who are not re-enactors but see it and want to get involved then it can give people a good starter for ten to have some experienced vintage sellers to talk to and by from. I think it also makes the event feel less like a 1940's one and more like a craft fair if the stalls are not vintage. That said there were two stalls down near the Strait selling vintage which looked really good and I may have purchased a cute little hand knitted jumper.
5. Music and dancing - at one point we stopped to have some lunch and sat outside in the sun with swing music drifting through the air. This lovely little experience was thanks to the Louth Lindy Hop Club who were dancing in the square near St Paul's Lane. Music, bands, and dancing are always an important part of the entertainment at a 1940's event. Although I don't dance myself I love the music and watching others dance. They really drew quite a crowd of spectators so it's not just me who likes this I guess.
6. Lay out - I feel that more could have been done with the layout as there were some areas which were relatively unused but would have made really great backdrops for some living history groups. The event also extended down from the Bailgate to some stalls on the Strait but this felt a little disjointed and could have used some other points of interest along the way.
Lincoln Big are planning on holding another 1940's weekend on the Bailgate next year too which I am planning on going to because it's a fun event in a good location. I hope have been balanced in my opinions of the event but I wanted to be totally honest with you readers on my thoughts. It is the first event they have held and I'm certain it's going to improve every time. There is also a 1940's day being held on the Brayford Waterfront here in Lincoln on the 23rd August 2015 from 10am - 4.30pm. There will be singers, living history displays, vintage vehicles and a Blitz fire engine display so it sounds like it's going to be a really good day. Maybe see you there!
Did you go the the 1940's Weekend on the Bailgate? What, for you, makes a really great 1940's event? I really love to know.