The world famous Wigan Casino Northern Soul All Nighter celebrated its 50th Anniversary at the Winter Gardens over the weekend of the 22nd September. Richard Oughton tells us why the weekend, and the scene, was significant to him and shares his pictures from the celebration

For almost two decades, I’ve been documenting the Northern Soul subculture and the one off September edition of the Blackpool International Soul Festival was truly one to remember.

As a photographer, to capture these types of images is an integral part of understanding the music, studying the dancing style and technique and, more importantly, timing –particularly when wanting to capture that infamous high leg kick or maybe a jump in the air.

For me an unawareness of the camera enables me to capture that decisive moment when the dancer is literally lost and immersed in the music.

For anyone who is into their Northern Soul – whether that be classic, rare and underplayed, Motown or if you preferred more modern, funk or a mixture of mod, ska or reggae – then the British International Soul Festival has something for everyone and this was definitely an event to be remembered in such a poignant 50th anniversary year of Wigan Casino.

I hope you’ll agree there was certainly the passion out there on the dance floor which hopefully my images both depict and capture a moment in time to create a lasting memory of such an amazing anniversary weekend of a scene that I feel privileged to be a part of.

The British International Soul Festival returns to the Winter Gardens 21st-23rd June 2024. Tickets available here.


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