Welcome to Charity Shop DJ Productions

Name of Project: Down the Back of the Sofa 2011

Client: Vintage at the South Bank Centre


Project Summary:

Charity Shop DJ was commissioned by designer and curator, Wayne Hemingway to create a venue for the Vintage Festival which was held on London’s South Bank to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the Festival of Britain in 2011.

As a ‘transition organisation’ Derby Museums wanted to explore alternative commercial models before leaving Local Authority control to become an independent trust. They also wanted to showcase previously unseen objects from their collection to a new audience and to raise the profile of their organisation.

Charity Shop DJ's background in festival production and previous relationship with the Vintage Festival ensured that we were ideally positioned to introduce Derby Museums to a commercial festival environment.


Down the Back of the Sofa at Vintage 2011

Down the Back of the Sofa, created by Charity Shop DJ in partnership with Derby Museums, was a pop up venue which transformed the largest public bar of the Royal Festival Hall.

The project, which looked at how and why we value things, was funded by the Museums Association Effective Collections Programme, and finished in the final three of the temporary and touring exhibition category of the 2012 Museum and Heritage Awards.

Charity Shop DJ also programmed Derby-based theatre companies, artists and performers into the space, providing them with a new audience and performance platform.

The delivery of this project involved successfully fulfilling the objectives of three partners: Derby Museums, the Vintage Festival, and the Royal Festival Hall.

Vintage on the South Bank

Our Brief


Derby Museums

  • To create and articulate outward-facing project concepts
  • To support Derby Museums in their exploration of alternative models of income development by introducing them to – and placing them within – a commercial festival environment
  • To support Derby Museums in the development of relationships with other cultural providers
  • To showcase previously unseen collections held by Derby Museums and introduce a new audience to their work

The Vintage Festival

  • To create a fun and funky environment which fitted the vibe and values of the Vintage Festival
  • To produce DJ sets based upon the Charity Shop DJ musical participation format, Choose Your Cheese
  • To create a venue to be used as a stage and performance platform for other performing artists including Sandy Shaw and Chris Roberts
  • To introduce the Vintage Festival to alternative models of production, involving community providers

Our Process


  • Project concepts devised and articulated
  • Previously unseen objects selected from Museums store, according to fit with project concepts
  • Objects selected from Derbyshire charity shops to provide coherent context for museum objects and to act as a springboard for debates about the selective nature of value
  • Stage set created using museum objects and charity shop purchases and installed in Royal Festival Hall



The Installation: captured as time-lapse


Vintage on the South Bank
Charity Shop DJ at Vintage 2011


  • Transformation of space: a visually stunning and immersive party environment
  • Unselfconscious public interaction with venue environment and museum objects 
  • Venue replicated at Derby’s Silk Mill as part of the 2011 Wright of Derby Festival
  • Derby Museums use project processes to mentor Northampton Museum through the development of an interactive venue to showcase the Northampton Museum collection at the Wilderness Festival 2012
  • The project finished in the final three of the temporary and touring exhibition category of the 2012 Museum and Heritage Awards.
  • Development of new audiences and performance opportunities for Derby-based artists and performers
  • Establishment of ongoing relationship between Derby Museum and Wayne Hemingway
Vintage on the South Bank

How the Project Achieved the Objectives of our Partners

  • One of the most popular venues at the Vintage Festival, evidenced from audience testimonials
  • New income streams introduced into Vintage Festival; Festival becomes aware of new funding models (Vintage 2013 is partially public funded and is working with community providers in Glasgow)
  • Accessibility to Derby Museum collections was improved; future projects now planned that showcase the Museum collections to different audiences
  • A transferable process was created
  • The profile of Derby, Joseph Wright and Derby Museums was raised
  • Lasting partnerships were built for both clients between other cultural providers
  • Public and governing body are now aware that museums are becoming more flexible and willing to work in new and surprising ways
  • New sector ( music and arts festivals ) now value museum contribution and look to partnership potential
Vintage on the South Bank



‘Intelligent fun’ [Wayne Hemingway, The Vintage Festival]

‘To make a big arts event work like Vintage at the South Bank Centre you need fantastic collaborators who get into the swing of it, get into the spirit and get on there and deliver something fantastic’ [Wayne Hemingway, The Vintage Festival]

‘What you do is facilitate understanding between agendas that think they are different. You make collaboration possible where previously it wasn’t even considered’ [Jonathan Wallis, Derby Museums]

'Completely ego-free' [Party-goer]


Here are a couple of videos made for the project. The first was an evaluative film made for Derby Museums by Doug Smith. The second was made by Charity Shop DJ and Pixelated and ponders the nature of value.

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