Wednesday, 25 August 2010


As mentioned on my previous post this was Part 1 of a belated birthday present treat. My husband had kindly bought us tickets for the Saturday. Alas the glamping weekend ticket prices were more than the price of a European weekend break and so we travelled from Kent to West Sussex to get there for early doors, Saturday morning deciding that if we thought it worthwhile we could always make a return journey on Sunday. My experience below is purely as a 'punter'.

I had been looking forward to this for months – it sounded like a great concept, bringing together fashion, music and art & design from 5 decades of British Culture – but therein lies the flaw. Perhaps by catering for 'everyone' it can never be anything but a bit of a mish-mash and potentially soulless. 


Festival Fashions
Great to see most people dressed accordingly, and it was pure joy to see how and what they wore. There was much evidence of inventiveness and personal style on display from old and young. We were secretly thrilled to be stopped for photographs and complimented on our attire. I wore my trusty retro red swing dress with petticoats, pincurls and pearls – Tim wore his favourite dapper Jump the Gun brown suit (and unfortunately wellies as he refused to spoil expensive brogues in the mud when it starting raining on arrival).
Favourite dress moment: the utterly gorgeous lady in the Let's Rock tent dressed in a heavily fringed burlesque style dress, Victory Rolls and snake illustrated seamed stockings whisping their way up her calfs. As she shimmied, she was totally unaware of the effect she was having on the men behind her, all taking snaps on their mobiles. Or maybe she did ;-)

Bonhams auction items on display 
Thrilled to see the Othello dog Biba display in the flesh and slightly spooked by the ape costume from '2001 a Space Odyssey' movie. Lusted after an early Rock & Roll review poster and 50s china tea service.

The Market Place
What more can a girl love than the challenge of rummaging through racks of clothes looking for a beautiful gem among swathes of 80s horrors? And I found one! A fabulous citrus coloured print cotton swing dress from the 1950s. Pur-chased swiftly! 

Foodie Demonstration 
Pineapple Upside Down cake prepared by gorgeous patissier Eric Lanyard. Nom, nom, nom!

Soul Casino Club
Seeking solace from the rain, we danced our muddy shoes off to some cracking Northern Soul, rammed among hundreds of other festival goers till the steam literally rose!

Let it Rock
Enjoyed watching the swing dance lessons and loved the raw energy of the Caezars set. 

Main Stage
Martha & the Vandellas sang 'Dancing in the Street'. 'Nuff said.
Noisettes - ok, not my idea of 'vintage' and wasn't expecting to be wowed but they were actually really, REALLY good entertainment value. Singer Shingai launched herself into the crowd for a rousing 'Never Forget you'. Skies cleared... finally. 

Disappointed by...

I realise no one was to blame for this, but we just missed the freedom of lazing on the grass inbetween acts. Downside to glamming it up at a festival is you care deeply if you get mud on your prized vintage. Deckchairs were provided in some areas but they were obviously sopping wet too. It also meant that all the tents were overflowing during downpours and you couldn't legitimately get in to watch certain acts eg John Shuttleworth in the Leisure Dome.

Many acts/events seemed to require prebooking...
... which we didn't realise beforehand eg The Torch Room, esp when Kitten Von Mew was on, the make up & hair parlour (we were told it was booked out for the whole day within about 5 minutes of opening). There seemed to be a lottery to get into the fashion shows. I'd been looking forward to seeing at least one but everytime we queued we were turned away and told they 'might' give out entries but 'you'll have to wait around to find out'. 

Hence, we actually saw very little of the things we'd been particularly looking forward to. 

Not enough of...
Had hoped to see more art and design from all eras on show. Thought some of the displays were a little 'art college' but without the wit and energy. 
*NB-I don't have anything against art students, (I was one myself once upon a time) just anticipated more. 

Overly Commercial
Bemused by presence of Primark and John Lewis. Added nothing of vintage cred.
The Abbey Road Studio – a few photos on the walls and excuse to flog luxury brand headphones. 
Ditto some of the other shops in the High Street. Wondered who buys a Schaffhausen watch at a music festival. However I do appreciate events need sponsors. Not sure these were the right 'brands'.

Gutted to have missed: Kitten Von Mew, The Chap Olympiad, The Damned (on Sunday), Fashion show (any).

Overall we had a good time. I wanted to LOVE it but couldn't. Not enough to want to make the 2 hour trip back again on Sunday. 

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