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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Vintage at Goodwood: Festival Preview

Are you going to Vintage at Goodwood? We're not. Here's why. Here's how not to run a brand new festival. And what does Vintage really mean anyway?

Written by Amelia Gregory

Natasha-Thompson-Vintage-Goodwood-Illustration
Vintage at Goodwood by Natasha Thompson.

I must admit, I’ve had my reservations from the start. Right from the moment when they wheeled out that universally irritating celebrity known as Lily Allen. Young, rich, famous and by all accounts a pain in the butt. Best known amongst the vintage community for out-bidding everyone else on all the best clothes at auction. Admittedly the closest I have ever got to Lily Allen was when she nonchalantly flicked cigarette ash on me as I passed her huge chauffeur driven four wheel drive on my bike one day last summer. But I think this tells me enough.

Vintage at Goodwood is a new festival. A new festival afloat in the sea of other festivals now populating British weekends throughout the summer months. Not a weekend goes by without at least two or three wonderful festivals that I know about to chose from, and many others that I don’t. Trying to find a niche market that hasn’t already spent as much as they can afford on summer festival frivolities is surely not an easy thing to do. Not surprisingly Vintage at Goodwood hasn’t sold out in it’s first year.

lilyallen-vintage dress(by cat sims)
Lily Allen in a vintage dress by Cat Sims.

So, they’ve done a notably huge amount of advertising – plastering everything from Bobbin Bicycles to bus billboards with the distinctive Vintage at Goodwood posters, which proclaim a festival that places as much emphasis on art, fashion, film and design as it does on music. All well and good, it’s a trend pioneered by the likes of Latitude and Secret Garden Party, but I’ve yet to fathom exactly how the mix works this time round. The only emphasis I can see has been on ‘curating’ a very large shopping area: even John Lewis gets a presence on their old-fashioned High Street.

Vintage at Goodwood poster
A Vintage at Goodwood poster near Brick Lane.

And who, exactly, is the “glamping” crowd they want to attract? “Vintage” as a lifestyle choice is something wholeheartedly embraced by people on a budget who like to champion an individualistic, upcycling, DIY aesthetic. Many of my readers for instance. Why, I’ve been wearing Chazza clothes since I could walk into a shop. Beyond Retro is my local store. Okay, since from about 1999 I’ve mainly favoured clothes from the 1980s over anything earlier, but today even this most silly of decades gets the Vintage treatment at Vintage at Goodwood.

But the Goodwood Estate also hosts Goodwood Revival – a glamourous motoring and aviation event aimed at people with a little bit more money than your average Vintage Enthusiast of the kind I speak of. It’s been written about in posh supermarket Waitrose’s own magazine, and fawned over by the right wing press. “They are used to catering to Goodwood Revival, who are basically mostly very wealthy, vintage car/plane owners… and where people ONLY seem to care how much money/how many stately homes you have.” This is clearly a festival with pretensions to be more than the mere stamping ground of a bunch of fashionable east end types. And yet many of these very people are the ones making the festival happen. Thrifty vintage enthusiasts fill the vintage shopping area with their stalls. They’re volunteering their time to be stewards of boudoirs. Vintage bloggers have written glowing posts about how much they look forward to the festival, thereby ensuring there is huge amounts of hype online to compliment the more traditional advertising. But are these very same people being looked after by the corporate wheels of Goodwood, Freud Comm and co?

JuneChanpoomidle-VintageGoodwood
Illustration by June Chanpoomidle.

At Amelia’s Magazine we’ve always tried to support as many small festivals as possible, especially the new ones, the ones focused on green issues and the ones that will appeal to our readership. You’d think, given this quote in the Telegraph (soz) today, that I would be the ideal kind of press to invite along to Vintage at Goodwood. “Vintage fashion is a win-win. It’s about upcycling, recycling, thriftiness and great design. I felt this was the right time to celebrate it and show people how good vintage links music, fashion and film.” Does this sound anything like the kind of stuff we promote on this blog, day in day out? Only this week we’ve published interviews with Think, Act, Vote and Bobbin Bicycles, both of whom have a presence at Vintage at Goodwood that gets a mention in our blogs.

Unhappy at the way that the press team for Vintage at Goodwood dismissed me without so much as a by your leave, and uneasy about the complaints I noted on the Vintage at Goodwood Facebook site regarding a lack of transparency over ticket pricing a few weeks ago, I decided to dig around for a bit more information. Someone, somewhere clearly has money. Freud Comm are the huge corporate PR agency responsible for the massive amounts of press you see. They also look after Nike, Asda, KFC, Sky, the Olympics and drinks giant Diageo, who has close ties to the festival. Cheap they cannot be to hire.

I am small fry to Freud, as are all those other eager bloggers. Freud doesn’t even have a twitter feed. Or a blog. They are beyond such things. But they also don’t understand the power of such things. Or maybe they would not be so dismissive of those with such close ties to the market they are trying to reach.

Glamping By Jessica Sharville 2
Glamping by Jessica Sharville.

As soon as I started to ask around I discovered a lot of unhappiness… and I was only scratching the surface. Bloggers that have gushed about Vintage at Goodwood for months had applied for press passes only to be turned down this, the week before – forced to purchase their own tickets to experience the festival they so much wanted to write about. Even seasoned journalists writing for big websites have been turned down. Now I’m no marketing genius, but it seems to me that if you have a new festival, and you haven’t sold out, it makes no sense at all to turn down any enthusiastic journos. After all, it costs the organisers nothing to let people in for free, and our eagerness should be appreciated because it doesn’t come without costs to us when we don’t have huge expense accounts to fall back on (travel and food soon mount up). Presuming that Vintage at Goodwood would like to continue next year, surely it’s a wise idea to maximise your chances of positive press from day one? For this very reason I will always send a press copy of Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration to any blogger that asks, no matter how well read their website is, or not. I appreciate that you want to spend time writing about my project. (ask away)

But there’s more…. getting Vintage at Goodwood off the ground has not been without its casualties along the way. And here you’ll have to bear with me if I adopt an air of secrecy – many of these people are still going to Vintage at Goodwood anyway – but tell me this, does this sound like a happy bunny? “It is a real shame as I have not met one person who is genuinely excited to go. Most are curious about how bad it will be and want to see it fail due to the poor behaviour from the organisers.”

Vintage illustration by Nathalie Laurence
Vintage illustration by Nathalie Laurence.

As Vintage at Goodwood have decided to focus on the shopping aspect of the event the costs of stalls have spiralled, well out of the reach of many young Vintage Stockists. A key curator has dropped out. One Vintage Enthusiast who shall remain nameless told me that “It’s all a big money making sham.” Many things will cost more (on top of the ticket price) during the festival. Another told me “I may as well rent a shop in Brighton for a month for the price they were asking for a pitch the size of a stamp.” I find all of this desperately sad. As a way of life Vintage is not about this. I understand the need for a new festival to break even, but at the expense of all those who help out along the way? It’s just not right.

Another quote: “I have heard nothing but bad things which is so sad as I have high hopes for the event.” I really wish I was able to get along to Vintage at Goodwood to make a judgement on it myself. As a concept it sounds great. Many many good friends will be attending, including Tatty Devine, Supermarket Sarah, Bobbin Bicycles, Think, Act, Vote… the list goes on. I would have loved to have covered the green lectures and meet the people who attend in all their fabulous finery. Vintage as a lifestyle is something I wholeheartedly support. As are festivals. Can you imagine a better bunch to photograph, illustrate and talk about for Amelia’s Magazine?

Wayne in Blue and Ochre by GarethAHopkins
Wayne Hemmingway (he’s behind Vintage at Goodwood) by Gareth Hopkins.

Sadly it is not to be. I can’t afford to pay for a ticket, especially given the time it takes me to write a festival up, which usually approaches a week and bearing in mind that no one pays me to write. It’s also very tiring (as anyone working the festival circuit will tell you), which is why I’ve stayed at home in London for the past few weekends – although I had set aside time to visit Vintage at Goodwood and see if it lived up to the hype. Instead I hope to hear from others who are going, fingers crossed. And do tell me your thoughts too, especially after the event. I hope you have a truly wonderful time if you are going, either as a punter or a contributor. Everyone. But organisers, remember this. Look after your team. They are what will make Vintage at Goodwood what it is, not the rich people glamping it up in luxury teepees and yurts. Don’t forget what Vintage as a lifestyle truly means…

* I did make it to VAG in the end… My review of Vintage at Goodwood is now online and you can read it here.*

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94 Responses to “Vintage at Goodwood: Festival Preview”

  1. Cazz says:

    This is interesting, I’ve just got back from a really brilliant day at VAG along with a couple of friends. We can’t wait for the next one.

    We’re not uber-Vintagers, but people who love to get dressed up, and not be treated as complete weirdos! This festival suited us perfectly. I loved the fact that there were so many aspects to enjoy (apart from the weather). Of course they have to charge a ‘hefty’ entrance fee… I’m sure it’s not a cheap event to put together, and on the most part it was done well by VAG and the sponsors. There were loads of small vintage/indie traders who appeared to be busy. Again, prices in general were lower than many of the retro/vintage stores in Brighton. Drink/food prices on a par with th aforementioned city. A lot cheaper than I imagined (except for Fortnum & Mason… which was a total rip-off, we walked in – and straight out!)

    In fact, I didn’t find it at all money-grabbing. £55 seems reasonable to me, especially as it only cost £5 for parking for the whole day (10 hours in our case)! In the centre of Brighton it costs £5 per hour in the NCP… with not one iota of glamour or fun per buck! So I’m afraid I have to disagree with your take on it.

    All in all, for the average punter it was great value… though the main catering outlets had shambolic service!

  2. Katie says:

    Amelia, glad you’re still making the trip, as a trader, talking to day visitors the all seem to be having a great time (just remember your wellies and toilet roll).
    ‘Glampers’ have more sorry tale. ‘Glamping’, it turns out, is camping on a 30 degree slope. Plumbed toilets and showers are here along with loooooong queues and plenty of cold water.
    Apparently the PR peeps have a private camping area – everyone else is 6″ apart in a huge field with no delightful little glens etc.
    1 day down, 2 to go!

  3. delia says:

    Goodwood does sound like it could be a bit overblown and also is a slightly messy mix of trying to please everybody at the same time with ’something from every decade’…but a lot of the comments (and some of the main article) do come across as people being cross that they didn’t get a free ticket. Would a free ticket have made it a ‘good’ festival?

  4. molly says:

    Dear all,

    I completely understand your ambiguity surrounding V@G due to it being a brand new festival which is very niche and has never been experienced before.

    As a PR myself, I understand the demands and client expectations of an event of this scale. However, you must consider the high number os accrediattion requests coming through from the media; TV, Video online, online, blog, print, partners, curators and also photography. In order to accredit all of these people, the festival would lose out of thousands of pounds, which as this is its frist year, makes it even harder to break even considering the amount of ambiguity coming from fellow bloggers. You must also consider the number of national newspapers, magazines, some of which sell 2 million copies around the UK per day. Most media strategy plans are set in place a year before the event starts, and clients have specific media interests, which unfortunately puts bloggers like us to the bottom of list.

    I have been here all weekend so far and have loved every minute. It is incredible, and the pop up high street and vintage market is a vintage lovers dream.

    All the best
    Molly

  5. Gala says:

    as my partner put it, vintage at goodwood seems to be a festival for non festival goers. i wouldn’t want a free ticket, because it appears to me to be very boring. why pay 55 quid when you can pay 5.70 for a day travel card and go into central london to shop vintage instead, or on ebay for free, or through friends who are dealers or even your local oxfam…..i agree with amelia in the point that ‘vintage’ lifestyle isn’t really that much about ‘consumerism’, which is essentially what this festival actually seems to be about.and festivals are certainly not traditionally meant to be about shopping….far more fun to roll about in your 30’s dress in a field to music from this decade at glasto, secret garden, anywhere but a place full of pastiche cliches. i’ve been doping vintage since i could walk too and this doesn’t appeal. p.s please can i have contact details of nathalie laurence? thanks

  6. Alison says:

    We’ve just come back from 2 really great days at the Vintage Festival. Even with the dodgy weather myself and my children were totally impressed and danced our socks off for hours in the Northern Soul dance hall, can’t wait till next year! The food although not cheap,was interesting and high quality. There is so much to see and do, a week wouldn’t be long enough!

  7. Claire says:

    I spent yesterday at VAG and was hugely disappointed to be honest. Perhaps it was just a case of bad timing, as the bands I really wanted to see were on on Friday, but my friends and I really struggled to keep ourselves entertained. Most attractions were geared around making you spend money, which didn’t interest me. I’m sure lots of people really enjoyed it, but that really wasn’t the vibe that I was picking up either.

    There are plenty of good things to be said, notably the design and attention to detail; I loved the High Street ’set’ and the vintage cars, and I thought all the workshops were a good idea. Essentially though a lot of the best bits were just bastardised from Goodwood Revival. I feel they may have been better off attaching themselves to that event, building on the attractions there. I have nothing but good things to say about the Revival, it was like Disneyland for vintage, but VAG felt more like a shopping outlet/retail park that happened to have some music thrown in. Totally soulless.

    It didn’t help that the weather was awful. Having been to my fair share of festivals this summer, I do understand that rain makes no odds to having a good time (I watched Motorhead in torrential rain and thoroughly enjoyed it!), but let’s not forget the whole USP of this festival was that rather than “dress down and get dirty” everyone was encouraged to get dolled up. Had I followed their suggestion and come in my best clothes, and had my hair/make up done on site, I would have been pretty bloody mortified to then have to tramp around in the rain and mud. The indoor space felt incredibly small, and I was surprised to see so little indoor seating as well.

    I was also part of the team who worked on the VAG launch at Goodwood Revival last year, so know first hand about the VAG/Hemmingway charm (or lack thereof), so I’d be lying if I said I didn’t approach with caution. It was apparent very early on that these people are idiots (not to mention money hungry glory-whores), and that the success of this event was going to hinge on the money pumped into it rather than any relationship building skills on their part. This article sums up very brilliantly all the bullshit that has been going on since day one, so no need to go into detail. Thank you Amelia, for putting it out there! The responses have also been fascinating to read. I think the Hemmingways really need to learn to stop shitting on the little people, because there are quite a lot of us, and the vintage scene is such a community – which is why I love it.

    I can also attest to the fact that a free ticket does not necessarily make for a good time – only relief that you didn’t pay to be disappointed. I got my ticket from a journalist on Classic Rock who couldn’t go. Despite the mag in question having a substantial circulation, international distribution and an ideal audience (affluent with high disposable income, proven to spend on music/hobbies) they also struggled to get their passes.

    I’m intrigued to see what happens next for VAG!

    Claire

  8. Masai says:

    I entered the arts comp for this festival… Won a spot, god sent a ticket and then had to sell the ticket cos they refused to send a second ticket so that I wasn’t going on my own…. Seemed ridiculous to me that they should expect people to attend a three day festival alone…shame, I would have liked to see how they displayed my work….hasn’t left me feeling very passionate about the festival to be honest given that the art side is a deemed big draw to the festival.. I hope someone takes some good photos…

  9. LadyM says:

    As a fashion writer/blogger and not as a hard core Vintage lover I was very intrigued to see what the event had to offer.
    I too had to wait until 2 days before the event to see if I would get a press pass which luckily I did as I would not have gone otherwise with the steep prices.
    The event was good, but more spreadout than it needed to be and the music side of things did not appear (on the sunday) to be getting the interest that I thought it was all about. People watching oppurtunities were great and the catwalk good
    Full review available here
    http://www.ladympresents.co.uk/vintage-at-goodwood-wayne-hemingway-fashio/
    with catwalk review here
    http://www.ladympresents.co.uk/future-vintage-british-fashion-council-vintage-at-goodwood-join-forces/

    all in all not bad but i think improvements need to be made for next time!

  10. aliceinwonderland says:

    Just spent the last two days there – it was brilliant, will return from NZ if there is another one.

  11. Nail on the head Amelia. I wish I’d had the foresight to look into it before I went. It was exactly as you described.
    I left early with a bad taste in my mouth.

  12. [...] vintage, a money-making ploy and prestige project for Wayne Hemmingway. There is a great article on Amelia’s Magazine,w hich really sums up many people’s [...]

  13. James says:

    Just returned with my wife to the world of horizontal sleeping after a 3 day visit to Vintage at Goodwood.

    My overall impression? Sadly disappointed, irritated by terrible camping arrangements (I’m not averse to roughing it either but it was way oversold in every sense) and I’m left with a nagging feeling of a great opportunity missed by money hungry organisers.

    I found the original premise of the festival very appealing and somehow imagined a huge variety of things to see and do, a great range of stalls, shows and a sense of a like-minded community – a very large colourful and creative village fete if you like with tea, cake, music and fun. This somehow implied low cost too. How wrong could I be..

    The vast Veuve Clicquot stand with a picket fence cordoning us riff-raff from champagne slurping VIPs soon dispelled any notion that this was a “community” of like-minded fun seekers. I soon realised that depending on your official wristband, your experience of the festival would be very different. It’s this kind of absurd apartheid that sponsors and organisers love – ringfence the big spenders and let the riff-raff mingle in the middle, cos they’ll soon get bored gawping.

    There were some highs – the 40s Torch Club was a great effort with some amazing acts and a well-judged ambience but they seemed overwhelmed by interest and were full to bursting most of the time. I had a brief chat with the venue manager and she said “they’d learned a lot and next time would need a 1000 seat marquee”. Fair enough. She seemed genuinely stunned by the interest and frustrated by not being to cope with more visitors. However even a venue as good as this had a poxy VIP lounge and charged a fortune for drinks – £7.00 per thrown together Mojito.

    So would I go again? If a repeat of this year then definitely not. This was quite simply an orgy of soulless brand consumerism and felt at entirely at odds with recessionary pressures. The organisers could take a leaf out of the 40s era and show that you can still have fun with not very much and make do in austere times.

    It was no coincidence then that for us at least, the 40s events held the greatest charm and appeal.

    Perhaps Wayne et al need to remind themselves that there’s a war on…

  14. CRaig says:

    Hi Amelia

    Well, it seems to me you are a real vintage girl!..you have that classic British negative attitude, ready to write about whats wrong with V@G..its so typical and depressing. I spent 3 days there and had a blast. Yes, the ticket wasn’t cheap, but when one considers what a night out the west end can costs, the festival offered amazing value for money; there was so much to enjoy there. And remember, V@G is a business too, not a public service,it has to make money and everyone working there has to get paid.
    It all sounds a little of sour grapes because you couldn’t get a press pass.

  15. Amelia says:

    hi Craig, erm, I’m not sure you’ve read my blog thoroughly or the comments above yours – the whole point is that lots of people did not get paid for their part in making Vintage at Goodwood happen, and have had the total p*** taken out of them by the organisers, including those who helped to test run this festival last year. But I’m glad you enjoyed yourself, I am sure that lots of people did and for that I am very happy! x

  16. Dolly says:

    I’ve come back from Vintage with very much the same feeling as some of the posters above – it felt contrived, poorly organised in many ways, seeming to underestimate numbers and requirements when at this kind of event. The much trumpeted vintage high street was really nothing more than an overblown row of show stands with little to see, but of course plenty to pay for if you were so inclined. £2 a go for fairground rides makes life difficult for those of us with children to consider in the mix…there was very little to actually do…music was peripheral with constant changes to timings, the programme cost £12 with no other alternative option to plan your time and there was no real atmosphere about the place. Camping was farcical and it was obvious to all of those pitching up on Thursday afternoon that problems were just around the corner – hastily erected additional toilets throughout the night did little to quell the complaints and dissatisfaction I was hearing from all around me. I have looked at the comments on the vintage facebook page and I smell a rat! With a powerful PR machine behind them and the ability to delete any negative feedback I have a suspicion that the oddly overwhelming praise is only half the story…It didn’t work in my opinion and many people felt very let down having expected such great things.

  17. Magpie says:

    Having commented before the festival, I felt I should add another one now that I’ve been. It had teething problems. When we put our tents up on Saturday morning there were quite a few disgruntled campers taking theirs down and leaving – quite a few due to the weather. But we had a very different experience and a very positive one despite not really caring about any of the live music acts or having much money to spend on the high street. Yes, there were obviously some errors of judgement – not enough indoor seating, not enough food stalls, disgruntled stall holders (alhtough I overheard at least five saying that they had made a profit), volunteers working long hours for very little reward in the beauty lounge, a not entirely thrilling music line up, lack of space in some of the music tents – but they dealt with some of the problems – like the mud and keeping the toilets clean – quite efficiently. They even had changing rooms on the campsite with lights and sockets for hair dryers etc, although not enough of them. I thought the atmosphere was quite lovely and the mix of vintage devotees, dabblers and fancy dressers was rather nice. In hindsight the ticket price wasn’t too unreasonable, although trying to scrabble together the money at the last minute after being denied accreditation was galling.
    Having had some events experience and judging by what I saw, I doubt that the organisers made any money. In fact I would imagine that they probably lost quite a lot.
    I really hope they properly thank all the ‘little people’ that did turn up and help put on entertainment though, whether they were doing for free or if they were paid. Those are the people that made the whole thing so enjoyable. I do hope they do another one and I would go but if there is I think they need to smooth over some of the issues with the vintage and blogging communities because without the real enthusiasts putting in all that effort the event wouldn’t have worked.

  18. Dandy says:

    It was a strange one – in places exciting and certainly well organised, the setting was stunning but it had little atmosphere, it was over clean, no edge, sleaze, threat, no spontaneity and the ‘high street’ was utterly depressing.
    It missed the target; the spirit of vintage was sullied and bastardised with a bland yet highly aggressive consumerist agenda.
    On the upside my kids had a great time and that made me happy.
    As a bit of background we live locally to the event and came as day visitors and went for 2 of the days (2-4-1 ticket offer) and I returned on my own to go raving on Friday night (had a great time;~)
    If we were camping for the weekend I would of been bored stiff and bitterly disappointed.
    It will certainly be on next year and certainly will be even worse as it can only be improved if it has less emphasis on mainstream consumerism and that in principle equals less profit – what an abhorrent suggestion!

  19. Laura says:

    Hello,
    I just wanted to add something as I have just returned from VAG with a very bitter taste in my mouth. As a contributor I was quite horrified at the goings on. We were part of the 60s scooters which seemed a great thing to do but in reality ended up being very stressful. There as no instruction about where we need to go or how to arrange them so we organised them ourselves. Friday was fine but then we arrived Saturday AM to find them damaged and a couple of them knocked over, obviously people get drunk and think they are play things. They are not! There was no security whatsoever as promised. People kept sitting on them so we couldn’t really leave them unattended. A couple of punters even argued back when we explained that they are not toys. It wasn’t just the scooters that were damaged either, one of the cars had muddy footprints all over the backseats with things broken,all happened overnight. Needless to say they left the next day early. The problem was that as they were using the Goodwood name everyone thought it was going to be secure like the Revival,it wasn’t at all. We were left to fend for ourselves with no support at all. One of us organised a secure place to put them overnight in the end as nobody wanted to leave them out overnight.
    Personally I felt a bit cheated. We all took time of work and paid for our own accommodation and got nothing back at all. We heard that there was staff food but we didn’t get any. Anyone with a vintage vehicle will do it for the love of the scene but got nothing in return.
    I can’t see many coming back next year. It just doesn’t work, you cant trust the festival side of things not to clash with vintage side. The drunken oiks thought that things were al there for their pleasure, only the vintage lot respected the things on display. I’m so disappointed how much time and effort people have put in to get nothing. Hemminway is abusing peoples good nature to line his own pockets, some DJs didn’t even get paid. It reeks of capitalism at it’s best, treading on all the little people who made that festival what it was. So very disappointing.

  20. cathy says:

    i’ve just come back from the whole weekend including the thursday night at the races and had an excellent time! what a shame you decide to slag the whole thing off because you couldn’t get a free ticket. And all the quotes from people saying how bad it was are unnamed. Apparently ‘no-one was looking forward to going’? Who are these people are everyone i know was and those who couldn’t go were jelous. As for the price i thought it was very reasonable and cheap compared to many others. Especially when the thursday race was also incl in the cost. I was willing to pay full price but found a 2-4-1 offer on the internet without too much effort so if you had an interest in going cheaply it wouldn’t be a problem. It attracted a much nicer, friendlier crowd than many festivals and i overheard many people saying how they wish they’d come for the whole weekend and how many of their friends would like it. I’m sure it will be on next year and even more succesful. Sure there were teething problems not helped by the weather but it was the first yr so to be expected. It was great that so many people of all ages made an effort with their outfits and it was great that there were working showers, changing rooms and clean toilets all weekend. Don’t know about the conditions of the glamping site. Strange that you must have friends who could afford to stay there to have given you a review and yet you wouldn’t go unless it was free – thats the spirit! Of course you have to pay for other things like er food but you could also get a free goodie bag with lots of samples from body shop, free make over from the Body Shop, free soap from lush, free coffee from cafe direct… i could go on. So how about you make the effort to attend an event like this before slagging it off? I’m sure that word of mouth, blogs, facebook, flickr etc will ensure the good word is spread without the need for giving out free press passes…

  21. [...] year before hand as we knew so many people involved this year.  Amelia Gregory, however wrote a smashing preview which lifted the lid and afirmed so many niggles (do read all the comments). I kind of figured that [...]

  22. Stuart says:

    I have to agree with all of this. My 15 year old daughter was one of the dancers. They normally get paid well for The Festival of Speed and the Revival but were asked to do V@G for nowt.

    Nowt is what they got. No food. Disorganised and disrespected. My 17 year old son got it right. He only works for money and gets more respect as a result!

    It was a shame, it could have been great. That it was good at all was down to everybody’s determined goodwill…

  23. john says:

    went on the friday and had a good time,maybe next time put the headline act on at 2100.enjoyed looking around the vintage stalls bought some items at a fair price after a bit of a haggle sellers seemed helpful ,expected the high st stores to be expensive and they were but like any think no ones forcing you to buy didnt buy any food took sarnies so cant comment there .weather was bad so maybe do it first weekend in august next time agree that there could have been some more indoor seating went to the warehouse felt this was very lost at the bottom and could of been a main feature at the top of the field great to see some scooters as i havent been to a scooter rally since the early 80s and am a huge fan of them. know what you mean about the way they were positioned, should have been by the soul casino or lined up in the high st as in a parked up scene.. overall yes i would go again depending on the music lineup, or your paying quite alot of money to go shopping in a field think the organisers got it 75% right.

  24. Bev says:

    I came away with very mixed feelings…
    I turned up in my vintage campervan having had to send in pictures to get accredited to be on a seperate pitch for vintage vehicles- only to find myself having people pitch up next to me in totally non vintage vehicles (like HUGE vans with grotty 2010 signwriting all over them) what was the point??

    It was supposed to be a GREEN festival- yet there was NO evidence of recycling going on. Power Hungry Flood lights left on well into the afternoons.

    Too many people + not enough Loos.

    Other than that it WAS amazing- and I will definitely go again!

  25. Dibs de Wolfe says:

    To Laura…..Just a quickie…..as festival goers we would never dream of sitting on or causing any damage to a vintage vehicle….I think it’s really sad this happened and would hope you may receive some compensation from the organisers ?? Without the vintage vehicles the festival would have been so much duller…. so thanks for coming and hope you get treated better in the future.

  26. Kevin the dancer... says:

    I must admit to purchasing tickets to see James Langton and VAG came free. What an interesting mix of everything which left almost no taste, somewhat like a frozen Yorkshire pudding, it looked great but tasted bland. Nearly all of the bands were almost the original line up but nearly not quite.

    Torch / Let it Rock were different however and really the focus of our visit as festival travelling jitterbugs – vintage comes with the dance, follow the dancers and discover a community of retro ranging from 18 – 80.
    We thought both of these venues were a success. The bands were not remakes of former glory days but current working groups trying to pay the bills and touring around the venues where ‘vintage’ comes at a lower cost.
    Back to James Langton however – WOW! the best Sing, Sing, Sing I have ever, ever heard, a clarinettist permanently in the higher registers and a singer who really could swing. Goodman, Dorsey et al would be jiving on their clouds with Anita and Ella Mae. This was the star act of the whole weekend and not a mention, shame on all the media teams for missing this or even worse, not understanding in the first place!

    Most people on your blog do seem to have VAG nailed however. Lord M and his team have bills to pay on a very large piece of Sussex real estate and this event is designed to fit neatly into his revenue collection programme, this is a fact of life for a hard working family trying to preserve a wonderful piece of history. The problem is however that it felt contrived. Perhaps that will change with time, we certainly hope so. The Revival is however a vastly superior event except for the lack of Torch/Let it Rock type venues so please Lord M move these over to the Revival and run some music / dancing outside of the airfield perimeter into the evening.
    Perhaps this is what VAG really wanted to be in the first place? VAG was heavily 40s/50s from the paying guests dress perspective, not many surprises there. I would have thought the organisers understood that people like elegance, dining & dancing, it’s a winning combination just ask Vince Power with The Pigalle.

    Time now to move on to the next big event which is probably not on most of your calenders. It has what VAG lacked but the Revival retains, a tad of authenticity. It’s the Twinwoods festival in Bedfordshire. Run at the airfield where Glenn Miller stepped into the aircraft on that fateful day (as per the movie)they even have the bands piano in the officers mess. 7,000 + dancers and lovers of all things swing. 20+ bands who can play music that kicks and some very, very large dance floors to keep all us jitterbugs of any age or ability happy.

    Perhaps Douglas Bader did fly over the site of VAG but his lad’s took off/ landed and went dancing into Chichester from where the Revival is run….does it make sense now?

  27. cabeus says:

    Haha Amelia I pitty you! you are obviously a very negative and jealous individual! I find it unbelievable how someone who has had absolutely no insight as to how/ and on what grounds this festival was created can spew out so much criticism.

    For what reason do you think you have a right to a free journalists pass.?? Obviously Vintage would have received thousands emails from press/blogger’s asking for tickets, why would you get one over the others….the line has to be drawn somewhere!

    You have absolutely no idea how much hard work went into delivering this festival. It was in no way a money making scam….in fact I am pretty sure that absolutely no profit made! Most of the contributors involved worked for nothing….not because the organisers were being tight but because there simply was not enough revenue + many of the curators are very good friends of the core team and passionate individuals who wanted to offer their services (and the majority had a fantastic time doing so).

    I know for a fact that Wayne and Gerardine are not money hungry individuals….you only have to read a little about their backgrounds to understand this too. The same goes to everyone else who worked on the event.

    I had an absolutely fantastic weekend at Vintage. I bought some amazing second hand clothing from some very happy stall holders (who told me they were having an ace time), watched some incredible performances by some amazing bands, danced all night to great disc jockeys. watched a great film in the cinema bus, developed many bruises on my bottom from falling on roller disco.

    Yes I am sure there was a few niggles here are there, but it was the first one and they were bound to have a few teething problems!

    7000 people have tweeted saying how great Vintage was and what a fantastic time they had. Many, many many more have facebooked and blogged stating likewise so they must have done something right. It seems to be you are very bitter about either a) not getting a free pass or b) knowing that you would never be able to deliver an event like it.

    C

  28. Hi All, I attended vintage goodwood with 4 friends all first time campers and festival goers.
    We loved the whole experience, it took alot of persuassion to get them to go as “i dont want to camp, im not made for camping” comments and “Peeing in a bush isnt my idea of a fun weekend” comments were made.
    All of us however embraced it, the toilets were clean, flushable and always stocked with toilet paper and paper towels, the showers i showered in were warm, there were even dressing rooms on the camp site with plugs for your phones and hair straightners.
    The festival did have the feeling it was a new one and there was definately a big call for sit down dining as we queued 1 hour for a reservation gave up and saw the people in front of us at the front of the queue an hour later.. but that really highlighted the point that the whole festival was very civilised.
    As with everything you do the first time, you have to test the water and im sure next year it will be spot on.
    Im a girl that doesnt watch her pennies, and i spent £160 in 2 days, which i didnt percieve that to be alot considering within that i bought 2 dresses and jewellery..as well as copious amount of boozem, Breakfast Lunch and dinner x2 days, i didnt find it over priced and you could choose food to suit your budget.
    The tents played great music and the noisettes were fantastic.
    The event was sold out however we did very little queuing.
    I was scouting out the stalls as i wanted to exhibit next year and feedback from vendors was really positive and they considered it to be good for their exposure and many people were purchasing items for the revival next weekend.
    The down side was that that you didnt have a look in in the hair and beauty tent it booked up for each day within minutes..hoping next year they will tripple the size of this area.. it was so relevant.
    Give it a go, if you dint make it this year.. im sure it will become an institution !!

  29. Emma says:

    I’m not loaded by any means, but we decided to splash out on glamping at the festival in lieu of a holiday away, which was promised to be in a woodland setting with tree-festooned lights and campfires. We turned up excited and ready for a great weekend to be met by a yurt pitched on a slope in a damp dark uncleared wood at the bottom of a hill. The rest you can guess. We left after 2 horrible nights. The entire experience was a total rip off and the weekend turned out to be the most expensive of our lives. I was cynical about the hijacking of vintage in this way, but there were many elements I enjoyed including the Soul Disco, the Let it Rock tent and the vintage stalls. Shame about the camping and complete pack of lies on the website!

  30. cabeus says:

    why did you delete my comment?? it was in no way offensive? little embarrared are we??

  31. Dolly says:

    Hi there Amelia! I’m finding your blog a very insightful and considered analysis of last weekend

    If I were you I would take offence at this comment/question just posted on the vintage facebook page!

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vintage-at-Goodwood/140857057690?ref=ts#!/pages/Vintage-at-Goodwood/140857057690?v=wall&ref=ts

    Call me cynical but the intention I feel is to rubbish your review/preview…..hmmm all adds to my suspicion that the feedback on this event is beeing highly controlled. This is making me feel very uneasy about being involved next year!

    Sorry if this appears a load of times – your system is being very strict with me!!

  32. Yvonne says:

    As with most things, you get out of it what you put into it – this was an event for active participation and not just passive consumption. I got to see great bands (some I’d seen 30 years ago), discover classics like the ‘Pretty Things’, create a piece of applique and patchwork to take home, talk to fascinating people and take loads of photographs… and still didn’t manage to see/ do everything in the 3 days. As a curator who’s more used to putting on Victorian vintage events, it was great to dress up and get nostalgic about stuff I actually remember and be amazed at just how much time/ effort/ blood/ sweat & tears went into making this happen and how amazing & spectacular it was for the first event. I am counting the days until next year.

  33. Alex F. says:

    Well the word from inside was that Hemingway was an egotistical loafer who was a pain to work with and behaved like a child with a what-if mentality. He was also supposed to have put his money where his mouth was and back the event in advance. I understand that Goodwood have never had a penny.
    It will be interesting to see if he is on board next year.

  34. Alex F. says:

    Well the word from inside was that Hemingway was an egotistical loafer who was a pain to work with and behaved like a child with a what-if mentality. He was also supposed to have put his money where his mouth was and back the event in advance. I understand that Goodwood have never had a penny.
    It will be interesting to see if he is on board next year. Alex F.

  35. bob says:

    Well i worked thursday to sunday at goodwood mr hemingway and team were in and out of the event all day every day they all were helpfull to us pain to work for No. yes things need tweeking but they put money in and so did goodwood. all tickets were sold they hit target not bad for frist year . all the artists were great thank to all envoled

  36. Tilly says:

    Alex

    Which part of 50:50 venture is unclear to you?

    I would suggest you do a bit of research before you make ludicrous remarks.

  37. Kevin the dancer... says:

    Hi again everyone….
    Was this the best event I have ever been to – No
    Were a lot of people disappointed – Yes
    Did it try too hard for a first attempt – Yes
    Did it over promise & under deliver in many areas – Yes
    Did a lot of people still have a good time – Yes (including myself & despite my criticism of some parts)
    In simple terms our expectations were probably to high for a new event when it was operated in the shadow of the Goodwood Revival which is simply in a different class for the same cost.
    There are many other vintage events which deliver a lot of value for money such as :
    Twinwoods Festival
    Goodwood Revival
    Senegalia (Italy)
    You also have some very good regular music focused events such as :
    Black Cotton Club
    Rivoli Ballroom (this Saturday!!!)
    The Blitz Party
    and I have missed out hundreds of other events up & down the UK & in Europe / US. Perhaps VAG just tried to hard to compete against other events that do not have to try hard because they have already found their niche and rhythm.
    Hopefully the VAG team will learn their lessons and correct the many extreme weaknesses and improve on those parts that really were very good.
    I will give the event another try next year, hoping that the team under Lord M are intelligent enough to make the changes. I am sure this event did not make money and am also sure it will not make money next year if the changes required to make it worthwhile for the majority are included.
    It would also help if Lord M and Mr H mbe would not make statements in the FT that the Sussex downs will not get muddy like other festivals. I know there is only 2 inches of topsoil up where the sheep live but it got very sticky very quickly on Friday night.
    I have asked Lord M (through your blog) to include Torch / Let it Rock at the Revival, perhaps the whole of VAG should also come off the Downs and be run from the Westhampnett motor racetrack. You get good security. better permanent facilities, a great location (which is flat) a nice tarmac racetrack along which you could arrange all the buildings & marquees (so no mud for the shoppers to navigate ergo happy shoppers spending more money) and then use the hangars for a really kick arse hangar dance with big band from a real Battle of Britain fighter base (ask Douglas Baders ghost)…it doesn’t take much effort to make VAG a seriously successful event & then it will be worth the same entrance fee as the Revival

  38. Dimples says:

    I found it a very strange and quite emotional experience. Entering on the Friday was (before the rain started and turned the site to mud) was exciting and beautiful. The high street was interesting but not as exciting as I had hoped for. I was a bit confused about what the event would be like before I got there -especially as the non music events were not as well advertised – I knew there would be lectures but not when and where.
    One thing I did find – and I am not sure if others felt the same way – was how many people there seemed to be from the press. There was a point on the Saturday where I was asked 6 times for a comment on the festival and my photo taken. Now I like to be noticed as much as the next person but it did seem a bit much. Camera crews were everywhere.

    I found the mix of the more purist vintage lovers with those who were more costumy quite interesting as well.

    Another point on the extra costs involved. Before I got there I knew I wanted to have my hair done at the Beauty Box and also I wanted to do a sewing workshop. But I was really concerned – on the basis of other events I have been too and the tempation of a captive audience – that they would be massively expensive. However a sewing class (lasting four hours plus all materials and one of the only places to hide from the rain) was £5 donation to Oxfam. I was also thrilled that the hair styling was £10 – with another £10 for makeup or £15 for the two if you wanted. I only wish I had booked more styling for the Saturday and Sunday as well as it quickly sold out.

  39. Hi there,

    thought you might like an insight from a vintage trader – I’m a small independent vintage seller and I had a fantastic time at VAG! I don’t know where you’re getting the idea that we were ripped off – the cost was on a par with other festivals/fairs, and was a lot less than some. None of us increased our prices and it was a pleasure to meet such a varied group of traders, performers and festival-goers. Mr H personally came to all the stalls to say hi and thank us for taking part. It’s such a shame if some people who volunteered didn’t feel valued – lots of festivals use volunteers but professionals who value themselves should insist on being paid next time.

    I’ll definitely be back next year.

    xx
    ps. love the blog!

  40. vintagerockchick says:

    God what a lot of moaning miseries! I’ve heard from a couple of friends who went, and they thought it was fab! (as did some of the other commenters here, to be fair) As for the rest of you – maybe you shouldn’t bother leaving the house in future, stay at home and let other, more cheerful people enjoy themselves. You go camping – it rains – you get wet! Get over it.

  41. wayne h says:

    This festival one thing, boring.

    Attended by two types of people:
    1) Young boring types over-compensating for their dullness by dressing up like a caricature from a time they don’t remember.
    2) Old boring types nostalgic for a time when they weren’t so dull.

    On the plus side the organisation was so sloppy that you really didn’t need a ticket at all. One to remember for next time kids.

  42. [...] Magazine has had some great posts recently, not least the preview and review of Vintage at Goodwood. I always recommend this blog, but that’s because [...]

  43. Michael Alford says:

    Personally I would be happy if Goodwood disappeared down a large bottomless hole. Whenever they hold some nauseous event I have to put up with an endless stream of helicopter flights (every 15 mins) howling over my rooftop ferrying the ubermensch to and from their piles.Interestingly the opo. who empties my cess-pit tells me that his firm has to devote their whole fleet of tankers during such events to the clearance of the jakes. All jolly green and upcycling I’m sure.

  44. [...] show-esque atmosphere but here is a link to an impressively insightful preview piece written by Amelia’s Magazine. Well done [...]

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