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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Festival Review: Field Day 2010

Vicky Park played the perfect host for this urban festival, giving country-starved Londoners the chance to play in bales of hay whilst listening to their favourite bands.

Written by Laura Nineham

Dahling_by_Abigail_Nottingham
Dahling by Abigail Nottingham.

“We’re building great cafes and restaurants on the Vintage High St, more about abortion where you will even find a Waitrose.” So said the flyer that I picked up in a local pub the day after our sojourn to Vintage at Goodwood. To be honest, if I’d seen this same flyer before I’d been inundated with hype from the great VAG press machine then I might not have been so keen to attend the festival.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

It’s ironic then, that, like the camping spots in “hidden glades, hollows, copses and hillocks” Waitrose didn’t make it into the final Vintage at Goodwood vision. But what did was every bit as soulless as I feared it might be in my preview blog.

Vintage Goodwood 2010

Past a regimental camping site that better represented a hillside carpark, we did indeed approach the main VAG entrance via a wooded glade… and as we did so passed what was to prove the most interesting aspect of the whole festival – a small eco-campment complete with beautiful decorated gypsy caravan, outsized lace-making and knitting, and a tiny outdoor stage for up and coming bands. It was like a touch of Secret Garden Party had crept into the mix, but knowing not where to put it the madness was relegated to the woods.

Vintage Goodwood knit
Love shack caravan By Jessica Sharville
Love Shack Caravan by Jessica Sharville.

So far, so not very vintage, but as we ducked under the entrance arch a slew of gorgeous old cars funnelled us down towards the much trumpeted High Street, rearing up against the dramatic sky like a cross between a back lot of a Hollywood western and a trade show.

Vintage Goodwood entrance
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

“Fifty years on from the design-led 1951 Festival of Britain, Goodwood is to host in 2010 the first of what will be an annual event” opens the glossy VAG flyer, and true to this spirit the very first shop on the High Street housed Wayne Hemingway Inc, choc full of products plastered with designs inspired by the very same Festival of Britain. As one worker commented to me “How arrogant can you be?” Vintage at Goodwood was a monument to our current obsession with consumerism as leisure, and bore no resemblance to the Festival of Britain’s celebration of modern societies’ achievements in post-war Britain. To compare something to such an iconographic event is to set oneself up for a fall.

Vintage Goodwood pub
Vintage Goodwood dress
TigzRice_pinupcar
Pinup Girl with Car by Tigz Rice.

Boggling, I gazed up at the garishly coloured towering fascias, wondering at the huge amount of money that must have gone into the construction. And none of it looking remotely recyclable. For that matter, where were the recycling bins? The post war years were frugal, and there was no sign of that here.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

Instead there was the opportunity to shop inside stands for those well known vintage brands: The Body Shop, Fortnum & Mason, John Lewis and some really expensive watch brand I’ve never heard of; in whose stall people quaffed champagne as a man picked apart on old watch face and another displayed a case of super expensive items to a wealthy shopper. The same brand had sponsored the festival wristbands, made out of lethal lentographic plastic that cut my friend’s arm to shreds.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

There was also: a cinema, and a catwalk hosting “sold out” shows. We never did find out if this was just a turn of phrase or whether they were actually sold out. Yup, you had to pay on top of the ticket price for many of the attractions. And did I mention the style stand, where you could get your hair done by Primark in collaboration with the Sunday Times Style Magazine. Yes really. This is what we’ve come to.

vintage at goodwood by erica sharp
Vintage at Goodwood by Erica Sharp.

I heard rumours of people flying in to attend this festival on private jets, but it was telling of the strange mix of people that there was also a Daily Mirror volkswagen bus on site. As someone wrote on twitter, it seemed like a sanitised Daily Mail version of fifty years of culture, devoid of all nuance or passion. Inside the Sotheby’s auction tent the intermittent rain drip dripped onto a vintage speaker valued at £6000 as a couple passed looking uncomfortable in a fancy dress version of the 1970s.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
vintagegoodwood by Maria del Carmen Smith
Vintage at Goodwood Auction by Maria del Carmen Smith.

The most popular dress amongst women seemed to be the ubiquitous flouncey polka dot fifties number, or some other poorly rendered version of what was worn in the 60s or 70s. Fine if that’s your bag, but I’ve seen fancy dress done with a whole lot more verve at places like Bestival. I guess pure vintage enthusiasts wear vintage clothes with a dedication to style that wasn’t obvious on many festival goers, because vintage enthusiasts choose to wear these clothes day in day out, not as mere fancy dress. It wasn’t altogether surprising to find the real vintage enthusiasts looking slightly bemused and out of place in the staff dinner queue.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood crocs
Future Vintage: Crocs apparently…
Vintage Goodwood 2010
and the Big Brother chair. God help us.
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Tyrells crisps promotion: a vegetable chamber group.
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Rocking the vintage look.

We spoke to friends in the much smaller vintage stall area that was hidden in cramped tents behind the central shopping parade. They were ambivalent about the festival: cross with the way it had been organised and how they were being treated, but happy with the money being spent on their stalls. Aside from spend spend spend, there wasn’t really much to do. We saw little evidence of art from across the decades, other than a strong presence from Peter Blake. We were amazed at the lack of protection for all the beautiful vintage cars stationed next to themed areas for each decade, scattered across the largely unpopulated site. Although there were rumours of workshops, without a £12 programme (touted as a must have “annual”) to tell us when and where, there didn’t seem to be much opportunity.

Vintage Goodwood craft

Like others we gawped at the crafters rather than join in and participate. “Ladies, wear your heels,” urged the flyer. But there wasn’t that much evidence of glamour as the small and bedraggled crowd waved their brollies in the air during the mid afternoon set at the 80s rave warehouse.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
The programme: £12 a pop.
Vintage Goodwood rave
The rave. Wet.
Vintage Goodwood empty
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

I had hoped to visit The Chap Olympiad but every time we got close the heavens opened and we retreated. We tried to see comedian John Shuttleworth but the inflatable Leisure Dome was full to capacity and I was buggered if we were going to stand in a queue in the rain. How much electricity does it take to keep a blow up tent full of air? *ponders* Over on the main stage a respectable crowd gathered for The Noisettes, but seemed bemused by singer Shingai Shoniwa’s stage banter. And I wonder, how do The Noisettes fit into any kind of “vintage” mould?

Vintage Goodwood Noisettes
noisettes-singer-by-anagomezhernandez
Shingai Shoniwa by Ana Gomez Hernandez.

Instead we headed back to the Leisure Dome after another tip off – this time to see the absolutely amazing Swingle Singers singing choreographed acapella and beat box versions of popular songs. An utterly astonishing discovery they alone made the trip down south worthwhile.

Vintage Goodwood Swingle Singers
Vintage Goodwood austin
Vintage Goodwood swingle
Vintage Goodwood Swingle singers
swingle singers by anna hancock young
Swingle Singers by Anna Hancock Young.

Afterwards we stayed onto watch 70 year old Tony Hatch, he of soap opera theme tune fame (don’t worry, I had no idea who he was either). A highlight of our short visit to VAG was surely the sight of Captain Sensible (of punk legends The Damned), listening to Tony Hatch and singers reprise the Neighbours theme tune. Does it get anymore surreal?

Vintage Goodwood Tony Hatch
Tony Hatch and friends.

Thanks to the power of twitter I was able to find out what VAG was like for myself, and in retrospect I am very glad that I didn’t get given free tickets by the organisers because I would have felt duty bound to be much nicer about the VAG experience if I had. I am sure that many people thoroughly enjoyed their trip to Vintage at Goodwood, but for me the idea of staying on for another day was utterly unappealing. Instead we left whilst the going was good, stayed over at a friend’s house and spent Sunday getting drunk with locals at a historic pub in nearby Petersfield.

Vintage Goodwood by Louise Sterling
Vintage Goodwood by Louise Sterling.

On my previous blog there have been a couple of comments stressing the need for big sponsors in order to make a return on investment on a festival such as VAG. This is absolutely not true unless you aspire to make a festival bigger than it wants to be. Most festivals start small and grow organically through the love and dedication of the people who take part. It’s not necessary to bring big brands in unless you’re aiming for a showy experience at the expense of any kind of soul.

Vintage Goodwood girls
Vintage Goodwood shop
Vintage Goodwood red
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Sponsored up to the hilt.

For real vintage lovers I suggest that next year, instead of going to Vintage at Goodwood you check out the numerous other boutique festivals dedicated to specific eras. Especially since I have a sneaking suspicion that many of the true vintage enthusiasts that made it to VAG will not be returning next year. And if you want pure unadulterated playful creative dressing up then I suggest you check out Secret Garden Party – and for real forward thinking cultural inspiration then try Latitude. A hyped-up vanity project does not a successful festival make.

Vintage Goodwood mobility
Dahling_by_Abigail_Nottingham
Dahling by Abigail Nottingham.

“We’re building great cafes and restaurants on the Vintage High St, buy where you will even find a Waitrose.” So said the flyer that I picked up in a local pub the day after our sojourn to Vintage at Goodwood. To be honest, medications if I’d seen this same flyer before I’d been inundated with hype from the great VAG press machine then I might not have been so keen to attend the festival.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

It’s ironic then, information pills that, like the camping spots in “hidden glades, hollows, copses and hillocks” Waitrose didn’t make it into the final Vintage at Goodwood vision. But what did was every bit as soulless as I feared it might be in my preview blog.

Vintage Goodwood 2010

Past a regimental camping site that better represented a hillside carpark, we did indeed approach the main VAG entrance via a wooded glade… and as we did so passed what was to prove the most interesting aspect of the whole festival – a small eco-campment complete with beautiful decorated gypsy caravan, outsized lace-making and knitting, and a tiny outdoor stage for up and coming bands. It was like a touch of Secret Garden Party had crept into the mix, but knowing not where to put it the madness was relegated to the woods.

Vintage Goodwood knit
Love shack caravan By Jessica Sharville
Love Shack Caravan by Jessica Sharville.

So far, so not very vintage, but as we ducked under the entrance arch a slew of gorgeous old cars funnelled us down towards the much trumpeted High Street, rearing up against the dramatic sky like a cross between a back lot of a Hollywood western and a trade show.

Vintage Goodwood entrance
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

“Fifty years on from the design-led 1951 Festival of Britain, Goodwood is to host in 2010 the first of what will be an annual event” opens the glossy VAG flyer, and true to this spirit the very first shop on the High Street housed Wayne Hemingway Inc, choc full of products plastered with designs inspired by the very same Festival of Britain. As one worker commented to me “How arrogant can you be?” Vintage at Goodwood was a monument to our current obsession with consumerism as leisure, and bore no resemblance to the Festival of Britain’s celebration of modern societies’ achievements in post-war Britain. To compare something to such an iconographic event is to set oneself up for a fall.

Vintage Goodwood pub
Vintage Goodwood dress
TigzRice_pinupcar
Pinup Girl with Car by Tigz Rice.

Boggling, I gazed up at the garishly coloured towering fascias, wondering at the huge amount of money that must have gone into the construction. And none of it looking remotely recyclable. For that matter, where were the recycling bins? The post war years were frugal, and there was no sign of that here.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

Instead there was the opportunity to shop inside stands for those well known vintage brands: The Body Shop, Fortnum & Mason, John Lewis and some really expensive watch brand I’ve never heard of; in whose stall people quaffed champagne as a man picked apart on old watch face and another displayed a case of super expensive items to a wealthy shopper. The same brand had sponsored the festival wristbands, made out of lethal lentographic plastic that cut my friend’s arm to shreds.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

There was also: a cinema, and a catwalk hosting “sold out” shows. We never did find out if this was just a turn of phrase or whether they were actually sold out. Yup, you had to pay on top of the ticket price for many of the attractions. And did I mention the style stand, where you could get your hair done by Primark in collaboration with the Sunday Times Style Magazine. Yes really. This is what we’ve come to.

vintage at goodwood by erica sharp
Vintage at Goodwood by Erica Sharp.

I heard rumours of people flying in to attend this festival on private jets, but it was telling of the strange mix of people that there was also a Daily Mirror volkswagen bus on site. As someone wrote on twitter, it seemed like a sanitised Daily Mail version of fifty years of culture, devoid of all nuance or passion. Inside the Sotheby’s auction tent the intermittent rain drip dripped onto a vintage speaker valued at £6000 as a couple passed looking uncomfortable in a fancy dress version of the 1970s.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
vintagegoodwood by Maria del Carmen Smith
Vintage at Goodwood Auction by Maria del Carmen Smith.

The most popular dress amongst women seemed to be the ubiquitous flouncey polka dot fifties number, or some other poorly rendered version of what was worn in the 60s or 70s. Fine if that’s your bag, but I’ve seen fancy dress done with a whole lot more verve at places like Bestival. I guess pure vintage enthusiasts wear vintage clothes with a dedication to style that wasn’t obvious on many festival goers, because vintage enthusiasts choose to wear these clothes day in day out, not as mere fancy dress. It wasn’t altogether surprising to find the real vintage enthusiasts looking slightly bemused and out of place in the staff dinner queue.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood crocs
Future Vintage: Crocs apparently…
Vintage Goodwood 2010
and the Big Brother chair. God help us.
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Tyrells crisps promotion: a vegetable chamber group.
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Rocking the vintage look.

We spoke to friends in the much smaller vintage stall area that was hidden in cramped tents behind the central shopping parade. They were ambivalent about the festival: cross with the way it had been organised and how they were being treated, but happy with the money being spent on their stalls. Aside from spend spend spend, there wasn’t really much to do. We saw little evidence of art from across the decades, other than a strong presence from Peter Blake. We were amazed at the lack of protection for all the beautiful vintage cars stationed next to themed areas for each decade, scattered across the largely unpopulated site. Although there were rumours of workshops, without a £12 programme (touted as a must have “annual”) to tell us when and where, there didn’t seem to be much opportunity.

Vintage Goodwood craft

Like others we gawped at the crafters rather than join in and participate. “Ladies, wear your heels,” urged the flyer. But there wasn’t that much evidence of glamour as the small and bedraggled crowd waved their brollies in the air during the mid afternoon set at the 80s rave warehouse.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
The programme: £12 a pop.
Vintage Goodwood rave
The rave. Wet.
Vintage Goodwood empty
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

I had hoped to visit The Chap Olympiad but every time we got close the heavens opened and we retreated. We tried to see comedian John Shuttleworth but the inflatable Leisure Dome was full to capacity and I was buggered if we were going to stand in a queue in the rain. How much electricity does it take to keep a blow up tent full of air? *ponders* Over on the main stage a respectable crowd gathered for The Noisettes, but seemed bemused by singer Shingai Shoniwa’s stage banter. And I wonder, how do The Noisettes fit into any kind of “vintage” mould?

Vintage Goodwood Noisettes
noisettes-singer-by-anagomezhernandez
Shingai Shoniwa by Ana Gomez Hernandez.

Instead we headed back to the Leisure Dome after another tip off – this time to see the absolutely amazing Swingle Singers singing choreographed acapella and beat box versions of popular songs. An utterly astonishing discovery they alone made the trip down south worthwhile.

Vintage Goodwood Swingle Singers
Vintage Goodwood austin
Vintage Goodwood swingle
Vintage Goodwood Swingle singers
swingle singers by anna hancock young
Swingle Singers by Anna Hancock Young.

Afterwards we stayed onto watch 70 year old Tony Hatch, he of soap opera theme tune fame (don’t worry, I had no idea who he was either). A highlight of our short visit to VAG was surely the sight of Captain Sensible (of punk legends The Damned), listening to Tony Hatch and singers reprise the Neighbours theme tune. Does it get anymore surreal?

Vintage Goodwood Tony Hatch
Tony Hatch and friends.

Thanks to the power of twitter I was able to find out what VAG was like for myself, and in retrospect I am very glad that I didn’t get given free tickets by the organisers because I would have felt duty bound to be much nicer about the VAG experience if I had. I am sure that many people thoroughly enjoyed their trip to Vintage at Goodwood, but for me the idea of staying on for another day was utterly unappealing. Instead we left whilst the going was good, stayed over at a friend’s house and spent Sunday getting drunk with locals at a historic pub in nearby Petersfield.

Vintage Goodwood by Louise Sterling
Vintage Goodwood by Louise Sterling.

On my previous blog there have been a couple of comments stressing the need for big sponsors in order to make a return on investment on a festival such as VAG. This is absolutely not true unless you aspire to make a festival bigger than it wants to be. Most festivals start small and grow organically through the love and dedication of the people who take part. It’s not necessary to bring big brands in unless you’re aiming for a showy experience at the expense of any kind of soul.

Vintage Goodwood girls
Vintage Goodwood shop
Vintage Goodwood red
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Sponsored up to the hilt.

For real vintage lovers I suggest that next year, instead of going to Vintage at Goodwood you check out the numerous other boutique festivals dedicated to specific eras. Especially since I have a sneaking suspicion that many of the true vintage enthusiasts that made it to VAG will not be returning next year. And if you want pure unadulterated playful creative dressing up then I suggest you check out Secret Garden Party – and for real forward thinking cultural inspiration then try Latitude. A hyped-up vanity project does not a successful festival make.

Vintage Goodwood mobility
Dahling_by_Abigail_Nottingham
Dahling by Abigail Nottingham.

“We’re building great cafes and restaurants on the Vintage High St, viagra 60mg where you will even find a Waitrose.” So said the flyer that I picked up in a local pub the day after our sojourn to Vintage at Goodwood. To be honest, troche if I’d seen this same flyer before I’d been inundated with hype from the great VAG press machine then I might not have been so keen to attend the festival.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

It’s ironic then, medications that, like the camping spots in “hidden glades, hollows, copses and hillocks” Waitrose didn’t make it into the final Vintage at Goodwood vision. But what did was every bit as soulless as I feared it might be in my preview blog.

Vintage Goodwood 2010

Past a regimental camping site that better represented a hillside carpark, we did indeed approach the main VAG entrance via a wooded glade… and as we did so passed what was to prove the most interesting aspect of the whole festival – a small eco-campment complete with beautiful decorated gypsy caravan, outsized lace-making and knitting, and a tiny outdoor stage for up and coming bands. Curated by textile artist Annie Sherburne, it was like a touch of Secret Garden Party had crept into the mix, but knowing not where to put it the madness was relegated to the woods.

Vintage Goodwood knit
Love shack caravan By Jessica Sharville
Love Shack Caravan by Jessica Sharville.

So far, so not very vintage, but as we ducked under the entrance arch a slew of gorgeous old cars funnelled us down towards the much trumpeted High Street, rearing up against the dramatic sky like a cross between a back lot of a Hollywood western and a trade show.

Vintage Goodwood entrance
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

“Fifty years on from the design-led 1951 Festival of Britain, Goodwood is to host in 2010 the first of what will be an annual event” opens the glossy VAG flyer, and true to this spirit the very first shop on the High Street housed Wayne Hemingway Inc, choc full of products plastered with designs inspired by the very same Festival of Britain. As one worker commented to me “How arrogant can you be?” Vintage at Goodwood was a monument to our current obsession with consumerism as leisure, and bore no resemblance to the Festival of Britain’s celebration of modern societies’ achievements in post-war Britain. To compare something to such an iconographic event is to set oneself up for a fall.

Vintage Goodwood pub
Vintage Goodwood dress
TigzRice_pinupcar
Pinup Girl with Car by Tigz Rice.

Boggling, I gazed up at the garishly coloured towering fascias, wondering at the huge amount of money that must have gone into the construction. And none of it looking remotely recyclable. For that matter, where were the recycling bins? The post war years were frugal, and there was no sign of that here.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

Instead there was the opportunity to shop inside stands for those well known vintage brands: The Body Shop, Fortnum & Mason, John Lewis and some really expensive watch brand I’ve never heard of; in whose stall people quaffed champagne as a man picked apart on old watch face and another displayed a case of super expensive items to a wealthy shopper. The same brand had sponsored the festival wristbands, made out of lethal lentographic plastic that cut my friend’s arm to shreds.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

There was also: a cinema, and a catwalk hosting “sold out” shows. We never did find out if this was just a turn of phrase or whether they were actually sold out. Yup, you had to pay on top of the ticket price for many of the attractions. And did I mention the style stand, where you could get your hair done by Primark in collaboration with the Sunday Times Style Magazine. Yes really. This is what we’ve come to.

vintage at goodwood by erica sharp
Vintage at Goodwood by Erica Sharp.

I heard rumours of people flying in to attend this festival on private jets, but it was telling of the strange mix of people that there was also a Daily Mirror volkswagen bus on site. As someone wrote on twitter, it seemed like a sanitised Daily Mail version of fifty years of culture, devoid of all nuance or passion. Inside the Sotheby’s auction tent the intermittent rain drip dripped onto a vintage speaker valued at £6000 as a couple passed looking uncomfortable in a fancy dress version of the 1970s.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
vintagegoodwood by Maria del Carmen Smith
Vintage at Goodwood Auction by Maria del Carmen Smith.

The most popular dress amongst women seemed to be the ubiquitous flouncey polka dot fifties number, or some other poorly rendered version of what was worn in the 60s or 70s. Fine if that’s your bag, but I’ve seen fancy dress done with a whole lot more verve at places like Bestival. I guess pure vintage enthusiasts wear vintage clothes with a dedication to style that wasn’t obvious on many festival goers, because vintage enthusiasts choose to wear these clothes day in day out, not as mere fancy dress. It wasn’t altogether surprising to find the real vintage enthusiasts looking slightly bemused and out of place in the staff dinner queue.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood crocs
Future Vintage: Crocs apparently…
Vintage Goodwood 2010
and the Big Brother chair. God help us.
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Tyrells crisps promotion: a vegetable chamber group.
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Rocking the vintage look.

We spoke to friends in the much smaller vintage stall area that was hidden in cramped tents behind the central shopping parade. They were ambivalent about the festival: cross with the way it had been organised and how they were being treated, but happy with the money being spent on their stalls. Aside from spend spend spend, there wasn’t really much to do. We saw little evidence of art from across the decades, other than a strong presence from Peter Blake. We were amazed at the lack of protection for all the beautiful vintage cars stationed next to themed areas for each decade, scattered across the largely unpopulated site. Although there were rumours of workshops, without a £12 programme (touted as a must have “annual”) to tell us when and where, there didn’t seem to be much opportunity.

Vintage Goodwood craft

Like others we gawped at the crafters rather than join in and participate. “Ladies, wear your heels,” urged the flyer. But there wasn’t that much evidence of glamour as the small and bedraggled crowd waved their brollies in the air during the mid afternoon set at the 80s rave warehouse.

Vintage Goodwood 2010
The programme: £12 a pop.
Vintage Goodwood rave
The rave. Wet.
Vintage Goodwood empty
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Vintage Goodwood 2010

I had hoped to visit The Chap Olympiad but every time we got close the heavens opened and we retreated. We tried to see comedian John Shuttleworth but the inflatable Leisure Dome was full to capacity and I was buggered if we were going to stand in a queue in the rain. How much electricity does it take to keep a blow up tent full of air? *ponders* Over on the main stage a respectable crowd gathered for The Noisettes, but seemed bemused by singer Shingai Shoniwa’s stage banter. And I wonder, how do The Noisettes fit into any kind of “vintage” mould?

Vintage Goodwood Noisettes
noisettes-singer-by-anagomezhernandez
Shingai Shoniwa by Ana Gomez Hernandez.

Instead we headed back to the Leisure Dome after another tip off – this time to see the absolutely amazing Swingle Singers singing choreographed acapella and beat box versions of popular songs. An utterly astonishing discovery they alone made the trip down south worthwhile.

Vintage Goodwood Swingle Singers
Vintage Goodwood austin
Vintage Goodwood swingle
Vintage Goodwood Swingle singers
swingle singers by anna hancock young
Swingle Singers by Anna Hancock Young.

Afterwards we stayed onto watch 70 year old Tony Hatch, he of soap opera theme tune fame (don’t worry, I had no idea who he was either). A highlight of our short visit to VAG was surely the sight of Captain Sensible (of punk legends The Damned), listening to Tony Hatch and singers reprise the Neighbours theme tune. Does it get anymore surreal?

Vintage Goodwood Tony Hatch
Tony Hatch and friends.

Thanks to the power of twitter I was able to find out what VAG was like for myself, and in retrospect I am very glad that I didn’t get given free tickets by the organisers because I would have felt duty bound to be much nicer about the VAG experience if I had. I am sure that many people thoroughly enjoyed their trip to Vintage at Goodwood, but for me the idea of staying on for another day was utterly unappealing. Instead we left whilst the going was good, stayed over at a friend’s house and spent Sunday getting drunk with locals at a historic pub in nearby Petersfield.

Vintage Goodwood by Louise Sterling
Vintage Goodwood by Louise Sterling.

On my previous blog there have been a couple of comments stressing the need for big sponsors in order to make a return on investment on a festival such as VAG. This is absolutely not true unless you aspire to make a festival bigger than it wants to be. Most festivals start small and grow organically through the love and dedication of the people who take part. It’s not necessary to bring big brands in unless you’re aiming for a showy experience at the expense of any kind of soul.

Vintage Goodwood girls
Vintage Goodwood shop
Vintage Goodwood red
Vintage Goodwood 2010
Sponsored up to the hilt.

For real vintage lovers I suggest that next year, instead of going to Vintage at Goodwood you check out the numerous other boutique festivals dedicated to specific eras. Especially since I have a sneaking suspicion that many of the true vintage enthusiasts that made it to VAG will not be returning next year. And if you want pure unadulterated playful creative dressing up then I suggest you check out Secret Garden Party – and for real forward thinking cultural inspiration then try Latitude. A hyped-up vanity project does not a successful festival make.

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

I must admit, recipe 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, page rich, hospital 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…

Field Day is basically everything that I want from a music festival; the line-up was so well crafted that its definitely – in my book – the top festival for music of the moment.

The first band we caught was Memory Tapes, online who played a perfectly lovely set and sounded great, more about but not good enough to keep me there for the entirety of it. With Memory Tapes it feels like you’ve seen it all after a few tracks, advice and at Field Day there were so many incredible bands on that often you can’t catch whole sets. It’s an exhausting one day event, with people running around Victoria Park like eight-year-olds on sugar highs, trying to see as much as possible.

We were lured away from Memory Tapes by the promise of a Mount Kimbie set. They played the Bloggers Delight tent; to a crowd so big it spilled out and was about five people deep. That turned out to be a recurring theme when it came to the Bloggers Delight tent. We couldn’t hear much because we were stuck in the middle of the sound clash between two tents, so we moved on.

Steve Mason played the main stage and I was really impressed with the set. Not being a fan of his solo stuff or The Beta Band, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the middle-aged guy dressed in sportswear. The outcome was a gripping set – in fact the only one of two sets I saw in its completion, and won me over as a genuine fan.

Last time I saw Lightspeed Champion, it felt like something was missing from the set, but that wasn’t a problem this time. Wearing some questionably short shorts, Dev and his band rattled through a set consisting of mainly new tracks without disappointment. Field Day, or so I learnt, is the only festival where some nut job is likely to run Dev and his friend into you. Some people are such big fans that they can’t help but run at him, swing him around and then bolt off as the shame of the display slowly sets in.

After much pleading from a friend, we went to check out Joker and Mc Nomad. I was promised it’d be good and it was my surprise set of the festival. The format of a DJ with a couple of guys MCing over dubstep worked perfectly and, unlike the other kinds of music at the fest, was still a relatively unexposed sound. Of everyone I saw, I recommend checking out Joker above all others.

Then it was time for Hudson Mohawke, who I was desperately excited to watch. Hudson Mohawke played the Bloggers Delight tent and, of course, there was no space. It was a massive disappointment not to be able to see, but being short I’m mostly used to it. Not being able to hear properly was even more disappointing and we gave up after a couple of songs.

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble were the band that the majority of my friends wanted to see, so we had a little chill laying in the sunshine and having a listen. It was interesting for a couple of songs, but I didn’t like it. I got bored after a few songs, but everyone else around me seemed to love it. It was a welcome rest after a hectic afternoon of running around, but they didn’t win me over.

Also playing the main stage were Caribou – the second full set I caught and my absolute highlight. They were beautiful live. I find sometimes when instrumental songs are played live, if the band hasn’t got my attention, my mind starts to wander. Not with Caribou. They had the crowd gripped from the moment the band walked onto the stage, kept their attention throughout the set and performed flawlessly.

Chapel Club closed the Adventures in the Beetroot Field stage and were an interesting choice, considering that they were the darkest band of the day. I loved their set, but sadly I was one of barely 200 people watching. Everyone else, it seems, had flocked to the main stage to see Phoenix. It was a shame, because they were so refreshingly different to everyone else who played that day, but I guess it’s pretty impossible to compete against one of 2010’s biggest bands.

The only thing about Field Day that I wasn’t in love with, was the bar prices. Pretty costly for a one day event, the bar added 10p on to every can sold. I assume it was to encourage recycling, but what it seemed to result in was a few people walking around with bin bags, scooping up as many cans as they could in order to get a cheaper beer. Very strange indeed.

With a flawless line up, a pretty chilled crowd and some fun games held throughout the day, it was perhaps the most fun I’ve squeezed into 12 hours all summer and without fail the first festival I’ll be buying tickets for next year.

All photographs by Anh Ho.

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