The Vintage at Goodwood festival, celebrating music, art, film, fashion and design over five decades, took place a couple of weekends ago (13th-15th August), and has had rave reviews.
I was beginning to think that I wan't going to be able to make it, as the tickets were quite pricey, but on the Friday I nabbed myself a ticket for free through a friend of a friend, for the Saturday! Yippeeeee!
So I set off to Goodwood on Saturday morning, getting the bus to London Victoria (damn you Jubilee line for never running on the weekends that I need you) and taking the train to Chichester (which takes around 1 hour and 30 mins) and then taking the 'special' open top vintage double decker bus which they had put on to transport people from the station to the festival. Reading this back, it sounds like more hassle than it actually was, and door to door took around 3 hours.
The weather was very iffy indeed, grey and drizzly all morning, so I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived and the sun was shining! Hooray! The day ended up being a mixture of sunshine and showers all day, with more sunshine. It rained twice, maybe three times, for short spells, the whole day I was there, but I was indoors watching bands and dancing so it didn't really make much difference. The grass got a little muddy in places, but I came wearing my cowboy boots, expecting the worst, and the organisers were very good about putting down woodchip on the slightly slippery areas. Let's just say, the grass was easy enough for girls to walk on in high heels, which leads me to my next point...
Never before have I seen so many beautiful, glamorous, immaculate people at a festival before! Given that we were in the middle of a slightly muddy field, with many of the people there camping, I was amazed at the perfectly styled hair and make-up and the gorgeous dresses I saw on many of the lovely ladies strutting around the place. Fittingly, the lovely Lipstick & Curls girls were also on hand over the weekend, going around the festival fixing hair and make-up.
I heard that the camping area had showers, sockets to plug in appliances like hair curlers and straighteners etc. If the toilets were anything to go by, then I can believe it - this was the first festival I have been to that had clean toilets that flushed, with toilet paper, running hot and cold water and hand towels. Amazing.
So the festival celebrated the best of British, with numerous tea and cake stalls, an East End boozer (complete with Union Jack bunting), different buildings with stages constructed for the last five decades (the crazy old carpet used in the 60's soul 'working men's club' was a nice touch) vintage clothing stalls, classic cars and motorcycles, a vintage cinema, beauty salon, famous British 'pop-up' shops (John Lewis, Fortnum & Mason etc), fashion shows, classic fairground rides, wall of death, rollerdisco, outdoor music stages and various arts & crafts projects scattered around the grounds. The layout and design of the buildings and tents was beautiful! They did a really great job making the place pretty, and it was especially lovely at night when all the string-lights and fairground rides were lit up.
The Tanqueray Torch tent was beautiful - made up like a 1940s nightclub, complete with dance floor, lots of round dining tables around the edges, a bar and even a chandelleir! I got to watch some great bigband performances in there, along with DJ sets by Tim's Jumpin' Jive. Unfortunately the dancefloor was on a slope, so it was quite hard work dancing on it...
The 1950s Let It Rock tent was great, with a huge black and white checkered dance floor and tiki bar. I got to see a few bands in here throughout the day, including teenage Hep Cat band, The Caezars, who put on a bleedin' marvelous show, literally - I think the singer conked his nose on the mic, after the first couple of songs, and continued the rest of the set with a face dripping blood. Now that's what I call rock'n'roll! This band is great to dance to, and also very fun to watch as they are a) enthusiastic about their music, b) lively and c) very handsome. Watch the girls in the audience at any of their shows and expect to see a lot of swooning!
I caught a bit of Alvin Stardust, Martha and The Vandellas and The Noisettes on the main stage as I was walking about. I was impressed with how energetic and fun the set by The Noisettes was, and both their costumes and the stage lighting were great. Unfortunately I have no photo evidence, as my camera decided to go on the blink during the afternoon. Talk about bad timing. I think the problem is the backlight, as the screen stays black when I turn the camera on, but it can still take photos - you just cannot see what you are taking photos of - so I didn't use it much after this point, and the pics I did try to take were very hit and miss.
By the time I had to leave I was exhausted! I had a super fun day, catching up with friends, dancing, listening to good music, people-watching, browsing the vintage clothing stalls (I have to admit I was a little disappointed in this department though), eating chocolate guinness cake and drinking tea out of fancy old china, celeb-spotting (I saw cute tv chef Gizzi Erskine wandering around) admiring the various classic cars dotted about the site and aimlessly trying to take photos.
Would I go back next year? Most likely, yes!