Saturday, 14 August 2010

Vintage at Goodwood

Image from the Guardian

This weekend the Vintage at Goodwood festival is happening in Sussex.  Billed as the alternative to the run of the mill summer festivals where unglamourous drunken revelry in the mud is the norm, Vintage at Goodwood offers civilised 'glamping' facilities, an opportunity to dress up all weekend in glamorous vintage with like minded souls and a huge amount vintage clothing on sale.  My idea of festival heaven - except I just cannot overcome my aversion to the rain and go.

I have to admit that I am a complete pansy when it comes to dealing with festivals in the type of rainy weather we are currently having now.  Day passes are apparently still available for tomorrow but I am sure that I would be quite miserable if I was traipsing around in Sussex in the cold and wet this weekend.

Festivals are actually fantastic places to get vintage clothing.  Some of my favourite vintage pieces have come from vintage clothes stalls at festivals.  A black silk top hat, a silk lined gold lame capelet with a scalloped edge, a Victorian jacket in cream watermark taffeta, a forties silk blouse and an Edwardian riding shirt are some of the treasures I managed to pick up in past years.  The stalls are usually run by people with vintage clothing shops in far flung places in the UK with interesting stock at prices that are a bit more wallet friendly than the vintage shops in London.

So why am I not running gleefully down to Sussex this weekend?  Well the forecast is cloudy and rainy this weekend and so I am wimping out.  I had to endure Glastonbury and WOMAD a couple of years back when both sites turned into giant sludge pits.  Glastonbury in particular traumatised me! In a fit of sheer optimism I arrived with a backpack full of my floatiest most hippy dippy festival gear.  The weather was so bad that the only look I managed to work all weekend was mud stained snowboarding trousers, wellington boots and an anorak!  I had developed that well known festival condition of wellington boot shuffle by the end of the weekend.  Comes from spending hours knee deep in mud struggling against the force of such strong suction that often your foot advances but your boot is left behind. 

Such was my horror at the 'facilities' that I stopped eating and drinking for three days so that I didn't need to use them.  I hardly slept the entire time because we were camped on a crowded hillside and I keep rolling off my inflatable mattress.  It didn't stop raining and water was continuously streaming over the groundsheet of our tent making it impossible to keep our stuff dry.  To top it off I would awake in the mornings to find spiders had made webs across the very low ceiling of our tent - not a good discovery if you are arachnophobic!  I was not much of a happy camper before this experience but since then I cannot even stomach the idea of glamping. 

I realise I am missing out big time for this insistence on having my creature comforts in bad weather.  Just check out the Guardian's photo coverage of the festival for the feast of great outfits on display.  Maybe, just maybe, next year the weather will be better and I'll get to Goodwood!


  1. If you stop doing things because of the rain you will never do very much in England.
    That is easylly said when you live in an over heated part of Spain: Andalucía.
    Well at the moment I am in Berlín where is also raining, but soooo cool that one is greatful to be away from 40ºc.
    If I were you I would go to the vintage fair

  2. The tickets were so cheap on eBay this week that I was tempted to go but with another festie next weekend I ruled it out. I adore Wayne Hemmingway and like you I've found lots of decently priced vintage at festivals over the years. Maybe we'll both go next year! xxx


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