"My wife got dressed up like Worzel Gummidge, put some bog roll in a bag and roared off in her Aston Martin to watch a bunch of useless teenagers singing in the rain at
- Jeremy Clarkson
I am writing this because if I post it now, you dear reader still have a chance to get a ticket for the one festival I can wholeheartedly recommend and to another which is brand new and I would go to if it were not for a pronounced aversion to tents. That last sentence was probably enough to suggest that the ‘festival’is not my natural environment. I can see why teenagers might enjoy it, they enjoy just about anything that doesn’t include their parents and does include drugs.
In the past I’ll admit the open-air music festival did have an air of rebellious camaraderie. The exterior location redolent of pagan jollities, bandit festivities, revolting peasants and inclusive of recreational pursuits plus large bonfires was appealing. The lack of hard-sell, the cheapness of comestibles and the ad hoc entertainment made enduring hadean toilets, people peeing against your tents and indeed the struggle that is the tent itself tolerable. I can tell you that applying full Goth makeup in a 2 metre tall sodden Woolworth’s tent is no mean feat! The only establishment figures in evidence were a few disgruntled young policemen and the St John’s ambulance chaps providing a remarkably good natured ‘drunk’, ‘drugged’ or ‘ill’ triage service. There were very few twats, very little money and a great variety of people generally misbehaving in a harmless manner.
But look at festivals now. Hienously expensive mega-events that cost a week’s wages to attend. Tent segregation with the rich in their gypsy caravans and yurts. Sponsorship by major corporations. Pages on festival-fashion in the Daily Mail. Some festivals such as Bestival or the
However this years brand newVintage at Goodwood festival looks intriguing. If it attracts retro-types there will be an initial weeding of the festival goers. However it has extended its brief to cover the 70’s and 80’s so there may be a few twatkids in the mix, and like a mozzie in your room at night they are difficult to ignore. Nonetheless if I were not busy I would fancy it as a day ticket is not too expensive. The problem, as ever, is accommodation. The dreaded tent. There are the usual posh options which are unaffordable. Herein lies the rub. I know I cannot look nice staying in a tent, I know I will not sleep, I know they are insecure and my stuff may well get stolen. I cannot afford to spend the money I would spend on a holiday abroad on resolving these problems. Moreover I suspect that a major appeal of this festival is its shopping possibilities. But it may be worth a visit, Goodwood has form in organising retro events and I know some very nice people who will be there.
However I will get to go to the Chap Olympiad (a mini-me version of which is appearing at Vintage Goodwood). This was originally conceived of by the bearded one, as an antidote to events such as the Olympics; tainted as it is by it’s association with Coca Cola, corruption, winning at all costs and bad politics. The Chap Olympiad supports ideals of amateurism and fun leavened with a generous dose of surrealism. Competitors enter events such as ‘The Gin Martini Relay’, ‘Umbrella Jousting’ and ‘The Cucumber Sandwich Discus’. It is unsurprisingly organised by the Chap magazine, a publication with a long established anti-corporatist pro-eccentric stance. The Dandy Fop Anarchist hordes are gathered into
What particularly marks it out is the variety of attendees: steam punks preen, chaps wander around twirling moustaches and the only ‘rock chicks’ here are resplendent in fluffy skirts and kiss curls. Also how you enjoy yourself is up to you, no herd mentality. One year I am ashamed to say I was captain of the winning Martini Relay team, another year I spent in a champagne induced haze under a parasol. Unlike other festivals the portaloos are clean, the ticket prices reasonable and the only tents are protecting those carrying out such important jobs as providing tea or gin. Nor will it be commentated on by Edith Bowman or feature caterwauling indie bands or talentless R & B stars. The only powder encrusted around one’s nose will be loose face powder and Top Shop will not be selling Olympiad themed clothes manufactured by children in