Retro Festival 2017


It was Retro Festival time!! WOOOOO!! I had really been looking forward to this show, not because I thought I was going to sell lots of goodies and make lots of money, no, I just wanted to be there.  Retro Festival was just something I wanted to do and when the approval had came through months earlier, I squealed with absolute joy.

Bret and I decided that each year we would choose one convention/show that we just wanted to do.  Sure it would be a gamble but the fact we would just be happy to be there would make it worthwhile.  So Retro Festival was my choice and in a few months you’ll find out what Bret picked out for this year.

Happy Post Day!

All the wristbands, passes and info sheet were mailed about a month beforehand.  Again, I squealed like a child.  I honestly couldn’t wait to set off for this one.

That was until…

Saying goodbye to my fur ball is always hard ;_;

The Retro Festival was held at the Newbury Racecourse which was about 2 hours away.  The journey there is never a problem, Bret and I always keep ourselves occupied with whatever iPod playlist we made for the ride.  At that time we were still in Chester Bennington mourning so it was Linkin Park all the way <3

We decided to check in at the hotel first so we could then go and set up and trade for a few hours (there was about 4 hours trading time on the Friday).

Very nice hotel room! Always important!

I also decided that I should document my outfits for the weekend.  Well it was Retro Festival which meant I had a great excuse to wear pretty dresses every day not that I need an excuse to be honest.

Outfit Number 1

Gotta love flamingos.  Also, dark pink hair to try and hide the fact that my roots desperately needed sorting.  Fat fail I know but I was going for a more natural look 😉

Next stop was Newbury racecourse to start setting up.  It was relatively easy to find and everyone there was helpful.  What I hadn’t realised was that we were inside a marquee on the grounds and not inside a building like I had assumed.  Oh dear.  Damp marquee with lots of condensation and bare, cold grass floor.  Then there’s me in open sandals and no cardigan or jacket.  Splendid!  I could only pray that the weather for the weekend was going to be warm.

I sniffled my way through set up and somehow managed to come up with this:

I look rather pleased with myself.

Yeah Bret, you just sit there and enjoy your smoothie while Mommy does all the work.

Look at all the pretties.

I can’t tell you how satisfying it was to see all my charm bracelets laid out like that.  I never get the chance at Comic Cons so this was definitely an artist’s appreciation moment.

Oh and to prove what a small world it is, while I was setting up, a familiar looking woman walked up to me and said “I know you” and I thought “I know you too”.  Turns out it was one of the lovely ladies I had met at the Southampton Vintage Fair early in the year.  It’s always nice to know the people you’re working near.  This was going to be a fun weekend.

The few hours of trading we had on the Friday were very quiet so of course that gave Bret and I plenty of time to practise our pointless selfies.

Yes, Bret has discovered he has a middle finger! Such joy!

By about 7pm we realised there wasn’t much point in hanging around, and doing another 100 pointless selfies wasn’t really going to keep us entertained so we decided to go back to the hotel.  Besides, I was freezing and very very hungry.

Just what the doctor ordered!

After dinner, as we were leaving the restaurant, the waiter came up to us and asked if we wanted a dessert to take back to our room.  Apparently the chef had made too many nutella pancakes and so it was on the house.  Free pudding! Well you don’t need to ask us twice.

Look, it’s a work of art! And damn delicious too!

If that wasn’t enough, later on in the evening, Bret was desperate to use “room service” and so ordered himself a sandwich (plus a Corona for me).  He wasn’t hungry, he just simply wanted to use room service.  As you do!

The next morning we went and had an amazing breakfast (you gotta love the hot and cold buffet breakfast) which would set us up for the day.  Luckily I was still able to fit into my dress once we got back to the room.

Outfit Number 2

Beautiful dress from Collectif which is quite possibly my favourite place ever to buy dresses.

Next it was a short drive to the racecourse, luckily the sun was shining and I wouldn’t have to worry about freezing my ass off in the damp tent!  We got ourselves ready and was all pumped to begin the day.

I figured I would also bring my beautiful handmade Pinup/Rockabilly patchwork quilt with me to sell, just incase there was any interest.

It’s double bed size and took me approximately 6 months to make and that doesn’t include all the time I spent on Ebay searching for the different 50’s style fabrics.  I was generally looking for £200 which actually hardly covered the money for materials and doesn’t even factor all the hours I spent on it.  I did have a LOT of interest and I mean a LOT! So many people admired it and took photos of it but at the end of the weekend it had to come back with me as I wasn’t prepared to part with it for less.

Anyway, it certainly made a cool backdrop for our pointless selfies:

Oh look! Bret’s eating again!

Now incase you have ever wondered what there is to do at a Retro Festival, I went on a little tour around the racecourse to show you.  And because I needed the loo!

Firstly though, the portaloos are really the most scary places on Earth! Seriously, if I could have kept my legs crossed all day I would have preferred to do that than go inside one of those.  Apart from the fact I have seen The Hills Have Eyes 2 numerous times and always check incase there is someone hiding inside, it is also the most disgusting repugnant shit ever!  It took me 10 minutes just to cover the entire seat with at least 5 layers of paper.

So, back to the Retro Festival, well obviously there’s got to be music right?  There are numerous bands playing and lots of dancing.  They also had a full on fairground with so many rides you were spoilt for choice (think back to the end of Grease) and indeed where Bret spent most of his money.

They also had:

Stunt Riders! WOOO!

My favourite part is all the shopping you can do.  The marquee I was in was full of handmade crafts plus scrumptious artisan food and drink.  There was another big marquee full of traders selling everything 50’s style you could possibly dream of.  I was surrounded by so many beautiful dresses, shoes and accessories I could have done some serious damage on my credit card.

This beauty had my name all over it!  Of course I went back for it later on

There were lots of outside stalls selling all the retro gear you could ever need.  A lot of people were doing car boot sales as well.  So there was plenty of shopping opportunities for everyone.  Then of course you had all your hot food stalls and bars.  But most of all, there was………

Beautiful retro cars, everywhere!

So as you can see, there was plenty to see and do for literally everyone.  The atmosphere was lovely, so laid back and relaxed and everyone was in a good mood.

After my walkaround, back at PlayBox Central, it was of course that time again 😉

Soon it was that time to make our way back to hotel for some well deserved food and drink.

I am clearly in my happy place :))))

I have to tell you that I was utterly starving.  Unlike Bret I hadn’t eaten all day and so a starter was definitely on the cards.

Pate and chutney – nom nom nom nom

How perfect are those eggs?

I have to admit, that by the end of the dinner I was doing a Vicar of Dibly trying to force myself to eat my fries.  It was definitely a case of “we salute the victorious food”.

Back in our room I could barely move but boy did I sleep!

The next morning I had a very LIGHT breakfast and was very relieved that I could still zip up my new dress.

Outfit Number 3

I felt like a cherry cupcake Princess!

We checked out of the hotel and made our way to the racecourse for our last day at the Retro Festival.

Good morning y’all

On the way in I had seen something very very beautiful so I excused myself to go take a closer look.  First of all though, I had to go to the dreaded portaloo, I just prayed that I made it out alive.

Portaloo Selfie!!

Luckily I escaped unharmed and headed over to this gorgeous vision:

Isn’t she a beauty?

By far my favourite car of the weekend.  Gotta love love love a pink Caddy <333

Another quick look around the shopping marquee, how I managed to resist buying everything proves that sometimes I do have willpower of steel now if only I could apply that to food and alcohol.  The lovely lady I bought my dress from the day before stopped me for a quick pic.

She’s at most of these style of events and I absolutely recommend you check out her stall because she has some gorgeous stuff.  Isabel’s Retro & Vintage Clothing.

Back at the marquee, there was plenty of time for this:

It really had been a fun weekend, I’d thoroughly enjoyed every second of it.  All the other fellow traders that had been around me for the last 3 days were definitely some of  the nicest I’d ever had the pleasure to work with.  Before packing up I had a chance to force my friend Treena (the beauty I had met in Southampton) into our pointless selfie craziness.

And best photo of the weekend is definitely this one:

We’re the Brady Bunch!!!

If you are into retro clothing I definitely recommend you check out Treena’s In Vintage Crafts because not only does she sell some amazing stuff, she also is extremely talented and can do beautiful custom orders.  Honestly, her handmade dresses are something else.  Oh and she also makes the best hair flowers which you can check out at her Instagram.

So that was Retro Festival.  I honestly had the best time from a personal point of view.  Business wise it’s not something we’ll do again but I would absolutely like to go again as an attendee.

Stay tuned while I catch up with all the blog posts (yes, I know, again).  Next up is London Comic Con from October 2017.

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