Monday, 3 August 2015

Dubtoberfest - Not So Ace On The Base




We've traded at fifteen festivals and, just like with vintage fairs & markets, you expect the occasional duff event. Three years in and sadly last weekend's Dubtoberfest (held on the site of an old MoD airbase) was the one.

Saturday Evening on Vintage Street. More like Dereliction Alley if you ask me.
If it had been just us who hadn't done well we'd have put it down to having the wrong stock but when the tea stall had to give their cakes away for free and some traders hadn't even covered their £60 pitch fee then you know something was seriously amiss. In fact, between all three vintage clothes traders not one of us sold a single dress throughout the entire weekend which, with over 1000 camping tickets sold and hundreds of day visitors through the gates, is absolutely bizarre. 


We were promised an exclusive area packed with vintage traders, the entrance marked by a huge banner, there would be Hot Rods, a BMX display and a pop-up tea room. Instead we got a tiny chalkboard sign that most of us didn't even notice until Saturday afternoon, six vintage stalls surrounded by sellers trading in hand made, mass-produced or imported goods, a tiny caravan selling cake and a vintage truck parked at the end of the row. 


Admittedly gorgeous but, in my opinion, not a patch on this vintage Indian which belonged to the partner of a fellow trader.

Linking to Judith's Hat Attack #25

The Show & Shine, a big draw at any classic car show, was arranged on the runway behind us, instead of the usual set-up where the trade stalls face the display, enabling people to admire the vehicles and browse the market area at the same time. The way it had been arranged meant that the visitors only saw the back of our pitches so once they'd seen the display they headed back to the main arena, completely bypassing us.


I'd have liked to have shown you some photos of stylishly dressed shoppers but with the exception of our fellow traders you could have counted the number of women in clothes other than jeans, VW vests & hoodies on the fingers of one hand. If we'd have been given a programme we might have taken some photos of the activities we'd only heard about after reading about them on the Facebook page after we got home last night.


The bands only played during the evening so most of the weekend's musical entertainment came from our boombox. A rockabilly covers group did a live set on Sunday afternoon but, by then, the traders had already decided that we'd given it our best shot and were too busy dismantling our stalls (and battling with the gale force wind) to go and watch.  


If you ignored the stench wafting over from the neighbouring landfill site, the setting was picturesque, the sunsets were stunning, the toilets were immaculate and the company was fantastic.

With our friends Hannah & Laura from Make Do & Vintage
Several festival goers (admittedly one so pissed he could barely stand) told us it was the best weekend of their lives so Dubtoberfest must have been a success for some, just not if you're a trader.


We're off to spend all our profits on a slap-up lunch in Wetherspoons (a whopping £17 to show for the best part of four days of hard work).

See you soon!

67 comments:

  1. I'm sorry it didn't go better, it sounds like a bit of a shambles really. Love the truck and the picture of you on the Indian xxx

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  2. You should have been at the Stockholm music and arts (and at the same time Pride Stockholm) instead. The audience consisting of about half men and half women aged 20-70 years. And ... I think the dresses had sold well!

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  3. What a damp squib!! Oh dear, it sounds like a few things weren't thought through by the organisers. Really sorry you didn't do better. Love that shot of you on the bike though, amazing! xx

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  4. What a shame! Hopefully that won't happen again:(

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  5. As Pocelima says "what a damp squib"...love that phrase!
    Gld you had some positives, but the organisers need to look to their arrangements or they will have no stalls.
    The bike and rider are stunning! Xo Jazzy Jack

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  6. Oh damn - and yeah, the organizers need to do something about that set-up.
    Love the photos of you, Jon and your pals, and you on the motorcycle!! xox

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  7. Oh, that is a shame :(

    Hopefully the next event you attend will make up for it xx

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  8. that vintage indian is gorgeous. i know someone who would love that! sorry the weekend was a bust but as always it sound as if you made the best of it. x

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  9. What a shame, so sorry for all you traders. Next event will be a blockbuster, no doubt. xox

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  10. Thats a shame ,, I don't think I have ever read a post here that this has happened,

    I suppose all you do is put it behind,
    move on,, next one will be great,

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  11. That sucks :( As a fellow retailer, I know how important set-up is for attracting customers. Was it the first year for Dubtober?

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  12. I'm sorry, sometimes the organizers like to talk and promise, and then the reality ... is something else! But you did very nice pictures, and that old bike is fantastic, even the sunset through the fields!

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  13. Sorry to hear it wasn't productive for you so much work goes into trading and organising lots of people don't realise but if that's the only bad egg for you I would say you are doing load right :-) you look gorgeous as ever anyway :-) dee xx

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  14. Dudtoberfest more like. The organisers won't have any traders next year by the sound of it, and they don't deserve any. Still onwards and upwards, you deserve so much better for all your hard work. x

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  15. What a waste of your time. Damn. I hate that that happened to you, as I know how busy you've been this summer and surely could have used the time off, over the measly 17 pounds. But I guess if you look at the bright side, you have a Gilbert-full of clean, mended and ironed stock, ready to be snapped up at the next faire. It's small consolation and I curse the organizers for such lousy planning. I guess next year they'll have no vintage vendors willing to come out, which is what they deserve.

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  16. So sorry to hear that Dubtoberfest was unsuccessful. However, the photo of you on the motorcycle, in all of your splendor, is absolutely fabulous. Looking forward to your next event, which I'm sure will make up for this past weekend.

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  17. That sucks. When I did shows I can remember the disappointment of coming back after putting in all that hard work and not even being able to cover the cost of the trip. So glad this was a rare event for you.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  18. Bugger! All that work for so little profit... It's annoying to be promised certain things which then don't happen, and for the set-up and organisation to be poor; these are things event organisers can control, even if they can't do anything about the punters and the weather!
    Ah well, as you say, there was bound to be a dodgy festival at some stage, and it least you looked fabulous, had some great company, and got to pose o that cool bike!
    Chin up, enjoy the Spoons, and on to the next one!
    Love you! xxxx

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  19. Oh what a drag! It seems like this has been the only bad one you've ever had, so that's darn good odds. Cross this one off the list for 2016. Onward and Upward is how you guys roll.

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  20. What a pain in the arse, love. Some you win , some are shit as I have often said whilst standing behind a stall as a tumble weed rolls by. Never mind, there will be other more stonking events. The Indian is fabulous...I've always wanted one, you are gorgeous and there is something to be said for decent toilets at a do! I'll never forget the ones at the Hayride...it looked like the Quatermass experiment bubbling up.
    Loves ya.
    xxxxxxxx

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  21. Oh no! What a flop. Sounds like the organisers didn't think the trading but through at all, they should refund your money for the waste of time! Xx

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  22. Surely one to miss next year - but at least you had some friends there. Fortunately you don't put all your eggs in one Festival basket :)

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  23. Being another soul who earns their money working at shows it's just the way it goes sometimes. You learn from experience and not to repeat the ones that don't come off. Hope it was at least dry for you.
    Arilx

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  24. That's too bad, sounds like crap organisers didn't think things through. But, at least you had each other & dressed in great vintage threads. x

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  25. Sorry to hear that it didn't go well Vix. Hopefully the next event will be better! x

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  26. How very disappointing, the organisers would appear to have neglected the value of traders at their event - once bitten twice shy. I hope you can have a few days at home now to rest and relax after all that hard work for nothing.

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  27. Im sorry to hear that was such a drag , hopefully your next time will be so much better . You look stunning on that old mc !
    xxx

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  28. I think its important to remember that this is Dubtober fest first year and so its not going to be perfect. I brought a vintage sign which I love and wondered in and out of the traders clothing stalls but didn't bring money to cover boutique prices, for example there was some stunning dresses but at £40, was out of my price range, being it was a camping festival most people wont bring that kind of money with them.

    Also you're comment about wising to take photos of 'stylishly dressed shoppers' is extremely judgmental, being that I am not one of the jeans and VW t shirt girls, its not that I take it personally but rather have a strong belief that people should wear whatever makes them happy, without judgement because they don't wish to fit in to the vintage fashion of today.

    All in all I had an amazing weekend and agree that somethings could be improved, and I'm sure will be for next year.

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  29. I used to do shows, lots of them, and it's disheartening to put so much effort into it and get chuff all back. You're a survivor and will come bouncing back, I'm sure.

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  30. sorry for that disappointing fair, such a pity that organizers didn't make their job as it was expected!, but your stall looked as gorgeous as usual, and your colorful outfit and pretty floral headpiece were absolutely lovely!
    Wishing you a great success and lots of fun next time!
    besos

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  31. Oh no Vix, what a bummer...so disappointing after all the preparation and effort for such an event. That Vintage Village sign is truly pathetic, how would anyone see that unless they were right on top of it? No doubt you will give it a swerve next year? The Indian is bloody gorgeous ...as are you atop it of course.

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  32. It's so odd when things just randomly go all empty like that. Even the VW's look forlorn and they are usually so cheerful. But you do look terrific on that bike. That's just all that much more Kinky Melon treasures for those intelligent enough to show up next time.

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  33. Such a shame , sorry to hear that! but I must say the pictures are great !!! best wishes Vix

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  34. Argh, you should have been at Port Eliot festival last weekend! The hugely overpriced vintage stall (with lots of very non vintage high street items) was doing a roaring trade - you'd have made a killing. It's a long drive but you should sign up for next year.

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  35. You should have started ripping around the fields on that motorcycle with a big Kinky Melon banner behind you and a boom box on the handlebars. You look stunning. That would have gotten some attention. Sorry to hear about the dismal turnout for the trader area and the less-than-stellar signage. Onwards and upwards. I hope you had a great lunch at least.

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  36. My sister and I have done our fair share of art fairs only to get what we like to call "skunked". Where we barely make enough to cover our booth fee. We try to have fun anyway. I'm sure the next one will be better

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  37. It really is a shame that the organization was so poorly done! Often people promise and don't deliever....and organisators are obviously one of them.

    Well, at least you had cool friends to hang out with and the sunsets that were really nice....so, it's good you can find something positive in everything:)

    you look gorgeous in that maxi...and I really like the flower crown.

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  38. "dubtoberfest" - that name seemed suspicious right at the moment i´d read it....
    now you know what to avoid.
    next time!
    despite all the downs - you and jon and your friends look gorgeous - love the pic with the old indian!!!
    xxxxx

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  39. @ Tina Narey.

    I'm glad that you had a good time, there's no disputing that people had fun but I'm writing from a trader's perspective not as a camper.

    We're well aware that it was the first Dubtoberfest however the organiser has run other festivals and his previous career was in event planning.

    Every vintage trader had clothes priced from just £5 (ourselves included)and all of us accepted card payments and had visible signs advertising the fact. I'm surprised you don't take cash with you, in all my years of attending festivals I've always ensured that I've got cash on me (as card machines used to be a rarity).

    Yes, of course I am judgemental about people's sense of dress, I sell clothes for a living. I'm sure as a woman who enjoys vintage fashion you would agree that it was an overwhelmingly mainstream crowd. The organisers believed there would be enough demand for vintage clothing to dedicate an entire area to it leading us to expect at least a proportion of the attendees would be interested in alternative fashion.

    Thank you for purchasing your vintage sign and for supporting the traders. If only more of the 1000 Dubtoberfest-goers had done the same!

    Vix xxx




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  40. Oh no! Sound like a case of mis selling by the organisers? Can you dispute the fee or just don't bother with it next year. You look great on the bike! xxx

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  41. what an absolute shame! sounds like the organisers didnt quite get all their ducks in a row, and then to have you pointing the wrong way and whatnot. I think i remember you going to previous Dubtoberfests and it not being so bad so i wonder what happened this time?

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  42. Sorry you had such a flop of a weekend , Its so frustrating when you put so much effort in to it and things the organisers promise dont happen xxx

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  43. I am glad at the end everything went fine.
    You look fabulous flowers and bike, dearest queen
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  44. Bummer !
    Onwards and upwards to the next event knowing you two and chalk that one up to experience.
    That lunch will taste all the more good cos of what you had to put with x x x x

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  45. yikes.... at least you had the weather!!x

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  46. I loved your biker chic outfit when I first saw it, so was thrilled to find this photo on Hat Attack this morning. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  47. I loved your biker chic outfit when I first saw it, so was thrilled to find this photo on Hat Attack this morning. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  48. Wah it's SO frustrating when you got a duff event but it sounds like you two made the most of it! You still look fab and lets hope the next festival makes up for it (I'm sure it will!) XXX

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  49. Oh no ... bummer ... well thank goodness it wasn't raining :0)
    xx

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  50. That sounds like a real shame. I guess people might not have expected the vintage aspect. If I know an event's got good stalls, I take plenty of cash - I know nowadays that I'll spend at Vintage Nostalgia, for example, and go fully prepared to snap up good stuff. Events can be such a great way to browse lots of unique things in one place.

    You're an experienced trader, it's certainly not going to be your fault!

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  51. Oh, dear. From my own extensive experience with international festivals, I'd guess a critical member of the event management team went missing -- probably the sturdy little woman who kept lists and names and numbers, made damn certain the layout led visitors on a predetermined path by vendors and exhibitors (refreshments and portaloos top of the loop, convenient to all), distributed programmes to vendors when showing them to their pitch with a smile and a cuppa, and ensured local adverts and on-site signage encouraged the attendance of those who'd enjoy *spending* their day at the event.

    Your observations about the event and its visitors are not at all "judgemental", Vix. On the contrary, I give you full marks for graciousness in complimenting management's clean toilets. (Good old Donna-does-it-all probably ordered them prior to her departure.)

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  52. Hi Vix, I am so pleased that you were nominated as a “blogging hero” in my post about inspirational bloggers as voted for by my readers! (Here’s a link to the post: Blogging Heroes Part 1)

    It’s so nice to find new blogs to read - you’ve obviously come highly recommended so I look forward to keeping up with your posts!

    I am so interested in festivals, and those awesome clothes stalls. I love your style so much!

    All the best,
    Catherine (Not Dressed As Lamb) x

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  53. So sorry that all that effort and time on your part was for nothing (well, $17). Sounds like someone on the organizational end dropped the ball. The photo of all that empty space with no customers is very sad. I think Melanie had a great idea about you riding that motorcycle around with a banner on the back!

    Well, there's bound to be a dud in there somewhere, and you've done very well with the other festivals.

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  54. Bummer dude - but you did cover the cost. Did the organisers come up with any reason for going back on their promises? Bugger about the landfill stench!

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  55. I'm so sorry your market was a bust Vix!! You still looked fabulous!

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  56. All the lovely vintage VWs ... Volkswagens as you probably call them ... funny I really didn't know that those were called Dubs in English!!!!

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  57. Sorry to hear that you had a very quiet time. I have done craft events like that where there has been hardly anyone there. Always a good time to meet new people. Hope that the next one is jumping. Xx

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  58. No way! I'm really surprised that the vintage village area didn't get hardly any footfall. Sounds like bad siting and lack of promotion on site by the organisers. Shame really as a lot of people missed out on great stalls like yours.

    But on the brighter side, it looks like there were some amazing Dubs on show. I love those lowered rat look ones but I always wonder if they bottom out when being driven over road humps! xxx

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  59. Bummer, what a shitter! Sadly, there is always going to be one event that is poorly organised, so that's over with now! You look totally divoon on that there Indian!
    Love Helga XXX

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  60. It's a shame things didn't go better! Still, I love the Volkswagen - every time I see one, I kind of have to shut down the desire to impulsively buy one.

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  61. I feel for you, sister. Some shows just don't work, and after years doing shows, we have never been able to figure out the combination of factors that affect such occasional "dead" shows... You look radiant in your summery dress and the flower crown! I bought a couple of flower crowns this summer, but haven't worn them still. Wishing you a great success in your new ventures, my dear! xxx

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  62. Oh no,what an awful shame! that is truly shocking.xx

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  63. Oh dear. That doesn't sound good. I know what it's like to trade at events when you've paid lots of money prepared for months and there are just no customers. It's so deflating. £17 is absurd! Anyway, you looked amazing and it sounds like you made some friends. You can free that weekend up next year for either a better show or just some time out. Xxxxx

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Love from Vix
xxx