We paid how much for a pitch? Jon muttered under his breath on Friday afternoon, wrapping his coat tightly around himself in a vain attempt to ward off the unseasonably cold July weather.
The weekend hadn't started well. An hour into our journey to rural Oxfordshire, we'd heard a sickening noise and pulled into a lay-by to discover half of the rivets on our pop top had ripped out. Jon spent a perilous thirty minutes on his hands and knees, wrapping rope around Gilbert in a desperate bid to keep the roof on whilst the motorway traffic thundered past at petrifying speeds.
When we'd mentioned that we were trading at Truck to other festival traders we were met with a sharp intake of breath and the grim words..... It's a very young crowd.
The gates had been open for three hours and we'd only sold a tee shirt. The few visitors who'd stumbled into our pitch were teenagers, giddy from too much cider, trying on our lovingly hand-picked vintage clothing, laughing hysterically and taking selfies whilst, directly opposite, the vintage wholesale business heaved with customers snapping up shell suits, tartan shirts and cagoules at bargain basement prices. Was the Truck going to be a car crash?
We needn't have worried. Once the crowd had bought the cheap essentials necessary to cope with the unexpected cold temperatures they turned their attention to Kinky Melon and the colour and frivolity on our rails. 1970s sequins, vintage leather jackets, crazy Hawaiian prints and Old School sportswear flew out and, with a massive sigh of relief, we'd covered our costs before the Friday headliners, Catfish & The Bottlemen, took to the main stage.
On Saturday morning we opened the shop to discover a queue of people anxious to buy stuff they'd regretted not purchasing the day before. The customers kept coming - young, not so young and some even older than us. Dresses sold to men and menswear to women. Our changing room was in such demand that customers were using our awning to try on stock (thankfully we're tidy campers).
As the temperatures hit the high twenties we were snipping off price labels and bagging up the customers' own clothing as they snapped up floaty cotton dresses, linen crop tops and voluminous shirts, wanting to wear them straightaway. By the most tremendous luck our lovely neighbours, the pizza parlour, kept us in free veggie pizza and garlic bread all weekend - there was no time to cook.
Sunday was even more of a scorcher. Traditionally a slow day for festival trading we were kept on our toes, not even cracking open a beer until mid-afternoon.
The selfies continued, price labels mysteriously vanished and the haggling was incessant. Clothes were abandoned in the changing room or knocked off the rails and trampled over, drinks cans & food wrappers tossed on the floor with gay abandon, people were chased away when we discovered them using the side of the stall as an alternative to the portaloos and, my major bugbear, mothers of pre-teens scrutinising my handmade items saying, Oh, I don't want to buy it, I'm just looking so I can copy it at when I get home. A relaxing weekend it wasn't but finally closed for the day, sprawled on a picnic blanket with our burning feet cooling in the dewy grass and the stars twinkling in the inky sky, sipping metallic-tasting tea from chipped enamel mugs with the Manic Street Preachers performing with the same passion they had when we first saw them over a quarter of a century ago, well, it sure beats working for a living.
And that was Truck. We're halfway through the festival season with five down and five to go with a welcome ten day break before Indietracks next weekend, hopefully with just enough time to restock the rails and fix poor old Gilbert and, you never know, we might even attempt to revive our social life.
See you soon.
Linking to Patti & the gang for Visible Monday.
Wow I can't believe those women were so open about the fact that they were going to rip off your merchandise--it's bad enough most people just sneak photos and don't buy. And it's good to know, when it comes to these sorts of festivals, you may be dealing with some drunken obnoxiousness. I'm glad at least some of the weekend was profitable though wth customers rushing to wear their new outfits. And love that outfit on you in the 4th pic.ReplyDelete
I was more offended by the design stealing than the pissing up the tent and selfies - so blatantly rude, isn't it? Society does seem to be getting more ill-mannered though, doesn't it? I blame people spending too much time on social media and forgetting how to interact with the real world. xxxDelete
That last glamour shot of you and Jon deserves some special spot in Kinky Melon's marketing plan! We marvel at your grace under conditions that would wither a scoutmaster. "A very young crowd...", indeed! Sabina is spot on with her opinion of their parents - how rude!ReplyDelete
Yes, Beth - with parents like that no wonder the kids turn out as cheeky as they do! xxxDelete
Sounds like a tough one, Vix - the "incessant haggling" wears me down when I work the Thrift shop. But you and Jon as always, find the good side to focus on, and keep doing what you love. Beers must be cracked earlier next time : >ReplyDelete
Haggling does my head in, it really does. If you want it then you buy it and if you can't afford it you walk away. They wouldn't try it in big stores so why pick on charities and small businesses? Unbelievable! xxxDelete
I feel for you. Those shows can really test one's patience. Especially copycats or people that always want deals.ReplyDelete
I'm glad in the end it was all worth it in the sale dept. That always manages to make up for any BS.
Once the sales started rolling in the bad behaviour was like water off a duck's back but the constant "Is that your best price?" really does wear you down! xxxDelete
It always amazes me how rude people can be, but that's life I guess. But I'm so glad you made a profit a least. Hope you get Gilbert fixed! And of course you both looked fabulous! :)ReplyDelete
Too much time on the internet and not enough time spent interacting with people face to face, I reckon! Gilbert's feeling a lot better - Jon's had the time and weather to fix him, I think. xxxDelete
Glad it came good in the end!! Who in their right mind would want a shell suit when they can buy your fabulous clothes!!! Get well soon Gilbert!Hope to see you soon! Saz and Andy xxxReplyDelete
Shell suits should have definitely stayed in the 1980s! I blame them for me becoming interested in vintage.Delete
See you soon! xxx
sounds like a rough ride - but worth it - A) a busy business - B) manic street preachers playing with heart & soul!!!ReplyDelete
take a rest and i wish you luck at the chazzas for re-stocking and get well soon to poor gilbert! <3
Well worth it, Beate - we'll definitely go back if we can! There were some lovely people in amongst the badly behaved ones who made the weekend a joy! xxxDelete
What a fantastic photo of you and Jon!!!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Carol! Spend a weekend with teenagers and start taking selfies! xxxDelete
Phew ! I'm exhausted listening to all the mayhem going on there. Much quieter here in Whitworth. I'm bracing myself for a trip into Manchester tomorrow to meet a friend. I'd much rather be going to Tod xxxxReplyDelete
Hope Manchester wasn't too hot and bothersome! I'm quite missing the hussle and bustle of the festivals - hopefully Wetherspoons will be lively enough for us later! xxxDelete
wow, makes you wonder how they act at home. Enjoy your breakReplyDelete
It was the first festival for lots of them so the first time away from their parents so I suppose they could have been a lot worse! xxxDelete
How rude and disrespectful those people were. You obviously have the patience of saints, or very good poker faces. Glad that at least it was a profitable if trying weekend. Have a good rest and get well wishes to poor Gilbert. xReplyDelete
Thank you! He's all glued and re-rivetted now, fingers crossed he stays intact! xxxDelete
I'm glad you did well in the end, but the rudeness of some people, it really made my blood boil, which is not a good thing on a hot day like today ... I guess The Manic Street Preachers made up for some of it. Hope that Gilbert will be on the mend soon. xxxReplyDelete
I can laugh about it now but this time last week things were looking very gloomy. The Manics and some brisk selling made everything okay in the end. xxxDelete
Where do you get the energy from, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhReplyDelete
I am exausted just by reading your post.Teenagersm ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
I am so glad you sold most of your stock and had to get some more( that I love).
keep on rolling, my friend
The restocking is the fun bit! xxxDelete
Bloody hell. It sounds a bit exhausting. I used to hate it when people did that when I was selling stuff that I had made. I once had a cheeky mare at a steampunk event offer me £20, with a look of utter distain too, for a corset that had taken me about 40 hours to sew and more than £200 in materials. People can be really cheeky. I am glad that your sales were good enough to put up with the rudeness, etc. I love your maxi dress. You look fabulous in it. XxReplyDelete
£20?? Unbelievable. I bet they thought they were doing you a favour, too. Primark and the other cheap shops have a lot to answer for in regards to giving people unrealistic expectations of what the value of clothes are. xxxDelete
Fukkin a that sounds like a hell of a weekend! You guys must be ready to chill.ReplyDelete
It was fun in the end, honest! xxxDelete
I just love hearing about your wonderful adventures!!! I just knew that the young kids would figure out how awesome Kinky is! Urgh. My mother-in-law used to do that same thing and talk loudly about how she could make stuff herslf or it was chintzy or tacky. It was so embarrassing. I am super sensitive to that sort of thing. Sheesh. Some people. Still it just goes to show that your stuff is so great that people want to copy it. Welcome to the world of fashion.ReplyDelete
Your Mother-In-Law sounded like a challenge, Connie! People really can be unbelievably tactless. xxxDelete
Vix - you work incredibly hard for a living and you have my utmost admiration for doing so! Luckily you enjoy what you do so that makes it seem less like work, probablyReplyDelete
As always you look fab in your maxi dress.
I can't get over the cheek of people, and I suppose their honesty, about copying your handmade items. You'd think they would hide it wouldn't you?
I had a moment's panic and horror when I saw the poor guy on the floor decorated with a Carling can - I thought he was covered in blood but he was clearly pissed, sun burnt and covered in red powder!
I do hope you get a good rest and that Gilbert can be fixed at not too much cost.
Enjoy your week
I have no objection to anyone buying something I've made and having a go at copying it themselves - a lovely lady did just that at the last festival - but it beggars belief when they're so blatant!Delete
I should have mentioned that there was a paint fight at the festival - fortunately away from our stall. When I chatted to the drunken chap the day after he told me he'd drunk a bottle of port for breakfast that day. Urghhh! xxx
People are barking are they not? Not to mention bleedin' cheeky.ReplyDelete
It sounds properly full on and you have some serious staying power. Good job you have a ten day break; bet you're more than ready for tha.
Gotta love the Manics. I first saw them a hundred years ago playing TJ's in Newport and they are still the amazing.
I once saw a teeshirt in a chazza that said "Instant Arsehole, Just Add Alcohol". I'm tempted to get a few badges printed and hand them out next time. xxxDelete
I love this post! There is madness, the real distraction, and the desire to feel alive ... I've given up the Neil Young concert because I could not spend 90 euro to be closed in a square of red hot stones, Ugh ... Luckily there are your chronicles, with Vix !!! And then I also love your clothes!ReplyDelete
90 degrees in a dusty town, it doesn't sound like a fun way to spend time even if it is Neil Young! xxxDelete
I am so glad you did do well on the sales: I was worrried when I first started reading. Poor Gilbert! Hope he is fixable!ReplyDelete
How rude are people to copy and just mess around and URGH, I hate people that just wee anywhere!!! Gross!!x
I swear you need the patience of a saint to deal with the general public. I've had front of house careers all my working life and it never gets any easier. xxxDelete
Phew! What a read! Can't even imagine how it was on the floor.ReplyDelete
Glad the coffers were filled as a nice pay off (!) for the obnoxious behaviour.
Wishing poor Gilbert well. Hoping your hip is holding up.
Hugs! xo Jazzy Jack
Hello Jack! We laughed about it in the end. You definitely get to see all sides of human nature in our line of work! xxxDelete
What a weekend. You need me and my Minnesota brethren and sisters-we don't know how to haggle. Just rude to leave your lovely stock a mess and the weeing goes without saying. You earn every dime and sip of beer.ReplyDelete
I believe you, Sam! The American customers we meet are always charming, polite and never haggle. xxxDelete
Sounds like you had half great and half horrible weekend, if it comes to selling vintage ... I hate it, when people treat lovley handpicked vintage like secondhand Primark pieces .... Good to see that you make the best out of these lows!ReplyDelete
Good luck and loads of fun with the next five festivals.
Thanks, Ms Falcon! Some people just don't get vintage but we're doing our best to change them, one selfie-taking customer at a time. xxxDelete
Sounds like a charming crowd-glad you were able to get some money off them in the end.ReplyDelete
Hope the festival-goers have better manners at your next adventure.
The next one has a big European, Japanese and American following - Indie kids are always lovely. xxxDelete
It sounds challenging, but at least it paid off in the end, and it sounds like you single-handedly made that crowd more funky lol. It's so rude for someone to say they are going to copy something, I can understand why it's your bugbear. Enjoy the next 10 days xxReplyDelete
Thanks, Louise. I'm already itching for the next one. Life away from the festival circuit seems very strange. xxxDelete
Hope you'll get some goood rest, dear Vix! And get your stock re-stocked which is always fun, of course. Sending you love!ReplyDelete
Hello, Natalia! I've got loads done in my downtime - mostly outside as the weather is fabulous (for a change!) xxxDelete
You have tremendous patience and must have eyes in the back of your head with so much going on. Enjoy your 10 days off - the weather has arrived and you deserve a rest.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Betty! No rest for the wicked. I've tackled the garden after 6 weeks of neglect, moved all the clothes in the storeroom into the new shed, been out shopping three times and dealt with the subsequent mending and washing vintage buying leads to! xxxDelete
People were using the side of your stall as an alternative to the loos? Grim buggers.ReplyDelete
I'd never dream of haggling over prices, it's something I just don't do. If I don't think something's worth the asking price, I simply don't buy it. (Your prices are great anyhow; what's to haggle over?)
Still, it's great that you had a good weekend's trading. May hay while the sun shines...
Dirty sods, aren't they?Delete
I'm the same, I only shop when I've got cash in my purse and if I like it and can afford it then I buy it. If I don't like the price I walk away. Simple! xxx
I'm happy to hear that you did well after a harrowing start. I love your festival tales and your take on life. Always refreshing and fun. Have a wonderful 10 days until the next adventure!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Judith! These 10 days are certainly whizzing by, never mind another festival, I'll need a holiday by next weekend. xxxDelete
How fabulously fun! I swear, I live my festival attending vicariously through your awesome blog posts about those that you're able to attend. It's not that there aren't any music/arts festivals to be had in BC, it's just that there aren't many at all around us (the closest would be a summertime country music festival a couple of hours away; fun, I'm sure, but not my vintage adoring cup of tea really).ReplyDelete
Many hugs & joyful mid-July wishes,
Hello Jessica! The abundance of festivals are definitely one of the UK's high points. xxxDelete
Sounds like a weekend of people behaving quite badly. Glad you get a break before the next one. I shy away from big events like that as hate crowds. I would have lost it when they were using your tent as a loo.ReplyDelete
I thrive on crowds but ill manners drive me mad - I blame booze! xxxDelete
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For your sake, I'm glad the sales picked up, but I would have lost my mind around people behaving like that and probably would have chased everyone away. Good thing you have more patience than I do ;)ReplyDelete
In the first few hours Jon came very close to doing just that. Thankfully business was good and dealing with a handful (that's probably an understatement!) of annoying visitors was worth the pain! xxxDelete
Blimey! After that weekend, it's a good job you've got a bit of a break. It's sounds exhausting! I'm glad you sold plenty in the end, but I can't say it sounds like fun. What utter dirtbags weeing up against your tent, there's no need for that. And as for the people who have no imagination and need to copy, well the design world is FULL of the buggers. Not surprised it drove you crazy. But hey, you're an original and this is why you and Jon do so brilliantly and why people are drawn to you. I love to see you barefoot and gorgeous, looking like you don't have a care in the world. Keep up the good work! XxxxxReplyDelete
All that design theft must have driven you mad back in the day, Tan. I know a trader who snatched someone's mobile phone off them and stamped on it so fed up were they of fashion students rummaging through his stall and taking detailed pictures of his carefully chosen vintage clothes. In the old days they'd have to buy something in order to copy it. xxxDelete
Ugh! Sorry to hear that people were behaving badly. It makes my blood boil that those rotten jerks treated your precious wares so disrespectfully. Hope people are kinder at your next festival.ReplyDelete
I hope you and Jon get to enjoy a few lazy mornings and I hope that you reap many wonderful things at the chazzas.
Happy thrifting ;)
If trading at festivals has taught us one thing then it's that we've both got the patience of a saint! xxxDelete
What a bloomin' cheek, checking out your clothes just so they can copy them!ReplyDelete
I'm glad things picked up, but you definitely need a break after that.
Brilliant photos :) xx
Thanks, Yvonne! This week has been just what the doctor ordered - I've got loads done but I've managed to do most of it outside in the sunshine, bliss! xxxDelete
I hate how people knock clothes off hangers and leave them on the ground. I have a habit of hanging things back up when I find them on the floor, pure laziness are those that don't bother. Half way through your festival time, lets hope the next five had shoppers not giggling selfie taking idea pinching teens. Enjoy your break.ReplyDelete
It used to drive me mad when I volunteered in a charity shop years ago, knocking things on the floor and not picking them up - I must be in the wrong line of work! xxxDelete
Hope you've plenty of stock for the next on! lol!ReplyDelete
Hard work keeping an eye on those youngsters!
Good luck at the next one. xxx
Thanks, Sandie! I don't think we're in danger of running out of stock just yet! xxxDelete
Here for a greeting ... Marco said that he would buy women's clothes, and I would let him do ... so I could borrow them! These lucky customers who can browse through your clothes! Good weekend!ReplyDelete
That sounds like a good deal if you get to share them! xxxDelete
Love this so much. I was right there with you guys, via your telling of the story and the photos. What a good time it was!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Louise! xxxDelete
People can be so rude! I despair sometimes, I really do think people are getting ruder - especially in London. Glad you had a good weekend though, that paisley maxi dress you were wearing is gorgeous! xxReplyDelete
I really do think with social media people are forgetting how to interact in real life. xxxDelete
I honestly blame soap operas and reality TV. People think it's okay to act badly because they've seen other people getting away with it in the name of 'entertainment'.Delete
Good point, Mim. Programmes like Bargain Hunt don't help either, people seem to think that haggling is the only way to buy second-hand stuff. Every time I hear "Is that your best price?" I want to ask, "No, my best price would be double what's written on the ticket"!. xxxDelete
Hi Vix! Did you enjoy Norman Jay's set, was it full of magic? :) xxxReplyDelete
It was - as always. Love him! xxxDelete
Just wondered which five festivals you'll be at? xxxReplyDelete
Hello! Indietracks (this weekend), Kaya (next weekend), Camper Calling (24 - 26th August), End Of The Road (first weekend in September) & V Dubs in the Valley (the following weekend) xxxDelete
Ah - thought you might be at beautiful days!Delete
My goodness! What chaos! Still looks like it would have been a killer festival to attend! I've been considering vending and reading your posts really help me see the other side of things - you're helping to prepare me for the real world of festivals and showsReplyDelete
It was great, once we'd chilled out! We'll definitely go back (and take a water pistol to blast the pissers!) xxxDelete
This festival sounds like a mixed bag! Bad, then good, then bad! I can't even believe people were using the side of your pitch for an alternative to the toilets - yikes!! Also I can't even believe people say right to your face - "I could make that". The fact is, although you could, you didn't so don't belittle someone else's hard work! Ok rant over.....I'm glad seeing the manics made it all worthwhile - I'd love to see them!ReplyDelete
Alcohol makes people very strange, I just talk more but it seems like some forget their manners! xxxDelete
OMG Vix!what a time you had! Dealing with the public...but how fabulous your lovely neighbours kept you in veggie pizza, you sold lots and kept your gorgeous selves above all the crap, with your usual positive energy and stylish style radiating all around. Thanks for (another) adventure. xxReplyDelete
You can't beat a thin crust, freshly baked veg pizza, can you? (Especially when it's free!) xxxDelete
I felt for Jon at the side of the road sorting Gilbert out. We were waiting for roadside assistance once, on a teeny patch of siding as cars belted past beeping at us, as the light fell and frost started forming on the car roof!
Isn't it a nightmare when things go wrong with cars? Jon's learnt loads since we had Gilbert, he's always Googling some weird quirk he's developed! xxxDelete