Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Kinky's Festival Adventures - End Of The Road, 2017



If I could create my dream festival I'd only sell tickets to Guardian-reading, 6Music-listening types, hopefully eliminating any "lad" culture or loutish behaviour. I'd book artists & bands who played non-mainstream music, alternative comedy, conceptual art trails, a woodland library and all manner of quirky workshops. There would be shops selling vintage clothes, books & vinyl, artisan silver jewellery, old fashioned sweets, exquisitely tailored British-made clothing and stalls offering tasty vegetarian street food from around the globe all run by non-corporate, independent traders. The festival would be set somewhere gorgeous with an ornamental lake and a magical forest, a walled garden with an ornate Victorian folly and peacocks proudly strutting across perfectly manicured lawns. Oh yeah...and the toilets would always be immaculately clean.


But I don't need to create my dream festival because it already exists in the form of End Of The Road (EOTR), a gloriously non-mainstream event set in the restored Victorian walled gardens of Augustus Henry Lane-Fox Pitt Rivers (1827 - 1900).


Thirty-two hours after leaving the Towersey Festival we were back on the road, making the three-and-a-half hour journey down to Dorset on Wednesday morning. We set up Kinky Melon's Retro Boutique's festival shop for the last time this season (in a record breaking six-and-a-half hours), reacquainted ourselves with our trader friends and fell into bed, fully clothed, a little after 9pm. Even the squawk of the macaws and the uncannily cat-like cries of the peacocks didn't stir us from our slumbers.


The next morning, after breakfast, we set off to explore the gardens. EOTR had been sold out for months and we were warned that trade would be monumentally busy so it was possibly the last chance we'd get to leave our pitch during daylight hours.


No peacocks to be seen but I did find a feather.



WEARING: Vintage Dollyrockers maxi dress (Second to None, Walsall), Frye boots (eBay)

The crew were busy putting the final touches to the set-up.


We left them to it and explored the forest....

WEARING: Ramones sweatshirt, over-dyed green denim shorts, Doc Martens (all charity shopped), Leather cap (EOTR 2015)

The library shelves were still almost bare, awaiting the return of the books loaned out to last year's festival goers.


The boat was a bar, busy being stocked ready for the woodland disco later.




After a couple of hours we strolled back, Jon got changed and we rolled up the shop front. The public were due to arrive on site at midday and we were ready for them.

WEARING: 1960s wool waistcoat & tartan skinnies (Charity shopped), 1970s dinner shirt (nicked from the stock room)


The fake fur gang

Our regular neighbours, Heidi, Sean & Amelie from Shilpa Silver (wait till I show you the earrings I had off them). It wouldn't be End Of The Road without them.

Tartan Army
After a few sales to some super keen early birds, business kicked off properly when the first act took to the main stage just after 8pm (The Woods Stage is conveniently situated directly opposite our pitch). Trade was relentless and by midnight we were the only stall still open and selling.

WEARING: ME: 1970s Gemini chiffon maxi (Judy's Affordable Vintage trader), Vintage sunglasses (Moseley Vintage Fair)
JON: 1980s Gabicci silk shirt (Kinky Melon), Pink shorts (Retail)

When we rolled up the front on Friday morning there was already a queue of expectant shoppers. We were visited by customers dressed in clothes they'd bought off us in previous years as well as mates from home and also Ruth, a darling blog reader, her husband Brian and their hilarious kids who brought us homemade cake which was greedily demolished between sales.

Two happy customers looking absolutely fab!

Our neighbour was rendered speechless after he spotted a member of Friday night headliners, Aussie psych rockers Pond* popping into our stall to buy a 1960s pea coat. 


This lovely guy is a regular visitor at lots of the festivals we trade at. He was hosting Friday night's karaoke and he'd bought this insane Cyberdog top from us at Towersey the previous weekend. At 11pm, after a punishing 13 hour shift, we rolled down the shop front, had a mug of tea & a Hobnob and went to bed. Rock 'n' Roll, huh?

WEARING: ME: 1960s Indian embroidered maxi (ex-blogger Sabine's mum's), JON: Vintage Canadian cowboy shirt (vintage trader, Cornbury 2016)

When we counted the takings the following morning we'd already exceeded the amount we'd taken last year and in 2015. We thought Saturday would be quiet, assuming that most of the customers who wanted vintage had already bought it but we were wrong. So much for pulling up a chair and basking in the sun, most of the day was spent inside, advising customers, chatting and bagging up their purchases. We didn't even crack open the booze till gone 3pm!



I left Jon in charge to watch Sinkane* storming the Woods Stage.



Then ran back when I saw how busy the shop was.


Remember these goats from last year's blog post? Nearly as cool as Martin the unicorn.




 I was desperate to see Nadine Shah* and managed to catch her last song over on the Garden Stage.



I got back to find Jon doing brisk business in disco jackets. 


 This beauty came back to show us how great she looked in the silk crepe maxi dress she'd bought from us the previous day. She'd been after the perfect maxi for years. With Kinky's help she'd found it!


At 9pm, after an eleven hour shift we decided to close up and be proper festival goers.  


We walked round to the Garden Stage and Ty Segall's* amazing set.


It doesn't matter how warm it is during the day, End of the Road is positively Baltic by night hence my two coats, alpaca mittens & legwarmers, sheepskin hat and full-on thermals under my maxi.


 We wandered around the magically illuminated arts trail admiring the incredible paper flowers and birds suspended from the trees.


We pulled up a hay bale and watched the antics in the forest disco before heading off the the woodland karaoke where we marvelled at how many of the punters were wearing our stock.


We awoke on Sunday morning to torrential rain and high winds. The temperature had plummeted to single figures and, peeking out from behind the gap between the fence separating the stalls (yes, folks, EOTR spend money on security), there wasn't a soul to be seen. When we opened at 11am our first visitor was a lovely girl whose boyfriend's band, The Night Flowers*, were opening the main stage and was worried that nobody would be there to watch them so I pulled on my rain cape and went down to the front to give them some support.

She needn't have worried, they sounded great and, despite the weather, there was a decent crowd. 


Unsurprisingly trade was painfully slow (although I've done vintage fairs far worse).


Mali duo, Amadou & Mariam*, were a welcome ray of sunshine.  


 We'd been looking forward to seeing The Jesus & Mary Chain* ever since they'd been announced as headliners back in February and they didn't disappoint. They were phenomenal. Having a pitch directly in front of the stage meant we had a brilliant view, perfect sound and managed to stay dry throughout the set.


Yesterday morning, after we'd we packed down, I did my usual trawl around the bins to see if I could find anything interesting and I did - an empty catering-sized can of Greek Pickled Peppers to use as a garden planter, a six foot industrial strength clothes rail (always useful), a heavy duty stainless steel hat stand (I've been hankering after one for years) and two 5 foot wrought iron lantern spikes - just as well we'd sold over half our stock and had enough room in the van! 


And that was End Of The Road '17. Jon reckons it's better than Glastonbury, I'm still undecided. I'd suggest you go next year and judge for yourselves but the early bird tickets went on sale this morning and sold out within 35 minutes. That's even faster than Glasto! 

WEARING: 1950s Pendleton overcoat (Stockport's Vintage Village), Vintage Farahs (Squirrels Vintage, NZ), English-made Doc Marten Monkey boots (birthday pressie from me!)

Although EOTR was our last festival of the season, it's not our last road trip. We're trading at the Classic Car Boot in London this weekend (details HERE), Gilbert needs a damn good clean before we restock and head down to the big smoke in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Wearing: 1960s psych maxi (eBay, 2006), vintage suede coat (Second To None, Walsall), Sheepskin hat (Ex-blogger Christina), Vintage Derri Boots (jumble sale), Alpaca wrist warmers (EOTR 2015)

Linking to Judith's Hat Attack #50 and Patti's Visible Monday.

See you soon!

(Normal blog commenting will be resumed shortly.)

* There's a YouTube link to all the acts I've mentioned, just in case you fancy discovering some new music.

71 comments:

  1. Amazing amazing amazing!!! I am totally stealing your shaggy coat and the other girl's coat, as well. Maybe Jon's, too... I want to go to that festival!!!!!

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    1. Can you believe her mum found that coat on another stall at EOTR? I wish I'd seen it first! xxx

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  2. Amazing!!!! I want to go next year! one of my work colleagues went, I will have to ask her if she saw your stall (sadly she's not a vintage convert). Really glad to hear you did such good trade!

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    1. It's a fab festival! Your work colleague couldn't miss us, we were right opposite the main stage! xxx

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  3. The opening photo is purely magical, and your description of your dream festival is utterly enchanting! Obviously, the organizers of EOTR are as visionary in this trading/music field as you are! Here is to more happy festivals for you guys! <3

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    1. Thank, Natalia! I'm sad it's the end of the festival season but excited for the next couple of months of vintage fairs! xxx

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  4. Amazing, you both looked fab and sounds like you had a blast! I was there in 2009, I remember the dancefloor in the woods, and saw Mercury Rev and Calexico. Good times!! Xx

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    1. We went in 2009, too - always a fab line-up! xxx

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  5. It looks amazing. I stopped going to festivals because of the bogan louts and general uncivilised types. This looks amazing, so glad you did a roaring trade.

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    1. Some of them are horrible - I hate laddish behaviour! xxx

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  6. what could be better than seeing all those festival goers trotting out in your gear! It looks like you had the friendliest crowd and highest takings of the year. Betty x

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    1. It's lovely to see our stock being worn when we're out and about, I get such a kick out of people having the same taste as us!
      Cornbury was our best ever festival for sales but EOTR was only a few ££ behind it! xxx

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  7. How wonderful, Vix! Always such a treat to read your posts and see you and J and your fabulousness!!!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it, Carol! Lovely to hear from you. xxx

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  8. Wow, Vix, rock'n roll and old friends and good business - It looks like the very best way to end your festival season. Love the goats! xox

    Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. I need a goat to go with my unicorn! xxx

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  9. I could look at the photos in this post over and over-they sum up everything that makes festivals attractive (even if most don't measure up).

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    1. This one really does like up to the hype - something for everyone. xxx

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  10. Oh Vix, this festival makes ME think I would like to go to it (and you know I don't like the idea of the festival!) I am so glad that you did well on sales and found some useful stuff by the bins! I went down the bin bags of a colleague who chucked out SOoooooooooooooo much useful stuff at the end of term and salvaged it. I was dead chuffed because one of the new teachers discovered he was missing rulers and I presented him with the ones that had been chucked out by said colleague and he was really pleased!
    Hope you are well! I look forward to hearing more soon!x

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    1. I think you'd love it, Kezzie. It's so thoughtfully planned out that you never feel overwhelmed or crowed and it's such fun wandering about, stumbling upon music totally new to your ears. xxx

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  11. ha, in the last photo it looks like your dressed for January. That fellow wearing the blue tartan jacket? The Doctor has the same one!

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    1. I know - in fact, I think a September night in Dorset is probably colder than a UK January!
      I haven't watched Dr Who since the days of Chris Eccleston so I'll take your word for it. Sean hasn't even got a TV! xxxx

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  12. I remember your blog post from last year about this festival and what a cracker you've had this year, well except for the cold nights and the rainy bits. It's so fantastic to see young people wanting to dress in something other than what the current trend tells them to.
    I caused a right stare through security at Inverness airport, they all wanted to know about my curtain dress and matching bag haha. Let myself down though by having hole in the toe of my tights. I swear it wasn't there when I put them on xxx

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    1. I do love the alternative crowd, unswayed by the tyranny of fashion and trends!
      Your experiences at the airport sound funny. Security stopped me in Manchester and couple of years ago and told me that they'd placed bets on where I was flying to - they all reckoned it was Goa. I'm a walking cliche! xxx

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  13. What a fun festival! I'd love to go to that.
    Absoltely gorgeous grounds too.
    xox

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    1. Isn't it stunning? Like camping in a National trust garden? xxx

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  14. I agree with Bibi, what a great place to have a festival. No wonder you keep going back.

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    1. We love it both as traders and punters! I'd hate to miss it! xxx

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  15. What a magnificent place, and it looks like my kind of festival, not only because of the kind of music, but also because of the kind of atmosphere, with all the art, the library, the Wood, the peacocks!! and obviously, all the fabulous people!
    You look fabulous in those pics with 'the fake fur gang & the tartan army', mwhaha. And your happy customers look really cool and very kind!!
    Even in the rain and the low temperatures, you managed to look glamourous in your magnificent coats! and boots!.
    besos

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    1. I bet you'd love it, Monica. It's got such a nice vibe, no loutish behaviour or annoying drunks! xxx

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  16. It must be a very big festival.The atmosphere looks very beautiful with many shops and people all around:)

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    1. It's quite small for a UK festival, around 15,000! xxx

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  17. That looks brilliant. I love the bookcases and bar in a boat. They give the impression of a much less frantic vibe than some other festivals - it seems more like one where festivalgoers can kick back and enjoy being there, rather than race around trying to have the MOST FUN EVER and sticking it all on social media straight away. How good that you had such a great trading day too - are you already planning your Goa trip for 2018?

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    1. There was a refreshing absence of people larking around dressing up in our stock and taking zany selfies for Instagram - it wears thin after a few months of it, I can tell you!
      After this weekend we've got almost two weeks free - time to search flights! xxx

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  18. What an amazing festival - I"m going to have to check out some of these acts - apart from the Mali duo and Jesus and Mary Chain both of whom are wonderful I hadn't heard of the others. Was so envious that you made it to Towersby - it's been on my list of want to do festivals for years.
    As always your photos and descriptions are fabulous - glad it was a good season for you. You're a real inspiration to self employed peeps lol

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    1. Towersey is lovely, highly recommended!
      EOTR was magical, I loved the music. I must admit that I'd never heard of the Mali duo before, I didn't even realise they were blind. Since Sunday I keep hearing them on the radio! xxx

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  19. I saw him buy that top, it does look so cool on his outfit!

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    1. Of course you were! Isn't he a lovely chap? xxx

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  21. You've totally sold this festival to me, it sounds perfect.
    Jesus and Mary Chain would have put the icing on the cake, even though it sounds like they were playing under April Skies;)
    It's great that you were such a trading success, I'm not surprised though, you're ace at what you do. xxx

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    1. It's brilliant, the line-up never ceases to impress although it's hard to catch much going on away from the main stage! xxx

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  22. WOW!
    very best finish for the festival season! that setting is marvelous, you look totally at home there in the pale purple maxi..... but i love your russian fur styles too! here are the nights are freezing since sept. 1. - made the mistake & went in cotton clothes to a mountaineering film fest last saturday - it took the rest of the night under big plumeaus to warm up again :-)
    successful trading in london!! xxxx

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    1. I bet you were cold in cotton clothes! Isn't it strange how it suddenly plummets in temperature so dramatically?
      A fab end to the festival season. Roll on the Autumn vintage fairs! xxx

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  23. Wow! What a whirlwind of activity.

    Sounds like quite the festival. I'm so happy you had some really great days of sales.

    You scored big at the trash bins! I used to do shows where I'd leave stuff behind because I had to fly into the show and couldn't take the items back.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. It was fantastic!
      I can understand the dumping of bulky stuff, especially when the weather so bad on the Sunday, it's bad enough loading in the sunshine! xxx

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  24. Thank goodness the final music festival of the season was both profitable and sane unlike other festivals you have traded at where misbehaviour was rampant. Now you can settle back to normal life!

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    1. It was our best season yet despite cutting down on the number of festivals we did - money in the bank and we're not half dead either although I might change my mind when the alarm goes off at 3am tomorrow morning! xxx

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  25. What a magnificent place to have a festival! I am glad you were able to tour the grounds and see lots of it.
    You and Jon both look wonderful!
    Have a great rest of the week.
    Robin

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    1. It's such a gorgeous setting, like a film set! xxx

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  26. I would love to go to that festival! It looks absolutely awesome (although, the weather at the end...thank goodness for thermals etc.) Thanks for sharing these great photos, Vix, wonderful that you had a great time. xx

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    1. Talk about four seasons in one day, you wouldn't believe the temperature difference on the Sunday, positively arctic! xxx

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  27. Shame about the Sunday soaking but otherwise sounds like it was a success and excellent work on the bin pickings. Unfortunately, I can't make next weekend, I'm working, but hope it's a good one for you. xxxx

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    1. One day out of five wasn't too bad, I suppose! there were rich pickings by the bins. I turned down an almost new caravan fridge, too. xxx

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  28. What a fabulous setting for a Festival! By the look and sound of it, it IS a dream festival. I love the sound of peacocks' cries, which reminds me of a holiday we spent in a B&B in Hay-on-Way, for which the castle's peacocks provided the soundtrack. I love those dream-like photos of you exploring the forest! The woodland library sounds like a fantastic idea. What a pity about Sunday's weather, but I guess you can't have it all ... Glad to hear that trade was brisk. And: The Jesus and Mary Chain. Oh my, that takes me back! xxx

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    1. It really is magical. I do love a peacock!
      After the washout that was August 3 dry days out of four wasn't bad at all! xxx

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  29. What a beautiful setting for a festival. I love the sign with the giant badger and fox. Sounds like it was a successful weekend despite the bad weather on Sunday. Do the Jesus and Mary Chain still sound the same, or have they changed their style?

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    1. I actually think J&MC are better now than back in the day - they interact with the crowd these days, too! xxx

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  30. Wow! That looks and sounds amazing!

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    1. One for you next year, Hazel? People say it's better than Latitude! xxx

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  31. Wow, that looks incredible. How lovely to have the place to yourselves before the crowds arrive. I saw TJ&MC when their first album came out. I am showing my age. Xx

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    1. Its a fantastic festival, we love it. Jon saw them when they first came out too, he reckons they're miles better now and actually interact with the crowd. xxx

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  32. I somehow missed this post. Sounds like the perfect festival. JAMC are playing in Norwich next week and I've been wanting to go for months but have no-one to go with. If it was a venue I'd been to before I might go on my own, but as I haven't I'm being a bit of a wooss about it. x

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    1. If only you didn't live the other end of the country, I'd come with you. they were brilliant. Go on your own! xx

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