Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Batten Down The Hatches - It's Lakefest 2019


Last Wednesday morning we headed to Eastnor Castle, just outside the historic town of Ledbury, for Lakefest. The weather forecast was horrendous and several other UK festivals scheduled for weekend had been forced to pull the plug but setting up in hazy Herefordshire sunshine the predicted storms seemed like a world away. In just under eight hours we'd set up, eaten and gone to bed early, waking up the next morning refreshed and raring to go.


The following morning we put a few finishing touches to the stall, explored the site and, after a lazy lunch, got changed, poured ourselves a drink and awaited the arrival of the general public.


To be perfectly honest we weren't sure about returning to Lakefest after the organisers had announced that the festival was going cashless. While we could understand their reasons for doing so - apparently parts of the site were plagued with theft last year, including over £25,000 reportedly stolen from the bar - we weren't at all keen on the idea of our takings going into the festival's bank account and having to wait for our cash but the organisers had promised to pay the traders what we were owed on the Saturday evening with the remainder being transferred the following week and as the festival we'd booked to trade at the following weekend had gone into administration we felt that we didn't have a lot of choice. 



Thursday afternoon and ready for business!


Thursday's trade was slow but no matter, there were three more days to catch up. 


Friday morning started off bright and sunny and we were able to pose for photos before opening the shop at 10am ...


 But within half an hour the heavens opened and pretty much continued for the rest of the day.


When you're a festival trader you do become mildly obsessed with the weather but believe me, it has a knock-on effect on sales. The odd shower is fine but with constant rain the entire festival dynamic changes, people go into survival mode, cracking open the alcohol early and seeking shelter - shopping is the last of their concerns (which is fair enough, it's exactly what we'd do, too). Trade wasn't a total washout though, just like at the Cornbury Festival a couple of years ago, The Kaiser Chiefs popped in, bought a few things and declared our stock to be amazing.


And what's a bit of rain when you've got the phenomenal Dreadzone....


and Bez with his Madchester themed DJ set?


Business picked up during the evening and we didn't have too bad a day in the end. We closed just after 10pm and headed off to catch the Kaiser Chiefs inside the main tent - marred somewhat by the number of annoying w*nkers filming the entire set on their phones and the inconsiderate tossers who, despite there being a ban on camping chairs in the arena after 5pm, ignored the announcements and stayed put (some fast asleep and others playing games on their phones and ignoring the band), meaning that many of the crowd couldn't get undercover and had to stand outside to watch in the torrential rain.



With gale force winds in excess of 50 miles per hour forecast, Saturday was the day we were dreading. We'd already gone overboard securing the stall with market clamps, ratchets and extra tent pegs but Jon added a couple more ratchets just to be on the safe side. The calendar might have said summer but the temperatures were anything but hence my sheepskin hat and Jon's overcoat.



We spent most of the day chasing stock that had blown off the rails or rushing to our neighbours' assistance, holding on to stalls to stop them blowing away. Across the way the jerk chicken shack lost its roof and several traders made the decision not to open. Disappointingly none of the festival organisers bothered to check whether we were okay.



Again most of the punters went into survival mode and sales were slow which, on the plus side, meant we could take it in turns to watch The Bluetones and reggae legend Dawn Penn.



Despite the assurance that our takings would be issued to us on Saturday evening, by 10pm nothing was forthcoming so we closed the shop and went down to the main arena to catch the joyful madness that is the Happy Mondays.


On Sunday morning we were thrilled to discover that the wind had dropped and it felt quite warm.


 The BBC reckoned there would be hail and thunder until 11am and then it would be dry all day - wrong!! It started with hail and thunder ....then the rain arrived in biblical proportions and the temperature plummeted. By lunchtime the site was a mud bath and the sky vibrated with thunderclaps. Walking to the loo meant taking your life in your hands as people slipped and slided left, right and centre. 




Paul Young did his country and western set with Los Pacaminos.


And our favourite customers, the fabulous and flamboyant Pete and Ange, popped in for a second shopping marathon.


Finally we had a visit from the festival organiser who issued us with what we'd taken up to 5pm on Saturday....in cash....somewhat bizarre considering the festival was supposedly cashless! Having a wedge of cash made us both paranoid about being robbed, not helped by the fact that the organisers had scrimped on security fencing and the general public insisted on using our stall as a cut through. The organiser told us that we'd get an email on Monday confirming the monies outstanding* and the cash would be transferred into our account by Wednesday**. 

*It's now Tuesday and they've emailed to ask for our account details.
**No money as at 10.30pm on Wednesday night...


We watched the superb James from the comfort of our stall before rolling down the shop front for the final time, packing up the stock and finally collapsing into bed. Thank you and goodnight, Lakefest 2019!


However, that wasn't the end of our wild weekend!

Less than an hour later we were awoken by someone banging their fists on the van - at first we thought it was drunken revelers and ignored them but when it continued Jon got up to investigate and it turned out to be the security staff insisting we vacate the area immediately and assemble over in the arena as there was a major health and safety incident. Off we trudged in our nightclothes, ankle deep in mud and clutching on to our cash for dear life where we sat with our fellow traders, lost souls and cider casualties as an emergency rescue team battled to right an articulated truck that had skidded off the main road, fallen on its side and was in imminent danger of rolling down the mud-covered hill and crashing into the trader area. 


Gale force winds, torrential rain, thunder, hail and emergency evacuations......not to mention the first time we've ever had stuff nicked from our stall in all our years of festival trading, thank goodness we've got this weekend off, that's all I can say! 

56 comments:

  1. Oh Vix, that sounds like my idea of hell. Blimmin love the clothes you are modelling though

    ReplyDelete
  2. That sounded eventful to say the least. And yet you both managed to stay looking fabulous throughout. X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jules!! These things are sent to try us! xxx

      Delete
  3. Sorry to hear that Vix. We did a show once when one of the stallholders had an expected heartattack. As he was being seen to by the medics some toerag went behind the stand and nicked all his takings. We all had a whip round. You have to be very vigilant sadly. Arilx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my goodness, are there no depths to which humanity can sink?
      We are extremely vigilant - it's the first time we've lost anything - I can only imagine the thieves took advantage of us trying to help out our struggling neighbours. xxx

      Delete
  4. Oh my, what a story, Vix. And you lived to tell the tale. Hope it's the last of it's kind for you and Jon. And that you get all the money you earned for the event. geez. Happy trails going forward.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so too, Pao. Not keen on this system at all, I sincerely hope that all festivals don't go this way although it's becoming increasingly common. xxx

      Delete
  5. Hm, definitely not sure I'd go back there. Seems rather weird to have a festival without cash. Sounds like they definitely need better security instead. I hope you broke even at least after that. Self employment is definitely not easy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cashless is a growing trend with festivals sadly! We didn't fare to badly takings-wise but the pain far outweighed the pleasure this time! xxx

      Delete
  6. What an experience, thank goodness it is behind you! You looked fabulous throughout, as always.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jan! onwards and upwards, eh? xxx

      Delete
  7. Good grief! What a nightmare you guys have been through!

    I don't understand how it is possible to even go cashless. Do they purchase your stock with tickets? Totally weird. I thought by cashless you meant using only credit cards and Square. I sure hope you get the rest of the $ owed you.

    To top off everything having someone steal something is awful. The one good thing is that you know whatever show you have next it's going to be a hell of a lot better than this one.

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a VERY long weekend!

      With the cashless thing each trader gets their own machine and the public use their festival wristbands to pay. They register their bank details online and the wristbands are credited with the amount they transfer, they also have the option to top up during the festival at any of the booths on site. Each transaction is displayed on the trader's gadget, when we swipe the customer's wristband tells how much credit is left on the buyers wristband so if they haven't got enough on there then they they can't buy it. In theory it's pretty safe UNLESS the festival goes bust! We did offer the option of using our card reader and paying by debit or credit card and also cash.

      Sadly cashless is the way a lot of festivals are going these days. xxx

      Delete
  8. Well that sounds like an awful place to have been Vix.
    The cashless thing sounds a bit dodgy to me. I hope you get what you are owed.
    So sorry you had stuff nicked....ooooh it makes my blood boil...thieving swines.
    Hugs-x-

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The other traders, the music and a lot of the festival goers were lovely - its just a shame about the weather, being rudely awoken in the early hours of the morning and the blinking cashless debacle. We've paid enough for a pitch without having to wait for our own money! xxx

      Delete
  9. Wowzer. That sounds like one nightmare of a trip all round, (apart from the bands obvs). Hope you get the rest of your money pronto. The weather has gone totally mental this past week. Last Thursday in particular it was changing season every couple of minutes. Freezing wind, sweltering sun, black skies, sheets of rain, lather, rinse and repeat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank goodness for some decent tunes (and booze!!) I think we saw every kind of weather known to man over the last few days, several of the festival goers had burnt to a crisp trying to pitch their tents on Thursday only to freeze their arses off a couple of days later. Bring back summer, all is forgiven! xxx

      Delete
  10. Wow, sounds like Lakefest lived up to its name - you got a lake dumped on you! That sounds so stressful: idiots galumphing through your space, cashless (I read your description above, and that's just ripe for abuse/mix-ups, IMO), and of course the weather. Thank goodness for good people, good tunes and booze, ha ha!

    Your black dress is so eye-catching! What an amazing piece.

    I hope you get your money owed - that is unacceptable that they haven't paid you on time! Grrr, let me at 'em!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! You're not wrong there. The cashless thing was the final straw. I'm checking my bank account like a woman possessed!
      That dress is one of my Tori Richard pieces - I found it for £5 at a flea market but the seller insisted I had it for £4 as he'd won a bet with his friend that he'd never sell anything so ugly! Charming, huh? xxxx

      Delete
  11. This has to have been the worst year I’ve read about as far as bad stuff happening at festivals goes. I truly feel for all you traders as it’s not the easiest of occupations. I wonder what effect it will have on next year’s festivals. Did you read about Gail and Carfest xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's been a lot worse, honest! There's tales on the trader's forum on Facebook that would make your hair curl. I'm just glad it went ahead, our friends travelled down to Cornwall from Manchester, set up and then got told the festival was cancelled as, as the weather is an act of god, they can't get their ££££s back!! xxx

      Delete
  12. It sounds dreadful, it must have been miserable. Weather aside, having stuff nicked, not being paid and people using your gorgeous kinky stall as a shortcut and on top of all that no support from the organisers, you must have been fed up. You looked great though; that black striped dress and the green and red one are both amazing.
    I'm glad to hear James still sound good. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It wasn't the high point of the festival season but we've certainly had worse weekends although our nerves were wearing a bit thin by Sunday night and the mass evacuation was the final straw! James were fab though! xxxx

      Delete
  13. That sounds like a nightmare weekend for sure! I'd be taking Lakefest off my list of shows to trade at. Sounds a bit sketchy the way they're doing business. And what's with the crazy storms? Surely that is not normal seasonal weather for your area. Am so sorry you had such a harrowing experience. Though I notice you and your DH did manage to look fabulous through it all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That cashless thing is getting quite popular with UK festivals sadly. I don't like it one bit, we want what we've earned immediately, not sitting in someone else's bank account earning interest. xxx

      Delete
  14. Aside from brushing the dirt from one's boots and departing without a backward glance, I don't know any rituals for ensuring that whatever is cursing a place stays where it's laid. However, if you decide to return to Lakefest next year, you might inquire further...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At one point I was burning sage, walking around our shop and our neighbours in the hope that it would eliminate bad vibes - not sure if it worked or maybe it would have been a lot worse if I hadn't!! xxx

      Delete
  15. This looks like one of the worst events ever!, glad you are ok, even if still waiting for your money (grrrr!). I think that the combination of unsupportive organisers, awful weather and thieves is more than enough!
    Despite these incidents, the music, the fun and the people around you look so fab as usual, and You Look Fabulous indeed!. Love your colorful maxi dresses, particularly the fab 'rainbow sleeves' dress!, it's so amazing! (and the fur hat in the middle of August!) and you are gorgeous in your sleeveless dress too!
    Hope everything gets fixed soon!
    besos
    I tot

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've definitely done a lot worse but dealing with that awful weather isn't half draining and the slightest thing really starts to get you down!
      The music was fab. xxx

      Delete
  16. Phew! Sounds like it might be one to miss next year, hey? And the thing with people filming gigs drives me bananas - the tallest tosser with the biggest phone always seems to stand in front of me at 5ft 3 x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't get that filming thing, do you? If their mates wanted to see the gig they'd have bought a ticket. As a fellow shortie I know exactly what you mean! xxx

      Delete
  17. I'm a pretty mild tempered person but I can imagine getting really upset at this festival, both as a guest and even more as a seller. It's horrid that there were people who just parked their chairs and took all the space (and what is the point of coming to a festival if you're just going to be on your cellphone all the time), and how bad of the organizers not to have done something about it. The organisation of the festival does seem rather bad. That accident incident sounds very worrisome. I can't believe that the organizers didn't even bother coming around and asking the sellers were they fine. Being payed in cash when you don't except it- definitely a problem. Once I had to travel with my earrings in cash (I can't recall why I had to do it, maybe because I couldn't make a deposit in a foreign country) and I didn't get a wink of sleep that night in the bus. The weather didn't help either, I can imagine. I can understand why a weather is such an integral part of festival trading. Unfortunately, we don't have much shopping options at festivals ( I have never saw someone trading in vintage) but if the rain came pouring I probably (just like everyone else) wouldn't hurry to shop.

    However, despite the challenging situation you and Jon both managed to look very stylish. I just love your black maxi dress with stripes. You look like a goddess in it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Ivana! The weather really can be challenging, the rain is depressing and the wind frays everyone's nerves - if only we could arrange for glorious sunshine at every festival!
      There's no excuse for inconsiderate behaviour, blocking people's access by filming performances and refusing to put their chairs away, I don't know what goes through people's heads sometimes. xxx

      Delete
  18. OMG.
    now you have all things that can happen behind you - to see it positivly. but being in the middle of all that happenings must be horror..... i´m stumped by the behavior of the guests - seems so very different from the rest of the festivals.
    i´m very glad you both got not injured and beside of some stock not being robbed - esp. with the lots of cash the un-organised organisers handed you out.
    on the positiv too - you have seen some fabulous bands and looked the best!
    xxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes - we can see the funny side now we're home, warm and dry! It wasn't the worse we'd done - we've done some hellish festivals in the past and for the most part the people were lovely and the music was great. Seven days till the next one! xxx

      Delete
  19. What a nightmare! A clear case of Murphy's Law I would say. At least you got to enjoy some good music and meet some lovely people! And wear fabulous clothes, like you always do. What a relief that you've finally heard from them, I would have been so worried. It's good to hear you've got some time to recover until the next one! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The music and the people were great, the festival messaged us yesterday evening (Tuesday) but the money hasn't arrived yet....grrr! Oh well, onwards and upwards! xxx

      Delete
  20. Sure, unexpected things happen (weather, accidents, etc.) but it does sound like the organisers really weren't on top of things like payments and security. I'm sorry you had items stolen-people can be awful. Hope the next festival is better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep...nobody could predict the great British weather and thank goodness the event didn't get cancelled, lots of our trader mates have been left ££££s put of pocket due to cancellations last weekend. We can only hope Towersey is better! xxx

      Delete
  21. Gosh, what a stressful weekend for you! Did you get much stolen? Good job you made sure you took your money with you.

    That rainbow dress is ace!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've done a lot worse festivals but Lakefest was an exhausting weekend! The theft was only a cheap couple of things thank goodness but i hate to think that we were taken advantage of while we were helping neighbours in distress. I'm sure karma will bite the robbing scumbags on the bum eventually!
      I've had that rainbow dress for years but it was the first time I'd taken it to a festival, no sure if it enjoyed its mud bath! xxx

      Delete
  22. What a nightmare Vix, glad you came out alive !!! I am sorry to hear you had stock stolen too.
    Put that festival behind you I'm sure it was jinxed :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Onwards and upwards! Yes, shan't be going back next year! xxx

      Delete
  23. Oh that all sounds horrid. If there are two things I can abide by during outside performances, it's lawn chairs and cell-phone videographers. Both are so inconsiderate. In spite of it all, you both looked marvelous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, so inconsiderate and selfish. When you're at a festival you need to leave the ego at home and consider your fellow campers. xxx

      Delete
  24. what an amazing post dear :) happy weekend!
    Kisses, Buba

    https://bubasworld.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  25. Shame the organisers failed in so many departments. Bigger shame to read that your stock got pilferred, hope it's a one off and future events will be better managed. You always look so glamorous whatever the weather throws at you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much. One to avoid in future for sure. xxx

      Delete
  26. Your red and green dress is amazing – what a lovely colour.
    Winds of 50 miles per hour- how brutal!
    What an absolute crazy weekend. Rest up! X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's cotton velvet, too - I bought it for my 40th birthday - almost 13 years ago! xxxx

      Delete
  27. OMG , what a nightmare , that's a really strange system being cashless especially like you say that they paid you in cash at the end , weird to say the least, Hope you car recuperate your sales in an future events , How luck are you meeting the Kaiser Chiefs again xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly it's the way a lot of festivals are going and I don't like it one bit. We're happy to be cashless just cashless with our card reader!
      The Kaiser Chiefs are fab, aren't they? xxx

      Delete
  28. That sounds like a pretty crap weekend. I'm glad you had some sales and were able to enjoy the bands, but between the weather, thieving and inconsiderate people, as well as the whole "Cashless" fiasco, it sounds like this has been your worse festival experience this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It wasn't the best - that's for sure. We won't be doing Lakefest again! xxx

      Delete

Thank you for leaving a comment. If you've got a blog I'll do my best to return the favour.
All spam will be deleted.
Lots of love, Vix