Looking forward with Vintage

Don’t look back in anger. Look back in joy. Well that’s how it felt to me as I spent a weekend in the company of Vintage at Goodwood. Finally a festival where the dress up was as important as the get down. And boy did we get down. And, erm, dress up.

It’s not easy convincing people to try something new which why I’m so glad the Lord March and Gerardine & Wayne Hemingway have announced there will be a Vintage 2011. The excuses had come too thick and fast from those around me; it was too close after Brighton Pride, the tickets too pricey, the line-up not commercial enough. But after seeing the pictures, hearing the reviews and reading the online raving it seems many are planning to keep it Vintage in 2011.

And the reason why? I could give you many. It was the attention to detail that did it to me. This was a celebration of British cool and it was done with some style. From the loop da loop Spitfire that flew across the sky each midday to the PA announcer kindly requesting all pre 1989 vehicles leave the main arena by 11am, the Hemingway’s had their finger on Vintage’s button. Be that button brass, regimental or tweed.

Oh the dress up. How we loved it. Just the pure joy of watching morning campers emerge from the horrors of 21st century waterproof fabrics into their kick arse 60’s suits or 40’s uniforms made me grin. The tinkers, the soldiers, the sailors, the fly. From stocking tops to sunhats, from three-pieces to little black numbers the Vintage crowd exceed all expectation in style and substance. They matched the cars, the venues, the high street, the soundtrack. They even managed to survive the rain in style as raincoats replaced kagols and umbrellas appeared matching rather than clashing.

Oh the get down. Vintage weren’t hollow boasting about assembling the greatest line of DJ’s. It was sublime, on the ears and the soul, as the likes of A Guy Called Gerald, Jazzie B, Dr Bob Jones, Ashley Beedle, Joey Negro, Princess Julia, Jeffery Hinton, Paulo Contraband, Princess Julia, Horse Meat Disco, Noel Watson, Steve Cotey and Graham Park took us back in the day with a groove locked on to the future. Big thanks to the legendary Greg Wilson & Jack Hemingway whose curation, vision and welcome was a wonder. And massive respect to Maz – you rocked it lady!

So many moments. The Chap Olympiad, 1950’s camper vans, The Wailers, Earth Wind & Fire, Hooky, Mr Wilson’s welcome, playing sailor boys, envying the uniforms, purchasing tweed, losing it over zips, rolling down the hill, bagging a deckchair, flushable loos, Sussex icecream, retro police, the Soul Casino carpet, Hemingway on the decks, Lene on the blades, queuing behind a purple chevvy, roast pork, Hinton dancing, Horse Meat prancing, Negro in a roller disco DJ box and smiley faces everywhere.

Oh Vintage how you impressed me. By providing the perfect backdrop to a perfect soundscape Vintage have delivered a true British gem that I can’t wait to see shine again.