We're not long back from the Lincolnshire Wolds and a weekend camping with a gang of mates and our kids at Festival 8. It was fun, silly, windy and brilliant! The festival is small (or 'boutique' as described by the organisers), family friendly and a perfect introduction to tots and toddlers to festival camping. It was also the very first ever night in a tent for some of the grown ups too! Those of us who were organised had snaffled their pitches a few days before to ensure our family of tents could snuggle close together in the designated family area. Those of us who were less organised (ahem!) rolled up late, grappled with their tent in a gale of wind and then discovered there were no mugs for a brew (whose responsibility were mugs?! Not mine! They were on YOUR packing list!). But the home made bunting was eventually raised, the beer was opened and the sun shone down perfectly for our first evening around the barbecue.
Lincolnshire is known for being flat, apart from one limestone ridge that runs across it like a single ripple in the landscape, the whole county is pretty much hill-free. It was a surprise then to find that the camping field was actually on quite a steep little slope. This meant fabulous clear views over the fields and woodland festival site below... and also quite a lot of wind. Here's our bell tent straining at the guy ropes and clearly wishing it could spend the day being a hot air balloon for a change.
The festival site is nestled in a quiet setting among farmland, woods and meadows and has an ethos of being healthy, wholesome and environmentally friendly in its approach. There are bands, kids stuff along with circus, theatre and mud wrestling in a dedicated and gigantic mud pit (the kids were first in) but there are also holistic therapies, a lovely bistro selling home made food and even a luxurious hot tub complete with wood burner inside. A fully stocked bar-in-a-barn complete with stage and massive leather sofas was a bonus as the evening drew in and a few of the smaller members of the party started to curl up under piles of coats and call it a day. Oh and, because I know you'll be wondering, the loos were non-stinky and actually quite nice for a festival.
Now as you will know I'm sure, there is a tradition at this type of gig to wear your glamorous, boho glad-rags with a pair of wellies and boy can my gorgeous girlfriends rock this look! Hot-pants and Hunters with about an acre of tanned, toned leg in between was the sartorial choice for these ladies, along with some particularly eye-catching hats to top it off (purchased from the 'Hat Man' at his vintage apparel stall. More from him later). Truly fabulous they looked too and proved that even if you've survived a cold, windy night under nylon with virtually no sleep, there is absolutely no excuse for not totally styling it out the next day.
I am well aware however, that if I sported my very own, muddy wellies along with a higher hemline shorts ensemble, I would look as though I was off down to the allotment to dig leeks and had accidentally ripped my trousers off on the way. Not a good party look. These are what my Aigle's look like even after they've been cleaned off a bit. Practical yes, but boho-beautiful no. Don't get me wrong, I can totally work the 'digging leeks' look, but I probably wouldn't want to take it outside of the allotment and into the wider world.
I had though, chanced upon a charity shop £1 rail during the week before, from which this crazy 1980's print t-shirt sparked some ideas for a relaxed, revival look. I'm not into re-living a whole era or even a whole trend in one outfit, but I love picking a few key pieces or designs to give a flavour. I paired this bright T with straight leg boyfriend jeans, a row of plastic bangles and a vintage necklace.
I think there is a saying in the fashion world that you should never try to wear a trend twice around. As I say though, you can wear what you like when you like (especially if like me you've kept and been given clothes going back decades) and anyway I'm doing 'flavour', not the whole feast here. Looking at this print, I seem to remember that back in the day this sort of thing covered wallpaper, curtains carpets and bedding and sometimes all at the same time so you couldn't see where one ended and the other began!
There was also this classic 80's anorak to keep off the odd shower whilst channeling the same decade. I'm pretty sure this is an original from the era and is from that stalwart department store of the time, C&A. Again, this was remaindered to the same charity £1 rail.
There were a number of stalls selling crafts, vintage clothes and bric-a-brac around the festival and of course the ladies couldn't resist a bit of a retail diversion. Hat Man provided lots of entertainment for the whole gang with a suitcase full of vintage caps, berets, panamas and straw boaters. No head in our party was left uncovered by the end of the afternoon and Hat Man's suitcase was left considerably depleted. However, he also had an enviable collection of eyewear and enthusiastically took me on a tour of 'Sunglasses Through the Decades'. After trying on a few, he ducked behind his van into a pile of boxes and carefully brought out a prized pair of 1980's Versace shades. Complete with a pair of truly massive gold medusa-head logos on either side and huge black frames, these were the real deal. An original 1980's Italian designer accessory from the absolute King of the House of Bling! Not for me on this occasion though and I declined Gianni Versace's magnificent golden goggles, but I did come away with these, a retro pair of Bruce Oldfield sunglasses with a nice case for a reasonable £4. Because as I have said before, you can never have too many.
After our final afternoon dance to a brilliant samba band and a last wander among the sun dappled trees, we were all a little bit sad to leave our patch of fairyland and return to the big bad city. All in all a Gr'8 weekend with M8's at Festival8!
T shirt unlabelled from charity shop
Blue anorak by C&A from charity shop
Straight leg jeans from New Look
1980's plastic bangles from charity shop
Necklace with square marble beads from vintage jewellery stall
Belt in brown leather with sparkle studs from charity shop
Sunglasses, vintage Bruce Oldfield from 'Hat Man', Festival8