Festival Season 2018

When preparing for the season ahead its always difficult to predict what the weather is going to be like. But as we are in the UK, rain and cold evenings are always on the cards. So we make summer kimonos, bra tops as well as jumpers and jackets to cover all angles. Who would have thought 2018 was going to be the hottest summer in over 40 years?

First stop this year was the local Alfresco Festival  A small intimate little number focusing on groove based dance music. And as there was no Glastonbury this year we had June off festivals (but still super busy making stock) to enjoy the sunshine in Brighton.

In July we continued with Farr Festival. A young crowd where its all about dance music. And I mean from 12 midday until the early hours. Not a single band in sight. There weren’t much dressing up going on and I think the youth had prioritised buying other things to keep the weekend interesting. So it was pretty slow. Plus the only act I wanted to see, Moodymann had cancelled. Meh! But hey, it was a scorcher of a weekend so we topped up our tans and got to know our fellow traders.

Next up was Latitude Festival. Another sweltering weekend where everyone was too hot to try anything on, or wanted to buy your display parasols. At least our usual spot in front of the main stage gave us good views and entertainment.

We hadn’t been to Bimble Bandada for a few years. Small but perfectly formed. Definitely remains as one of our favourites. Even the bad weather on the Sunday didn’t put us off! Sadly they are having a break next year. Roll on 2020!

After Bimble we had one night in our own bed then headed straight to Bestival. Thankfully they moved the festival to the mainland last year, so we didn’t have to get on a ferry to the Isle or Wright or anything. We were part of the Dressing Up Tent, a shared space with lots of other creatives. Always nice not having to set up a marquee.

We had a weekend off back in Brighton before we headed to everyones favourite; Shambala! Sharing yet again with Crystal Vintage. Unfortunately I wasn’t very well so I mainly sat around on a beanbag watching the festival go by. Could have been worse!

This year also said goodbye to Festival Number 6. As it was their last one it would have been rude not to go. Being north Wales, the September rain was unavoidable but hey, we made a bit of a Welsh road trip out of it. Such a beautiful part of the world.

Yet again we take away from another festival season, happy customer and many moments of dance and laughter. Hoping 2019 will be as warm and sunny, but please mother nature give me notice so I can make more bikini tops!

Festival Season 2017

After last years challenging one I was in two mind about doing another season.  But as they say time is a great healer and I hadn’t come up with a grand plan to change career, plus I did think “can it be any worse than last year?” Not possible.  So yes, we did pack our bags and van and made it to six(!) different festivals. How did that happen?

shaboutique Glastonbury stall green fields

Well, I’m glad I did decide to do another season as the weather was (mostly) glorious! Especially Glastonbury. It was so dry people were complaining about the dust! (always something). We also finally got offered a pitch up in the Green Fields instead of down in the main market babylon. Yay! Its like a different festival up there…

glastonbury acid smiley

Latitude, Wilderness and Shambala were sunny too, but sadly Secret Garden Party did get some rain. It was the last one ever too! It was still lovely and it did clear up.

I also went along with Red Mutha to Bestival that now have moved from Isle of Wright to the mainland. I wanted to check out the new site, but we had one dry day and it rained, and rained… Mud bath! Luckily I only had half of rail of stock to pack and de-mud the other end.

bestival denim jackets

But all in all it was an great season in every aspect. Lots of new friend and happy clients.

Festival Season 2016

Wow! Festival season 2016 is going down in history, and maybe not for the best reasons. The weather gods were definitely playing their wicked little games on us all. Torrential rain, mini tornado, you name it we had it!

We opened the season with Glastonbury where it had been raining non-stop for a whole week before we arrived. Out pitch was literary a lake. We waited 24 hrs with the set-up, but then it rained even more, so half of our shop was submerged. We had to beg borrow and steal some pallets to put down to make it possible to enter. Hay-bails, and tractor loads of wood chip were being delivered for the traders to use which were hardly making a difference. 7 days in that spot was challenging to say the least. I seriously thought I never wanted to trade at another festival!

Later on in July we had Latitude which was gloriously sunny which boosted the morale a little. Oh what a difference the weather makes!

Straight from Latitude we headed to Secret Garden Party. Still unbelievably sunny and hot. Half way through rigging our marquee big black clouds starts heading our way and within minutes it was raining like mad. That part was kind of nice and felt like we were on a tropical island in the monsoon. Suddenly the sky turned even darker and the wind picked up, we were standing under our marquee that didn’t have any walls yet and looking out over the traders opposite. Some of them started to shake and were being plucked like mushrooms by the powerful wind. Within seconds we were next. We tried to hold on to the marquee but we were lifting with it! We had to let go and watch this 6 by 4 meter structure end up in a tree 20 meters away. Even the empty clothes rails were moving! At this stage I was in the brace position on the ground. After a few more minutes rain and wind the sun came out and it was like nothing had ever happened. 4 other traders lost their marquees, and one person broke their nose by flying objects. Madness! Later on we were told it was actually confirmed as a mini tornado. I guess you don’t really see it when you are in it.

We had to make do with trading out of our 3 by 3 pop up kitchen/storage and another broken marquee we found. Luckily nobody got seriously injured and it was sunny for the rest of the weekend but a new marquee ain’t cheap. Ouch…

We finished the season with Shambala, which is always nice no matter the weather. Don’t need a big marquee for that one luckily as I trade as part of Crystal Vintage and the magic horsebox shop that is Gloria. So I guess we finished on a high but it was testing in every way possible. Career change? Hmmmmm…..



Summer Festival Season 2015

Another festival season bites the dust!  Glastonbury, Latitude, SGP, Boomtown Fair, Shambala and Number 6. This year you might have noticed that we have started trading under our shop name Shaboutique. Which also means we have other makers and designers under our roof.

shaboutique boomtown crew

shaboutique festival stall latitudeembellished jacket acid smiley stall

Glastonbury treated us to its usual al seasons weather with sun, rain, sun and rain. We were in the main market area this year rather than the Dance Field. I’m grateful to avoid the sound clash.  We also had the amazing bumbag queen Beksies Boutique with us. Check out her stuff. It’s the best bumbag you will ever own.

Two new ones on the cards this year was Latitude and Boomtown. Very different from each other I must point out. Whilst Latitude is a middle class family affair, Boomtown is as they put it themselves,  “a city of wonderment, theatre , escapism and community with breathtaking and intricate stages and streets just waiting to be discovered” We just wanted to shut shop and go and explore!

Feathered Fantasy was on board at Latitude and Boomtown this year. Always a pleasure!



Festival Season 2014

Compare to last years nine, we kept the numbers lower this year. Four festivals in four months and the 2014 season is well and truly over for us! With the time now needed to run Shaboutique, we wanted to focus on a few key festivals instead.

Pretty chuffed to be accepted to trade at the big and mighty Glastonbury considering how hard it is to get in. In a typical Glastonbury fashion, we had four seasons in one day, and then a lot of rain. Kept us on our toes all the time dragging the rails in and out. It was a good experience and we know what to bring/focus on for next year.

In July we did Secret Garden Party for the third year running. Oh we love it there! Even more so this year as it was an absolute scorcher! We had everyone in nipple tassels all day long. The secret sunflower field that you had to access through a porta-loo was an all time festival high for me. Genius idea SGP!

This year we also themed up with Crystal Vintage and the amazing Gloria Top-Up Shop to do Shambala Festival. I think we can both decided that it takes the number 1 spot in the festival charts. (Sorry SGP) It has everything you can ask from a festival. Not too big nor too small, groovy bands you have never heard of before, creative workshops, silly antics and pretty much everyone in fancy dress. Friday is cross dressing day aka Fruity Friday. Boys in dresses? Ah yeah!

Another newbie for this year was Festival Number 6. I have been wanting to go since day one as the DJ line-up is always great.  I had never been to Wales either, so it became a lovely little road trip too.  They say it always rain in Wales, well not this time. We had sunshine for the whole weekend. It’s pretty unique as festivals goes as its centered around the little “toy town” village Portmeirion. The view over the estuary and the woodlands with its six unique “pop-up raves” are probably the best bit. A perfect festival to end the season with we say.



2013 Festival Season Highlights

Another festival summer marathon has come to an end! What a great adventure that was. Boy am I exhausted though! Meadowlands, Sunrise, Patchfest, Secret Garden Party, Bimble Bandada, Wilderness, Give!, Brunswick and Bestival. Phew!

The highlight this year (from a work perspective) I guess is that we now have our own marquee to trade from.Yay! Of course its a lot more work with the set up etc but its so worth it. Even though its nice to share a big space and meet other traders its still nicer to have your own.

leftover threads stall

Meadowlands was our test run. A small festival situated a few miles from Brighton. We had a chance to do a local set up and see what we needed to sort out before our long season ahead. Sunrise festival was a first for us this year. Really nice vibes plus the sun was out but nowhere near enough people. Such a shame. SGP had much better weather this year. What a difference it makes with a bit of sunshine. Oh Bimble Bandada! What a perfectly formed little festival. Only two small stages and nothing but amazing musicians. Super local too! Highly recommended. Wilderness and Bestival we did with the Secret Emporium again. Which worked out great as at that point we were running low on our stock to fill a 6 by 4 meter marquee.

Its been a good season and I’m glad I did try them all, but wow such hard work. Not sure I will be doing all 9 of those festivals again next year.. Maybe just 5 or 6 but lets not make any promises, who knows what will happen then. Oh and the best bit, is to be back in my own bed….