Back In The Fields Half Festival Season of 2021

Shaboutique crew End of the road festival

When the pandemic hit in 2020 and all the festivals got cancelled there was a small part of me that was quite pleased to have a summer off.

If you choose to have a season off your spot at the festival will be given to someone else and the following year you are less likely to get in. So a forced year off was kinda welcome.

But by spring 2021 we were all gagging to get back in the fields! Even though the season officially didn’t start until late July we still managed to squeeze in four festivals. One was just for fun! As a punter! Unheard of!

We started off with Latitude Festival. They were actually the official government approved trial festival. We had to do Covid tests before and durning the festival. 

The transmission rate at the end was very low which was a good outcome.  Considering there were barely any masks being worn and no real social distancing. Which was nice as it wouldn’t have felt like a festival otherwise. 

Strong crew this year with Nick, Glenny and the lovely actor John Dagleish on board. He is the winner of the Olivier Award for best actor in a musical for his performance in Sunny Afternoon as Ray Davies. Legend.  ·


After a weekend at home post Latitude we headed to our favourite festival field in Cornbury Park. Wilderness this year had some rain and cloud but it didn’t dampen the spirit of the British people who hadn’t been at a live music event for two years. They were keen to dress up and take part. The spirits were high and everyone seem to haver an amazing time. Including us! 

We were also in a much better spot this year. Location is everything at festivals. You can sell the coolest stuff ever but you won’t sell much if there is no footfall.

Before our last trading festival we went to We Out Here Festival as punters. Since its launch in 2019 its always has an amazing line up. So I wanted a work free weekend just to enjoy it all.  Always nice to see people wearing their “Leftover Threads” from previous seasons too. 

We got accepted to End of the Road again, which was lovely. I love how each festival has such a different crowd.  EOTR isn’t necessarily very “dressy uppy” compare to other festivals we usually do. Do they have a good eye for cool sustainable clothing so it still works for us.

Such a good feeling to be back in the fields with happy smiling people and good music!


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 smilers

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.

Summer Kimonos

I really love making these kimonos. Well, they aren’t strictly kimonos, but a floaty summer layer inspired by. They are made from saris, sarongs and any other reusable fabric that comes my way. The trimmings I do buy new from my travels, the rest is all upcycled goodness.

Its a definite winner for the festival season. Put it on over your spandex, pair it with a headdress and you are ready to go!

If you want to get your hands on any of these one of a kind pieces before they go, get in touch. These is only one of each!

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…..



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