My first experience of festival love was a few years ago when my husband, a once avid Glastonbury goer, was watching that year’s coverage on the box murmuring ‘See that…that’s where I used to stand, that little hillock there…at the front…best view…best view’. He sighed, sloped off and I felt a pang of sadness that he wasn’t there with his mates but also slightly suspicious of my future with someone who hankered after a supposed mud-filled, crowded camping jamboree that was surely only for whippersnappers.
TV presenter Chris Evans, may have had the same thought. It’s said he created CarFest because he wanted to raise money for BBC’s Children in Need and also longed to enjoy a festival with his family without feeling ancient. I remember hearing that the ticket sales for the first ever CarFest, four years ago, were an eye-watering 60,000 being sold out in 20 minutes and it’s been the same every year. It was quickly apparent that Mr Evans was not alone in his quest for enjoying an event that welcomed cool cats for a knees up, even if they did creak now and then.
Rock the Cotswolds is part of this year’s CarFest and if I tell anyone there are two reactions. Those who know that cars go forwards and backwards will smile politely and those, who involuntarily squeal when a supercar passes on the A346 grab my arm and hiss ‘What? The CarFest?’ When it comes to auto adoration I’m definitely in the former category (still not totally sure if our car is black or dark blue) but that shifted when I visited CarFest and found myself an inch from James Hunt’s 1976 McLaren and simultaneously heard a Bugatti Veyron roaring until I thought my ears would bleed.
CarFest is much more than the thrill of big engines though, there is an eclectic group of bands this year including the likes of Jools Holland, Take That, Billy Ocean and Seasick Steve (there’s interesting green room banter in the making) and incredible food – no greasy chips and thin burgers here. CarFest carefully chooses the quality of exhibitors so you will come back at least four or five stone heavier.
As visitors clamber to return every year, the team at CarFest needs to work hard to offer exciting content and 2015 sees the arrival of a shiny new ‘What I learned this summer’ camp which is where Rock the Cotswolds powers in.
We are hosting a number of workshops at CarFest South this August and are thrilled to have the following Rockers kindly giving up their time to teach those residing outside the Cotswolds a thing or two:
Tricks of the trade: Move over Hogwarts and all yer sorcery as we’ve got Alex Robertson sharing skills from the world of magic. This is one talented man. He used to be a student of the Royal Agricultural College and then started doing a couple of card tricks here and there and now he’s wowing folk all over the country. We also love him because he’s cured our Nicky Godding of her magician-phobia by proving there is life beyond Paul Daniels. Here’s Alex doing freaky stuff with a phone and a balloon.
Blast off: Family business Harry and Jack’s have rightly won a multitude of awards for their brilliant jetpack and scubapack rucksacks that were dreamt up by children and then made real by grown-ups. Following the lead of these experts, we’ll be creating unique rucksacks that will make kids beg to carry bags all the way back home.
Rubbish style and design: If you’re looking for a day of colourful fun then it has to be Art Couture Painswick, as anyone who’s been lucky enough to visit the event will know. We want to take a piece of it to CarFest this year and bring out the creative in everyone. We’re asking visitors to bring some items along that normally they’d chuck in the recycling pile (such as the used teabags beautifully modelled below) and see if they can’t make a catwalk creation that would have Victoria Beckham green with envy.
Cool car posters: If you’re looking for gorgeous cards and prints that are witty and personal look no further than Betsy Benn. We are thrilled that Betsy’s hosting a workshop and for the occasion has created a special poster so that visitors can make their stamp on the world. She’s won many awards for her talent and upon hearing she’d won Entrepreneur of the Year her young son congratulated her on being made Emperor. I’m sure it won’t be long.
Roll up, roll up: My grandmother ran away and joined the circus when she was a child and her stories, including riding horses whilst standing, unwittingly insulting dwarf colleagues and falling off her trapeze without a net, beat any other career advice. So it was an honour when Khan, from Engage Circus, agreed to teach CarFest visitors the tricks of the trade. Engage will not only be showing us how to juggle and unicycle but also how to confidently hang upside down.
Weird Science: And then to the geeky-not-so-geeky stuff. 3D printing. It took me a couple of head-scratching moments to understand how it works so thankfully experts from Renishaw, creators of the world’s first 3D printed bicycle, recently featured in Guiness World Records are coming to CarFest and enlighten us all. They’ll also hopefully be bringing the famous, super-duper light bike with them balanced on the tip of their fingers.
Toucan play at that game: The New Brewery Arts centre has one of the best creative programmes around for kids and adults alike. Not only do they offer a huge variety of classes (Experimental Jelly Printing anyone?) but they put on regular exhibitions, run an excellent present-buying shop and host a cafe with one of the best cappuccinos in town. This year CarFest visitors can take home their very own tropical bird – from flamingos to parrots – crafted from tons of tissue paper, glitter and feathers.
That’s not all, we’re continuing to plan the workshops with sessions including cocktail making and street dancing. Yup, bring on CarFest we say.
Apart from being ridiculously excited about showing the rest of the UK how we rock in the Cotswolds, one of the best things about being a part of this rip-roaring event is that it will raise even more loot for Children in Need, something we are truly proud to be a part of.
Posted by Melissa at Rock the Cotswolds. www.rockthecotswolds.com