Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Bristol Volksfest Show Review

In 2003 I went to my first ever classic Volkswagen car show. With a few friends from school, an old metro, terrible tents and drinking Jack daniels straight from the bottle this was my first introduction to a whole scene of cool cars, cool music and wonderful people.

Since this introduction I was able to buy my first classic vehicle, a gorgeous 1974 beetle and met my lovely partner James, also through this classic car scene. Although the cars have been and gone to fund bigger and better things in our lives and pay for a deposit on a house we continued to attend loads of classic car shows.

However since buying our renovation project of a house we have not been able to find the time or the money to attend as many car shows as we would have liked. With my lovely man's birthday approaching we decided after several years away from the scene it was about time to attend a Volkswagen show and so we were off to Bristol Volksfest.

We're not quite sure how but in our 13+ year love affair with the humble Volkswagen beetle and camper van we had never attended the Bristol Volksfest, especially after hearing so many friends talk about how lovely the show is.

We booked the Friday off work and loaded up the van with our camping gear and headed out on the road up to Bristol. It's only a three hour drive to Bristol but after one thing led to another and a minor detour for a shopping trip and the slight drama of loosing our exhaust back box on the M4 we finally arrived at the show about 7pm. However it then sadly took us a further hour of snaking our way through slow queues through the fields before eventuially paying our money and getting a wrist band and assessing the site and setting up camp for the weekend.

It was annoying seeing everyone else camped up enjoying a beer whilst we were crawling through a tour of the site but can completely understand the event organisers queing all the dubbers in their farm rather than blocking the small country roads around the event and annoying the neighbours.
Camping at Bristol Volksfest
Camping at Bristol Volksfest

Once parked up in the quiet family camping, yes we are both now over thirty and although we don't have a family we aren't the massive party animals that enjoy staying up until 3am drinking our body weight in booze anymore and although we like a drink we like a sensible drink and a good nights sleep at the end of the night.

We went over to the live music area and the main stage and found food, drink and some live ska and danced the night away before heading back to our van for a good nights sleep.
Live music at Bristol Volksfest
Live music at Bristol Volksfest
As Saturday arrived it was time to see what the rest of the show had to offer and although we planned a quick walk around the show and back to the van for lunch we didn't return back to the van until early evening for a change of clothes before heading back out for the evening. There is so much to do at this show from Graffitti artists working around the farm to low rider car dance offs, more live music, trade stalls and even a wall of death. It was an awesome day seeing all the new gifts and gadgets available on the scene for our cars and a massive highlight was seeing Bad Manners play on the main stage in the afternoon. By the evening we decided to go and see the wall of death and I have got to be honest I HATED IT. It completely and utterly freaked me out, the bikes were scary and travelling so close to where we were watching. The whole area shook as the bikes went around and the fumes from the bikes in the small space were over whelming. I know it's called the wall of 'death' and if it wasn't a sheer terror to witness it wouldn't be called that but I couldn't help think of our dear friend that was sadly killed during a travelling stunt show and fear that although they are professionals and do that same show several times a day things sometimes go wrong and the over sensible worrier in me told me that I didn't like it and was glad when it was over!
Entrance to Bristol Volksfest
Entrance to Bristol Volksfest
Graffitti at Bristol Volksfest
Graffitti at Bristol Volksfest
Graffitti at Bristol Volksfest
Graffitti at Bristol Volksfest
Camping at Bristol Volksfest
Camping at Bristol Volksfest
Enjoying some sunshine and live music at Bristol Volksfest
Enjoying some sunshine and live music at Bristol Volksfest
Cars on airbags dance off at Bristol Volksfest
Cars on airbags dance off at Bristol Volksfest
Off road track for buggies and bajas at Bristol Volksfest
Off road track for buggies and bajas at Bristol Volksfest
Outside the wall of death at Bristol Volksfest
Outside the wall of death at Bristol Volksfest
Inside the wall of death at Bristol Volksfest
Inside the wall of death at Bristol Volksfest
Evening music venues at Bristol Volksfest
Evening music venues at Bristol Volksfest
Dancing the night away on a farm at the Bristol Volksfest
Dancing the night away on a farm at the Bristol Volksfest
 

On a slightly happier note we finished the evening drinking in a barn listening to a set curated by DJ Yoda playing from a set of decks inside an ice cream van with a car on the ceiling! Yes it really was quite surreal.

After a fun evening and another good nights sleep we were up early to see the main event the show and shine cars. Although this is a weekends classic car show event there is so much more to do than just look at cars but the Sunday is the main day to show off your pride and joy vehicle.

As the weather was forecast to turn a bit nasty on the Sunday afternoon we decided to do the yet again sensible thing and see all the show cars in the morning and then leave the festival before the rain sets in and the mass exit starts at the event.
Gorgeous rat look early bay
Gorgeous rat look early bay
Cool vans at Bristol Volksfest

Awesome looking bay window pick up
Awesome looking bay window pick up
Split screen van line up at Bristol Volksfest
Split screen van line up at Bristol Volksfest
Custom paint on Volkswagon split screen van
Custom paint on Volkswagon split screen van
Gorgeous classic white VW beetle
Gorgeous classic white VW beetle

Red t25 volkswagen van at Bristol Volksfest
Red t25 volkswagen van at Bristol Volksfest
Beautiful Fiat at Bristol Volksfest
Beautiful Fiat at Bristol Volksfest
Yellow classic taxi beetle
Yellow classic taxi beetle
Razor edge VW at Bristol Volksfest
Razor edge VW at Bristol Volksfest
VW Splitscreen Panel van at Bristol Volksfest
VW Splitscreen Panel van at Bristol Volksfest

VW van interior inspiration at Bristol Volksfest
VW van interior inspiration at Bristol Volksfest
 

We popped into Bristol to do some obligatory shopping before getting on the road home and ending a really enjoying weekend camping at a festival.

If you are a vw classic car enthusiast then you'll love this show, if you love a festival and good music then you'll also love this show and if you haven't yet been to Bristol Volksfest yet, then go.

As for me now, the flame has been reignited and although I no longer have a classic beetle and the scene has changed quite a bit and theres a lot more modern cars in the scene than the old ones I still love it, and as we are now in a more modern 14 year old T4 van it actually suits us quite nicely I can't wait to start planning the next festival to attend.