WOMAD 2016

Festivals

So another year has been and gone…and it is WOMAD o’clock!

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Seems to be a tradition now, that when we are driving to WOMAD (not that long a drive!) we tune into radio WOMAD to get us in the mood for the world music, the dancing and the fun to come! There were some great tracks chosen, especially a folk one which got us both jigging in our seats!

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In convoy once more, us in ‘Rover’ (a company car which accompanied us last year!) and Matty in ‘Bertie’ behind, also jigging to the same tunes!

We arrived and were promptly shown to our slot in the newly lain out arena – I know! No more grid shaped WOMAD for us! They had evolved the original lay out to a much more meandering one which I love – yes, it meant that to do a loop took a lot longer but it meant that everyone got seen and enjoyed. And all the food was in one place, and we were placed with traders of a similar ilk which was lovely to see what they sold and how they got their inspiration!

The only downfall was that the stages ended up being very cramped when a popular act was on! But I quite like that because it meant we were all in it together instead of spread out – but I can understand why some people were disappointed by the new set up, but it was definitely time for a change.

So, as I was saying, we arrived at our pitch and started assembling my lovely gazebo. We hit a few stumbling blocks due to the tightness of the pitch – lots of rows of stalls had plenty of room between each one but our row seemed to be extra tight – so much so that we could not put up the fantastic sign we had at Boondocks so had to improvise with some bamboo and string to erect the oo arh! sign. It was a shame not to have it but our new system worked juts fine.

We used a similar lay out to Boondocks, since it worked so well, but we attached my standing mannequin to the front of the outside rail to add interest and show off the clothes which are better seen on a body than on a hanger!

I know I say this every time but part of doing festivals is the interaction with the customers – it does take a lot out of you but that is why I try and drag along Matty and Alex, so that at least one of us is bouncy and fresh to greet everyone with a smile! We got so many lovely comments from people passing by, to people just saying ‘oo arh!’ which really made me laugh, people wanting a chat about anything – got some amazing tips about finding veggie restaurants abroad! – and people admiring the colours inside!

I always forget to get pictures of everyone but here are a few…

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Georgina fell in love with my favourite blue sari skirt but was concerned about the length since she has a toddler to run after, so she came back and we pinned it up together to achieve a sensible length but still retaining the beautiful drape of the fabric. And she took it home to continue the up cycling circle! So thrilled to have my first ‘alterations’ customer!

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How fabulously happy does this lady look?! I was not there for this sale, but Alex said she loved it so much she wanted to wear it then and there – it fits her perfectly, and it is moment like this which I believe oo arh! was made for – to make people feel amazing!

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And what about this outfit! The ruffled sleeves match her dress perfectly, and she said she had a black ruffled dress which she was going to compliment the jacket with! This was one of the very first oo arh! items I created and I am so pleased it has gone to a colourful home!

So, that is another year gone…it was such a fantastic festival – we were lucky with the weather, not much rain and the heat of the sun burnt out during the day so it was not stifling! We had lovely neighbours again, and got to visit out trader chums! Saw some amazing bands, and got to meet a lot of them after they sets – even found a fellow twin in This Is The Kit!

I have never been so bombarded by heart felt congratulations from customers, and felt so proud of how far I have come. So, a huge thank you to everyone who came and visited and to those who found their own slice of oo arh! fashion to take home! Thank you to Lulu and the entire WOMAD crew for making it another spectacular year and to all those who believed in me and have helped me.

We have our eyes set on next year and how to take oo arh! further and further…I cannot wait – see you in another field next year! Keep dancing and being amazing to everyone!

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