14 September 2016

Working At Goodwood Revival Festival

Goodwood Revival Festival

Goodwood Revival Festival happens every year in Sussex and is a chance to dress up in 1940s/50s/60s clothes, look at some vintage cars and planes and watch some racing. Now I am in no way a petrol head, but when I saw an advert offering the chance to work at the festival,  I jumped at it! The tickets are very expensive so I knew this would probably be my only chance of getting to experience the festival any time soon. I applied on the Sunday and by Tuesday I got the call to offer me the job! I was so excited as I have just come of out of a different job so any way I can earn a bit of money is vital for me right now! I also thought I'd get to have a lot of fun whilst doing it too!

I was expecting to wear a cute 1950s dress, meet and greet with the guests (including many celebs who attend) and just generally have a great weekend whilst earning some money too. The reality? Standing in a field for 12 hours at a time helping people to get on and off the tractor bus service. Did I get to wear a 1950s dress? No. Did I get to see any of the festival? No. Did I enjoy it? You know what, I actually kind of did!

The first day was very, very long. I got there at 6:30 am to sign in at the Goodwood staff trailer and was handed a fetching brown coat to wear. I was also given a back pocket guide, a radio and a map. Since this was my first time working there and in fact the first time I've ever been to Goodwood in my life I was expecting someone to meet me and show me where to go. No such thing happened so I had to find my own way. This may not seem like a big deal but the race track is over 2 miles and anyone who knows me knows that my sense of direction is seriously lacking! So I started what would be the long walk to my spot. There were some stewards at the front gate who directed me one way. It was there I found an information desk who tried to help but they didn't really have any clue either. The man at the desk said "wow that's right out in the sticks!" which really gave me the encouragement I needed. I carried on walking and asking other stewards if they knew where I should go, they all said no. Eventually I found a little corner with a bar and a burger van. I went up to the people at the bar, showed them my map and pointed to where I needed to be. The barman said "oh, you've come a little bit too far, walk back down that way and you should find it!" So I disgruntledly turned around to walk back the way I came when suddenly I saw it, the sign for bus stop 4! I thanked the Gods and then went to set up in my spot.

Goodwood Revival Festival Vintage Cars

Goodwood Revival Festival Vintage Racing Car

Remember when I said I got there at 6:30am? Well my shift ended at 8:30pm. It also really didn't help that I drank a little bit too much wine the night before (more on that later this week!) and I was definitely feeling the effects of it all day. The day finally started to draw to a close, people started to leave our area, the burger van and bar started to pack up and the sun went down. However it was only 8pm and I was supposed to stay until 8:30! I suddenly found myself in the field alone in the dark! I realised the tractors had stopped running but I had heard nothing to say we could go home. As I was so far out I thought they would send someone round to take me back. lol no. I eventually realised this and decided I better start walking. There was a huge wooded area to walk through and it was now pitch black. This was honestly the scariest moment of my life and I was so sure I was going to be murdered. To make matters worse, my phone died so I couldn't even use the torch or contact anyone in the event that I was kidnapped. I somehow managed to survive and got home safe, not particularly enthused for the two days ahead.

The second day can only be described as wet. It started out nice enough, the sun was shining and I got chatty with the people in the burger van who made me an absolutely delicious breakfast burger! But come 10 o clock the heavens opened! Thank the lord I brought an umbrella with me because I really don't know what I would have done! Hours passed and the rain only got worse. There was mud everywhere, I was soaked and it was becoming too wet for my umbrella to save me. Thankfully one of the guys from the burger van (these people were honestly the best) saw me struggling and offered me his pac a mac. So now I was standing in a muddy field wearing a lovely blue rain coat helping people on and off a tractor. Not really the weekend I had imagined! It got to 6pm  and the tractor drivers told me they were doing their last rounds, one of them offered me a lift back to the entrance and I decided to go - no way was I walking through that scary woods again!

Goodwood Revival Festival People Dressed Up Costumes 1960s

By the final day I was absolutely knackered. I fell asleep in the car on the way there and I honestly wasn't sure if I was going to survive another 12 hour shift. Thankfully the sun was shining so much it was almost hard to believe it had rained so much the day before, however the mud was there to remind me. I had become quite friendly with the burger van people by now and they gave me yet another breakfast burger and countless cups of tea. I sat on the hill with one of the girls from the van in the morning and watched the racing before the crowds came. This day was the busiest of them all with people queing up for the bus. It was a bit stressful but it made the day go by really fast! It was so hot that I decided to take my brown staff coat off during my break, but when I came back it had gone! I couldn't believe someone had taken my staff coat, who would want it? It turned out some german people had taken it to lost property, thank god I didn't lose it otherwise I would have had to pay £20 for it! By 6:30 the queues had died down again so I said my final goodbyes to the burger van people and hopped on the tractor back. I would like to have said this was a smooth running day (apart from the coat incident) but my Dad got completely lost when trying to pick me up and I ended up waiting over an hour for him in the car park! Safe to say I was so happy when I was finally home and didn't have to worry about getting up at 5am the next morning!

You're probably wondering how the hell I could have enjoyed this and I won't pretend it wasn't hard work because it really was! But I did enjoy meeting all the people I met and speaking to everyone, I got to watch some racing and I know I've already mentioned them but those breakfast burgers were SO good! I do want to go back next year but not as a tractor steward, hopefully I'll find a more glamorous role next time!

A massive thank you to Rachael from rachaeljess.com for letting me use her awesome pictures of the event for this blog post! You should definitely go and check out her blog.

Thanks for reading! Have you ever worked at a festival? Or maybe you went to Goodwood Revival this year? Let me know in the comments! 
See you soon, 

Beth xx


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