1940s · Events · Uncategorized

Top tips for Twinwood Festival

Hello, lovely readers. It’s been a while, and I’m sorry about that – there seems to be a lot and nothing going on all at once at the moment, and blogging has taken a bit of a backseat. I seem to have a lot of ideas for posts, but lack the discipline to sit down and actually write them (and my brain does like going for a wander every time I try).

This weekend is Twinwood Festival, which I’ve written about a lot in the past, as it’s one of my favourite events. After a lot of back and forth with myself, I decided not to go this year, as I still get overwhelmed when there are lots of people around (and sometimes when there are no people around, but that’s a different post).

I am, however, missing it very much (although looking at my friends’ photos is helping), so I thought I’d put together a post with tips for enjoying Twinwood Festival, whether it’s your first time or your twentieth. I’m sure I’ve missed out plenty (especially as I’ve never camped there), so please feel free to add yours in the comments.

  1. Wear something comfortable
    Twinwood Festival is a great chance to dress up in your finery, but – unless you’re on-site and don’t mind leaving the festivities for outfit changes, I recommend wearing something that you’ll be comfortable in all day. My Rocket Originals shoes, purchased a couple of years ago, are my go-to pair, as they fit my wide feet perfectly and give my feet enough support to traipse around the site (which is vast).

    Last year’s Twinwood outfit, with my faithful Rocket Originals

    Also, don’t forget that you’re on an airfield and out in the elements, whether it’s gloriously sunny like this year, or torrential rain/wind/hail that I’ve seen in previous years; pop a raincoat/umbrella somewhere accessible, remember your sunscreen and you can’t go wrong with a good hat.

    My outfit last year included this rather spectacular hat, to keep the sun out of my eyes.

2. Save your pennies
The shopping is immense (my bank account is grateful I’m not there this weekend, at least). There are tonnes and tonnes of traders, selling everything from hair flowers, to vintage and reproduction clothes and shoes, to homewares and bric-a-brac. Many of them offer festival specials, so if there’s something you’ve got your eye on, it might be worth holding on until the festival. Within reason, of course – if you see something in January, you should probably buy at the time.

This gothic hat of dreams is one of my favourite ever Twinwood purchases

3. Pack a picnic
As with most (all?) festivals, food at Twinwood Festival can be expensive, and there’s pretty much always a queue. However, bringing picnics into the site is perfectly acceptable – my family and I tend to eat in the main arena, so we can enjoy the music while we eat.

My mum makes epic picnics

4. Remember a blanket
For the aforementioned picnic, and also for any general sitting down. There is limited seating in the main arena, what is there gets snapped up quickly. Deckchairs and the like can be unweildy and difficult to carry (especially if you don’t plan on staying in the main arena all day), and the blanket will save you from a dusty/muddy bottom, or from standing for hours.

5. Visit the museums
There’s a lot to see at Twinwood Festival, especially when it comes to music and shopping. However, if you’ve got some time, do check out the museums – volunteering in the Control Tower is how I started visiting the festival, and it’s full of fascinating artefacts and information (especially when the re-enactors are there and telling stories), as are the other museums on-site. If you don’t get a chance while the festival is on, they are open at other times during the year.

The Control Tower Museum

6. Pop the essentials in the car
As I’ve mentioned above, I never camp at Twinwood Festival, because I only live down the road and like my bed/own shower. While this means I get ready in comfort, it can be a pain not having everything I need in a tent/caravan two minutes away. Instead, I make sure I’ve got a few bits and pieces that I or a friend might need in the car. That includes the aforementioned raincoat/umbrella combo, a spare pair of shoes, spare tights/stockings, a different hat, hair flowers and my makeup bag. I don’t think I’ve ever gone back to the car for any of these things, but I find it reassuring to know they’re there.

Twinwood 2017
Any excuse to share a photo of myself in a hat.

7. Take five minutes
I love Twinwood Festival, as I think I might have mentioned. However, there are a lot of people there, and – if you’re anything like me – it can feel a bit overwhelming. If you can, take five minutes to yourself, whether that’s sitting down to listen to some music, enjoying a tea in the Colonial Club, or taking yourself off to look at the vintage fire engine.

Colonial Club
Enjoying a drink in the Colonial Club

8. Check out new music
With so many musicians from a range of eras on the bill, there are bound to be a couple you’ve heard of, but I’ve had great fun in previous years going to see bands that I don’t already know, and who don’t play music from the genres I usually listen to.

While we’re talking music, definitely take a few minutes to watch everyone dancing in the main arena.

A (very bad) photo of Tom B Wild performing in 2018

Following these tips has helped me make the most out of my time at Twinwood Festival over the years, and I very much hope that I’ll be back again next year to discover some more.

We saw this rainbow just before we left the festival last year



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