Rockabilly Rave 2017 – Camber Sands, South England

Here’s a bit of Fork My Life, all up in your face.  In June (yes I know, I’m late) I had the pleasure of walking in the fashion show at the Rockabilly Rave, splendidly organised by Bettina Scarlett Presents.  As well as taking part in the fashion show, I got to experience my first Rockabilly Rave weekender and I had a BALL!

Basically, a bunch of retro-loving folks take over a Pontin’s at Camber Sands twice a year to dance, shop, drink, socialise, drink, dance a bit more and drink a bit more.  The November take-over is the Rhythm Riot, which I attended last year (it was great!) and the more sunny option is June for the Rockabilly Rave.  Since November I’d been counting down the days until my sunnier weekend break at Camber Sands and it didn’t disappoint.

Firstly for the fashion show, it was held on Saturday afternoon and although taking part meant we had a rehearsal on Saturday morning (meaning less rum and having to behave a little more on the Friday night) which seemed a bit gruelling even thinking about an early wake up, but it was worth it and meant we were well prepared for the event itself.

This year Bettina ran things slightly differently, pairing models up and clothing them in either a full vintage outfit or a repro version and giving the audience opportunity to cheer for the option they thought was the true original outfit – ‘The Great VIntage Repro Showdown’.  I was decked out in mainly repro outfits from Miss Bamboo, Piplotex, Violets In May, Flamin Star Clothing along with a vintage outfit from the design inspo collection of Freddies of Pinewood. Unfortunately I haven’t got any professional images to show you but below you can see some snaps to get the feeling. We had a great bunch of ladies and gents involved in the show and I think the audience enjoyed themselves too! A big congrats to Bettina for pulling together another great feature for the Rave attendees!

Away from the fashion show there were a ton of great bands on – my favourites were probably The Bellfuries (seen in the photo below), who were playing their last ever show! The crowd was loving them, singing along to every song and you could tell they will definitely be missed….maybe one day they will be back?! Who knows.  They remind me a bit of the Soggy Bottom Boys from O’Brother Where Art Thou (watch it, great film)….the dungarees maybe? They’re a lot of fun anyway so do make sure to check them out.

Goldy Loxx in original vintage / me in Violets in May + Lady Lucks Boutique

Anna was on a quest to make sure we saw The Polecats so when they got on stage and she wasn’t around, I frantically messaged/called her and a few minutes later I got a tap on the shoulder to see her luscious blue barnet (see left) pop up behind me – phew! Another band with tons of energy and a great fast-paced set list.  Completely different to The Bellfuries who were on directly prior to them, but that’s what it’s all about – showcasing different styles to keep the crowd entertained. I hadn’t experienced The Polecats before but am glad I have now and will add a few of their choons to my wannabe walkman (I wish it was a Walkman, I am an iPod Classic user).

A focus of the weekend for me was dancing and trying to improve my jiving skills…having never seen myself jive and not being able to practice at home I try and take the opportunity where I can, though I have a feeling I have a face that says ‘GO AWAY’ because it’s rare that I am asked to dance. Or maybe people have just seen me and think ‘good gravy, no way Jose’…but regardless I did manage to get a few (possibly pity) dances in largely thanks to Mike and Garry and will keep on keeping on! I always enjoy a good stroll – for those not on the ‘scene’ it’s pretty much a line dance sort of situation where mainly ladies jig about for a few songs in a row…it looks far more complicated than it is! Haven’t got the hang of bopping yet…I think I would look like Gob’s chicken impression (Arrested Development) if I tried in public.

I only did one little bit of shopping at the Rave, despite SO MUCH being on offer. The market is a maze of delights with a range of original and repro goodies – bags, jewellery, shoes, clothes, furniture and moooore! I bagged myself some Splendette bangles and a necklace to add to my growing collection…pure bangle porn if you haven’t looked, then go and bloody well look! Along with Anna I was lucky enough to share a chalet (shallot) with Eeva, Splendette boss, and it was a treat getting to know her and having my hair pamped with her skills on the Saturday night.

Unfortunately we had to leave on Sunday as we had other life responsibilities – darn you, life responsibilities – so we missed the Sunday showcase, including my strange pal Marcel in the Buddy Holly Showcase but I’ve been told it was a corker.

We made the most of our final day though by breaking into (or opening the door of) the on-site Jurassic World dinosaur park where Anna hurt her butt on a Triceratops (LOLZOR), Ellen made a croc bud and Emmie had some playground fun. We also sauntered to the beach to have a little splash about and feel the sand between our toes and Emmie and I danced until the sun came up – we didn’t realise it was light until we got outside! Read Anna’s account of the weekend and her impalement here!


Although I left thoroughly knackered, I had a great weekend meeting new people, catching up with others and generally arsing about – for me that’s what makes a good weekend… and I don’t think the Thursday night/Friday morning question “where did the rum go?” will ever be answered.  Should you go? Yes. I’m already planning taking over a block of chalets with a herd of great people for 2018 so stock up on rum, sun cream, deodorant (it’s a clammy affair), hairspray and prep your wardrobe…time rolls on pretty fast and we’ll be back before you know it!

Forked by Stefpuff

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