Monday, 1 August 2011

Vintage at Southbank, an honest review.

Firstly I just want to say that those who know me will know I'm not a negative person. I try to see the good in every situation and treat others how I would like to be treated myself, I try to live life by the saying "Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle". So the decision to write this review and post so publicly on my blog definitely was not taken lightly and I'm still unsure as to whether I want it here on my blog but I feel others just like myself may be looking for answers and so, here it is.

Vintage at Southbank. First impressions? Not great. I'll try and wrap up our experiences in an honest and factual blog post for you. Please note that the opinions expressed in this post are my own and those of the three people with whom i attended. There are plenty of people who enjoyed themselves but sadly plenty of others who didn't and I can't help feeling there is a lot of work to do for the organisers if they take note of anything people are saying - there are links to other blog posts towards the end of the post if you'd like to read other peoples experience of the event. The comments section of this post is also quite insightful.

We purchased our tickets a week before the event, I was worried they'd sell out since many emails kept flowing into my inbox screaming that they would sell out if we didn't purchase ASAP.  Last year a ticket cost £55 and that got you exclusive access to everything; music, bars, clubs, the vintage high-street, independent vintage stalls and a whole wealth of activities all on the beautiful Goodwood Estate. Even with a few drawbacks it was fabulous, the atmosphere was amazing, everyone was enjoying themselves and you really felt part of something special.

This year it was going to cost you £60 per ticket. for an extra £15 you could access the 'revue music show' but we were more interested in the other things on offer and felt like last year there would be so much to do we would run out of time so decided against the extra money for the music show and paid £60 each for a standard ticket.
Just 24 hours before the event is set to begin I received an email from Vintage telling us about all the free stuff to do for non ticket holders. a whole email full. Just look at all this AMAZING FREE STUFF. (click images to enlarge)

 *Images courtesy of Vintage's July 28th "The Free Bits" email..

High Street? free. Vintage marketplace? free. Cinema bus? free. Funfair? free. Art, Design, Music, Entertainment, Tours, Food. All free.
They even say in the first part of the email that "If you can't afford a ticket or if you're not interested in the music, catwalk shows or workshops then come on down anyway." Not once in any of the previous emails or on their website and various social networking sites did they make this clear and it's become obviously now why - because no one would have bought a ticket, us included because it's all FREE - All the stuff we wanted to see and do. Free. And because it was all free, it was SO busy we didn't get to do any of it. 

We arrived at Southbank at approximately 11:30 and it was ridiculously busy already. We would have arrived earlier if we'd have known that we'd have access to the marketplace for an hour before non ticket holders, but we'd already booked our non-exchangeable train tickets before Vintage had the courtesy to tell us in one of their emails.
Doors for the Royal Festival Hall didn't open until 12, so we spent the first half an hour wandering around looking for the vintage marketplace, the high-street, the funfair.. a map or signposts would have helped but we couldn't find any and I couldn't locate it quick enough on my phone amongst the pushy hustle and bustle of people who had turned up to enjoy all the free activities, and it only got busier as the day went on. When 12 o'clock arrived we exchanged our tickets for wristbands and entered the RFH for a drink to discuss what we were going to do next whilst admiring some of the beautiful outfits people had picked out especially for the weekend. After that we headed back out and attempted to find the vintage market again. 

We eventually found someone who told us where everything was and made our way towards the stalls that I so desperately wanted to spend ages looking round and to meet some of the sellers, but was sad to have been herded straight back out the other side by the hundreds of people there - it was so packed you could barely breathe. We decided to give the High-street and Funfair a miss also, two of the other things on my 'list of things to do' because we just couldn't get to any of it. Instead we found ourselves walking around looking for somewhere to stop and something to do that didn't involve sitting in one of the bars or being rushed around by the constant gaggle of people wandering around the free bits aimlessly. We eventually made out way out of the crowds and further down the Thames to get some lunch at a restaurant that wasn't part of the festival. Afterwards we headed back to see what's up next.

Ticket holders had exclusive access to the Royal Festival Hall with free decade specific makeovers which looked amazing but were so busy with queues that we would have been there all day waiting, free workshops and a few other over-busy things to do we weren't particularly interested waiting around for.

What else was there to do? Six whole floors of set dressed bars - a 'multi-venue playground' according to the website. This sounded great in the brochure. We must have missed something as we didn't find a playground, but a boiling hot un-air-conditioned venue that was either stupidly busy or seriously empty. Where we were left waiting 20 minutes at a bar directly in front of staff whilst they served the people behind us, and then when they eventually served us because one kind gentleman points out that we had been there longer than he, it was either warm beer poured too quickly from a small glass bottle so half of it turned to froth and got thrown in the bin, or revolting cheap wine that had to be diluted with lemonade and it was still awful. If there were more options available in our chosen establishment at the time I would have picked out a better wine, but this was all that was offered, and at the price I paid for my tiny plastic cup, I expected something a little nicer - If I'm paying £60 to get into an event like this, at the very least I want to enjoy the beverages on offer? It seemed there was very little choice across the whole six floors.

 Other issues? 
  • I found that because the outdoor events were a free-for-all, there were far too many people there, including people who didn't want to be there. Whilst walking back from a failed attempt at finding somewhere else a bit more enticing along the Thames in the evening, I was one of the lucky recipient of a delightful splatter of saliva from someone on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall. One of my highlights of the day. 
  • I emailed ahead of the event to ask if A) we were allowed cameras, and B) if there were cloakroom facilities (so that I could leave my camera once I'd had enough of lugging it round all afternoon). I eventually had a reply from vintage saying I needed to contact a Southbank centre email address. I did. And the reply was that there were no cloakroom facilities and that no 'professional looking' cameras were allowed. To my total disappointment upon arrival approximately 50% of people there had a DSLR or what one would call a 'professional looking camera' and that there was a free cloakroom service available inside the RFH.
  • We paid £240 in all for our tickets. Others managed to grab £19 tickets and non concessions somehow managed to get in with £30 concession tickets. According to others, people were even blagging their way in for free. Some of those who paid at a hugely discounted rate were just as disappointed as we were. I feel just as ripped off as when I purchased tickets for Lapland New Forest - The only difference is that I managed to get my money back from the bank for that hiccup, I doubt I'll get anything back for this.
  • Vintage had announced on their facebook page that those who felt they were 'hard done by' due to ticketing, could pick up a mystery gift from the competition and press desk and to take a form of ID. 

    "Thanks all for raising your issues on ticketing. There has been a ticket offer to Time Out readers: we did the same sort of thing last year to keep awareness high in the run-up to the weekend. It’s time-limited and capped, so don’t worry, only a fraction of Saturday Vintage Vultures will get there under this offer. And don’t forget, we thought of our loyalists at the same time, allowing you to get an extra day for £20: you’ll have had that offer by email in the last week or so if we had your contact details. If you didn’t get it, let us know here.
    We are glad you’re coming to Vintage, but saddened you feel hard done by. To ensure you have a great time, I’ve left a mystery gift for you to be collected on the day. When you arrive, go to the desk signposted PRESS/COMPETITION WINNERS/MASTERCARD VIP LOUNGE by the doors nearest Southbank Centre Square to collect it. Remember to bring a form of ID with you.
    I’m looking forward to seeing you at London’s best-dressed party! Wayne. H" 

    Although I really didn't want to do the walk of shame to said desk, I did because I had this ridiculous idea that it might be some sort of goodwill gesture of a part-refund/credit note/voucher. The first person I asked had no idea what I was talking about, and the second asked to see some ID. When I showed her my driving license she looked confused and let out an awkward laugh as though I was missing something before asking if I had a poster? "Umm no.. poster? What? No?", so I gave her my name instead and she ticked me off of what I presume was a 2 page list of 'people who have expressed disappointment via facebook'' (not all 'vintage vultures' as stated in the facebook note's comments by Vintage themselves (a vintage vulture is someone who has signed up to their mailing list, as far as I'm aware, I had done this after attending Vintage at Goodwood 2010 by clicking on the option to "become a vintage vulture")), and I was handed a 'goody bag' containing a gentleman's hat, a magazine that you could pick up elsewhere in the RFH for free, a scented fan? and a great big pile of marketing materials. These were lugged around for a short while before I dropped them in the free cloakroom and now they are either sitting in a pile of things I don't need, or in the recycling bin.
  • Where people have expressed their disappointment on the Vintage facebook page, apart from the above ticketing note prior to the event, there has so far been no sign of a statement from Vintage or even a little apology to anyone - they've just ignored disappointed attendees comments and asked for photos of people's favourite bits, no recognition that they have mislead their paying customers, no remorse that they have ripped people off. They just don't seem to care at all that the people who actually make an event so successful feel the way they do. Whoever is responsible for keeping their facebook page up to date has an incredibly rude attitude towards customers and have blocked those who have expressed any opinion that differs from their own.

The only positives I can see to hopefully have emerged from Vintage at Southbank this year is that many people were able to enjoy a free day out and I hope that all the independent sellers made a fortune from the thousands of people who must have passed through the free market over the weekend (or at least their costs back, whatever they were)!



  1. Couldn't agree with you more. One thing everyone keeps saying on their reviews is that the traders in the marketplace must have made a fortune. The sites were ridiculously expensive and as an organiser of one of them I can safely say that nobody made their money back anD in fact lost thousands. The people walking around the area were tourists trying to figure out why was going on. The event was completely mis sold to us all and extra sites blocking our site and causing overcrowding was added only a few ago to make the hemmingways more money. The free area wasn't advertised at all because they were so focused on ticket sales and they'd already flogged the stands to traders so they'd made their money there. Like yourself, Will never be back...

  2. I would love to disagree with you but sadly I can't! Everything you say above is true and valid.

    I travelled with my other half from Devon. We booked a hotel and bought tickets at the higher price. I can't tell you how disappointing the whole thing was. At around 11pm last night I gave up the ghost and decided to go back to our hotel as I felt I was flogging a dead horse trying to recreate the fun we had at last year's event.

    I know a lot of friends who stalled at the event and none of them did very well as there were lots of moochers and confused tourists as the previous commenter said.

    Very sad :-(

  3. Twitter doesn't give me enough space to cover this so here's some useful contacts for complaining! If you have no luck with the Vintage people themselves then the main person to contact at the Southbank Centre is:

    Mr Kenelm Robert MBE
    Head of Customer Relations
    Southbank Centre
    Belvedere Rd
    SE1 8XX

    (They billed it as part of their festival so should equally be concerned if there are any complaints

    If you have no luck with them then it may also be worth contacting the Arts Council as they fund the venue (£22 million last year) and will be concerned over quality control.

    Arts Council England – Head office/London Office

    14 Great Peter Street
    SW1P 3NQ


    Hope this all helps, worse comes to worse contact Watchdog etc. Bit of bad publicity tends to make people act!

  4. So disappointing. I feel so bad for you! I was going to pop down on the weekend but my Twitter feed was awash with people complaining about it so I decided not to bother. Hope you can atleast get a refund and apology! Hayley x

  5. What an awful experience, you must be so angry. I will be reviewing tomorrow, and have already read a few not-so-complimentary reviews elsewhere. Hope you have a nice week after such a disappointing weekend x

  6. No surprise to read the self serving Hemmingway at his old tricks - always out for himself and not really looking after creatives... Put some pressure on the South Coast Design Forum - SCDF and demand this profiteering goon quits... He's embarrassing to GREAT BRITISH DESIGN AND THINKING!

  7. I went to Vintage @ Goodwood last year and thoroughly enjoyed myself (even though I had free weekend passes, I think I wouldn't have minded spending the £150 for the weekend pass) but as soon as I heard that Lord March had dropped out and the 'festival' was being moved to London I thought "Oh great! Another money making scheme then!" and it looks like I was right! So glad I didn't spend the money to have it wasted like that, and instead had a fantastic weekend at the Hotrod Hayride!

    Completely in shock that they blocked you from facebook too!

    What I'll be interested to see is what they do about it for next year? Utter blindness to the bad reviews and try and fleece more money from the innocents, or abandon it and run for the hills with this years takings?

  8. I was a stall holder and spent over £400 sharing a 2m x 2m space plus have been preparing and working for many weeks with great excitement and expectations - not looking for a quick buck but hoping to sell to and meet like minded people and enjoy this supposedly celebration of design and music.
    On Saturday night I decided I couldn't bear another day, cut my losses, packed up and went home, collecting more and more stories from furious stall holders as I waited to leave.
    Where were the themed restaurants, transformations, pop up catwalk shows etc etc? I've been to better run school fetes. Is anyone going to take these people to task for ripping off customers and traders?
    Huge disappointment and waste of my time.
    Thanks Wayne, I actually thought you were a good guy.

  9. I found this post via Penny Dreadful's review. I'm genuinely dissapointed for you. I didn't go for 2 reasons, 1) the price and 2) The comments they made to Roxie Rouleete who has left you a comment on this post. They just were not nice.

    The think with 'vintage' is that it is very much a community, people are generally really nice.This could have been a wonderful event in wonderful surroundings. I saw the tweets about tickets for £19 and commented then I would have been gutted to have paid the full whack. I'm yet to read a good report to be honest.

    (Roxie, your facebook spat with the admins has stuck vividly in my mind, I remember reading it with shock and saddness!)

  10. Hello all, I totally agree with everything that's been said already. Thanks Chris for the Trading Standards info, I wondered last week if there is a case of being mis-sold tickets as we paid for attractions that were subsequently free to everyone. It would be great if we could all evoke some true vintage war-time spirit, stick together and take the organisers to task! :)

  11. I was astounded at how badly organised this year's event was, but it was nothing compared to my fury at buying tickets before all the free stuff was announced. I feel sorry for all the traders too (spoke to a couple of lingerie designers I know on the Saturday and they were selling very little despite it being busy), as I'm sure many didn't make back the money they spent. I will be complaining to as many people as I can, so am grateful for all the links.

  12. I actually DON'T agree with you at all and to be honest I think that your post is totally and utterly pathetic. I too bought a £60 ticket and was completely happy with everything that was going on inside the Royal Festival Hall. The fashion shows, the photography studios, the absolutely stunning view from the balcony, the revue, the different clubs were all fantastic. I have a feeling that you didn't read the website - I knew before the event that there would be free things going on outside but to be honest I didn't care because I liked the idea that it would be more spread out.

    I have read some amazing things on Elle and Guardian websites since the event took place and I have to say - who is going to listen to a very bitter person (you) when they can trust the fashionable press. I certainly wouldn't.

    And in terms of the stalls - how is it the fault of Vintage for people not spending their cash?! Maybe their stock was rubbish. From what I saw, there were only a few really good stalls - but nothing (apart from the furniture) stood out as remarkable.

    It really infuriates me when I see people like you posting things like this. The majority of people were happy and I personally can't wait until next year!

  13. Vintage at southbank was THE massive disappointment of 2011. The best parts were outside and a couple of days beforehand it was announced they were free to enter which meant they were all swamped by tourists, surely part of the attraction was to be surrounded by likeminded people with a love for vintage, not so. Being inside the festival hall was fragmented, walking between the different clubs was like walking through the departure lounge of an airport. I feel like I was misled into buying a £60 ticket, and im still seething about the fact that other people who booked late were able to pick up tickets for £20. I dont have much money and I had looked forward to this for months. Up until now I had a lot of respect for the Hemingways but now I feel like they are laughing at me and counting their money. Even worse my friends who were running the Oxfam shop spent a lot more money exhibiting than they usually would because of all the promises made to them by the festival organisers. They had a really bad time of it, shoved in a poor spot in the market, and lord knows Oxfam needs the money more than the Hemingways do. Im currently trying to get a refund becuase I believe they sold the tickets under false pretenses.

  14. Firstly, thank you all for your replies. It's such a great shame that my opinion is shared by so many people but also great that others managed to enjoyed themselves too. I have been going through others write-ups both good and bad and it seems that from both perspectives there are some thick creases that need to be ironed out for next year if there is to be another event.

    To anon, I promised in an earlier blog post that I would be writing about my experience (although at the time I wasn't expecting it to end up quite like this) and so that's what I have done. I've been following Vintage's progress since before Vintage at Goodwood 2010, reading each and every email update that I received and checking the website regularly so I too knew that there would be free things going on outside, just not to the extent that it was. My main disappointment comes from the last minute announcement for just what would be available to non ticket holders, because if it had been announced before then we wouldn't have forked out £240 for our tickets.
    As for the stalls, if you read my post you would see that I said I hoped the stall-holders made a good profit out of it and have mentioned nothing about it being Vintage's fault that people weren't spending their cash?

    Anyway. I'm very sorry that you find my post bitter and pathetic, I'm only describing my experience there as a paying individual - I'm entitled to my opinion just as are you, so thanks for your contribution and I'm really happy that you managed to enjoy yourself unlike so many others who came home feeling disappointed.

  15. As someone who had no idea about the event until the morning of the Saturday, my perspective is a little different. We wandered up and having no ticket (and no plan to buy one) just had a look at the free stuff, what we found was some great food outside the festival hall and an absolutely packed and badly laid out section by the helter skelter. If the stalls had been a little more spread out it may have alleviated the issues but as it was it was draining and thoroughly unenjoyable. It was clear the public didn't know what to make of it and most people were stopping infront of me aimlessly to try and work out where to go which was incredibly frustrating. As someone who wasn't paying, I had no problem with what was there and could leave whenever we pleased knowing we weren't out of pocket. My partner bought a few things from the stalls so she was happy, but as far as the rest goes it wasn't anything special. I can definitely understand that if you'd paid that extortionate amount for a ticket you would be furious.

    And to the Anon above, why is Louise's opinion any less valid than the fashion press. She's totally entitled to review the event any way she pleases and she doesn't seem to be the only one who has found this event to be a lot less than promised.

  16. I just typed "Vintage Southbank disappointment" into google to see if anybody felt the same way as would seem you do. We too had a great time all 3 days last year at Goodwood, when they anounced this years event was at the Southbank we could not belive our luck (we live in SE1) so immediately snapped up tickets for all 3 days at top notch prices. Also recommended it to many friends who also bought tickets. My heart goes out to all who paid even more to travel and stay in London, the event was utterly terrible. I feel completely ripped off.

  17. Interesting review. Though I feel I must have gone to a different Vintage at Southbank. The one I went to was fantastic. It happened to be one of the best weekends I've had thus far this year. I have to ask why you even bought a ticket to enter the Royal Festival Hall. I had been keeping an eye on the newsletters, facebook page and website for months before the event, all clearly stating what was free and what was ticketed. Infact if i am pretty sure there was a video of Wayne hemingway giving a tour of the site and exposing what was going on. I also don't understand how you were unable to locate the market place and other activities. I managed to download a map from the website almost a week before attending.
    I am amazed that you can say there was nothing of interest inside! Such an insult to the amazing curators responsoble for the event. I attended all three days with quite a large group of friends, all of which are soul/funk/disco enthusiasts...we all paid full price for the Saturday but made the most of time out offer for the Friday and Sunday! We spent the majority of the time dancing non stop to fantastic sets from Greg Wilson, Colin Curtis, Norman jay, Joey Negro, horsemeat disco...just to name a few in the casino, studio and warehouse. I'm not really a big fan on music pre 1960 but I even managed to drag my uncoordinated boyfriend to a jive class in let it rock and was absolutely blown away by some of the performances in the torch club.
    l also watched two of the fashion shows over the weekend...sue tilley's which was hilarious and the BA show which was beautiful.
    So that's my honest review of the weekend. Maybe I am just lucky to have such a great group of friends who love to get dressed up and dance to fantastic music. The only thing I can moan about the weekend is the was far too hot inside th RFH...And my feet and legs are still throbbing from all the dancing! I'll blame that on Wayne too shall I...what a c**t! ;)

  18. * responsible! Silly predictive text :)

  19. Hi Kerry, I did see the maps on the website, but since I don't have a printer I was hoping to be able to pick one up at Southbank but I couldn't find any apart from some black and white photocopies of the RFH layout which wasn't what we were looking for.

    As far as I could tell from the emails and facebook, all that was free was the vintage marketplace. It wasn't until the day before the event that an email was sent out with all the free bits, all of which we paid for last year and that's why we bought tickets this year, because we were under the impression that that's what we was paying for and many others unfortunately feel the same.

    I just don't feel that what we were presented with inside the hall justified the price we paid.

    However, it's refreshing to read some positive reviews and I'm really glad you and your friends enjoyed yourselves and made the most of the RFH over all three days and even got your uncoordinated boyfriend jiving! :)

  20. Yes - totally agree with all your comments. The market was good but packed out with people who got in for free. In fact we left early because it was so rubbish in the Festival Hall and, on arriving home, e-mailed the Southbank Centre asking for a refund of £80 ie the £120 we paid for tickets minus £40 that we would have paid if we had bought discounted tickets.

  21. Good luck getting that refund, Anon. Let us know how you get on won't you!

  22. I am also very confused as to how you can say there was nothing to do inside!!?? I happen to be a good friend of a few of the curators. The effort that went into producing this event was unreal. Absolutely everyone involved worked incredibly hard, and boy did they do a good job. Walking around the Royal Festival Hall over weekend I saw so many happy, smiling, dancing people.
    Sadly there seems to be a terrible bitchy blogging community here that thrives on putting people down. You go on about Wayne Hemingway being 'profiteering' yet I happen to know for a fact that no revenue was made! Southbank is a CHARITY!
    I also find it quite remarkable how you can say there was nothing of interest. Did you even read the website and find out what was going on before buying a ticket?? Vintage is a celebration of Music, Fashion, Film art and Design...and it did exactly what it said on the tin...Music - bloody brilliant dj's and live acts brought together under one roof by a number of curators who happen to know a hell of a lot about music! Fashion - amazing Vintage shopping both inside and out + very entertaining fashion shows. Film - as far a I am aware there were some fantastic films being show both at the BFI and the cinema bus. ART - Peter Blake, The Bad Art Salon + Art and craft workshops....need I say more.
    If Vintage shopping was the only thing that made you happy over the weekend, then why didn't you just save your money and head down brick lane??
    Personally I think a lot of you need to lighten up, and learn to have a good time.

  23. says it all only 1 good comment - was that by Hemingway I wonder!!!!!!!!!

  24. Crumbs !!! what a let glad i never wasted my time and money.

  25. From "going to get refund Anon":

    This is the reply I have had to my e-mail requesting a partial refund of £80 on x2 tickets. The reference to the Revue has no relevance to me at all because I didn't buy tickets for that bit of the festival so I am assuming this is a stock reply:

    "Thank you for bringing to our attention your disappointment and frustration at the content and facilities available at the Vintage Festival you attended at Southbank Centre on Saturday 30th July.

    Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience and exasperation you experienced.

    To enhance and improve sales a small percentage of reduced priced tickets were available through our media and sponsorship partners. These offers were limited and were withdrawn when the sales are oversubscribed.

    I am sorry if the website or leaflets and brochures were unclear about the amenities and services available to ticket holders and visitors attending the events at the Royal Festival Hall. The Vintage market adjacent to the Royal Festival Hall was always intended to be free and was not included in the ticket price for the main event.

    We took great care to provide programme details which were as unambiguous and comprehensible as possible and, as additional events and facilities were confirmed, we increased the attractions to all patrons who purchased tickets for the event.

    To ensure a safe and effective crowd control management it was necessary to open the Vintage market earlier than expected, which allowed a few non ticket holders to browse and peruse the stalls and units before 11am. However, the stalls and booths inside the Royal Festival Hall, containing some of the more desirable costumes and outfits, were solely for ticket holders and the excusive items available for sale were purchased only by visitors to the Royal Festival Hall..

    The Revue at the Royal Festival Hall later in the evening was enjoyed many hundreds of patrons who enthusiastically welcomed artists and performers of their youth. Understandably, many visitors were intent on taking full advantage of the entertainment in the foyers on all six levels of the hall and simply forget or delayed their entry into the auditorium.

    I regret that I am unable to offer a refund of your tickets. However, as gesture of goodwill I would like to offer you an opportunity to visit the next or subsequent exhibition at the Hayward Gallery as our guest. Please call or email me when you decide to attend and I will ensure that two tickets are held for your collection at the Ticket Office.

    Thank you for taking the time to write to us and I hope that you will continue to visit and enjoy many more events and performances at Southbank Centre in the future.

    If I can be of any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me.

    With best wishes and renewed apologies

    Kenelm Robert MBE
    Head of Customer Relations

    Southbank Centre
    Belvedere Road
    London SE1 8XX

    T +44 (0)20 7921 0749
    M +44 (0)7905 742632

  26. I am also extremely annoyed at being deceived. I paid full price for 3 days for two people. I'm also annoyed at my own naivety for believing in Mr Hemingway. But most of all I'm puzzled. Those of us who bought full price tickets in advance would normally be the most profitable, because you don't have to pay for expensive marketing. Recruiting customers who buy on price makes no sense since they are never going to be loyal or long-term profitable. Hemingway's strategy was not rational. Why annoy your most profitable customers?

    I have complained a few times on their FB page; they haven't blocked me yet - but I know others have been. I don't want to be ejected by the Hemingway Thought Police, so I'll post on this and other forums.

    Thanks for reading and letting me get this off my chest.


  27. What a disappointment for you - I am glad I didn't go now! So sorry to hear about your bad time there and thanks for an honest review. x

  28. I was similarly disappointed and have blogged accordingly. Never paying for that crap again! I got aggro off people for my genuine 60s/70s style too; it felt like a money factory. Stayed in the charity shop room all day tbh, the only room that felt welcoming.

  29. I was a stallholder & know that loads of my vintage loving friends would have loved to visit this event but the high ticket prices were a put off. When i found it was free entry to the outdoor areas I was surprised. All the usual comments came from disgruntled vintage lovers who desperately wanted to shop but couldn't get onto stalls because there were so many tourists.
    I had worked my tail off for two months to get ready for a hugely exciting event. The small stall cost me a thousand pounds alone. Due to the kindness of a friend we didn't have to pay accoms otherwise we wouldn't have broken even - which we were exceeding lucky to do so as lots of stall holders didn't. Some elements were great but much was lost. The volunteers were the unsung heros of the weekend. Sorry you didn't enjoy - you're right, it would have been better to have been ticket holders only & access all areas.

  30. Went to vintage at south bank with my student daughter and feel we were cheated out of our money - what did we pay for - watched 2 fashion shows on tip toes, made a flower broach each at one of the workshops and waited over an hour to get our hair done only to find out the poor stylist who had been working for hours for free wasn't doing any more. Out side was so much better in the vintage market but packed with non vintage loving tourists!!!!

  31. the only contradictory reviews here are evidently from people who know the organisers, and one actually admits it.. hilarious. it's not just one "bitter" and "bitchy" blogger thriving on putting other people down, it's all these other people that have commented who were disappointed too, and seeking refunds! blimey!

    if my mates threw a massive festival i'd have a biased opinion too ;)

    such a shame that a nice local gig has turned out to be too big for it's boots. i'm so glad i didn't bother going.

    plenty of other vintage festivals around, people :)


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