The Hotrod Hayride is an annual gathering of hot rods, bands, burlesque, grease monkeys and vintage car lovers, held at The Bisley Shooting Range in Woking, England. This year was the ninth Hayride, we (Theresa, Christianne & Christine) packed up our tents and headed down to join in the action. Here are our highlights, snaps, survival tips and ramblings from a rockin’ good weekend:Accomodation: We arrived late Friday night, the sun was well and truly set as we scrambled around in the dark attempting to pitch our tent, luckily our Brownie Guide survival instinct kicked in and we had our accommodation set up in no time! The Hotrod Hayride is predominantly a camping event, although some sensible folk bring caravans and campervans, which are parked up in a separate field. The Campsite is well maintained throughout the weekend, the toilets are cleaned regularly and there is a shower block with hot showers and mirrors. Opting to camp in a tent can prove a challenge when striving to maintain any level of glamour, however on the plus side it’s a great way to make friends, get back to nature and have a laugh, we ended up huddled in our neighbour Chris’ tent hiding from the thunder storm on Saturday night!
The Music: Following our moonlit arrival we headed straight to the Pavillion just in time to catch ‘Truly Lover Trio’ cranking up their set. This years line up boasted bands from across the globe, acts playing on Friday night included Little Carl, Crazy Joe (USA), Paul Ansell’s No 9(USA). On Saturday we saw the Moonshine Reunion from Belgium, Deke Dickerson & The Ecco Fonics from the USA and last but not least, Los Rizlaz from Japan! Loz Rizlaz were the musical highlight of the weekend, storming the stage in Mexican wrestler masks and belting out some wild rockabilly tunes, singing in English, Spanish and Mexican!
The Cars: The main focus of the weekender is the motors, with numerous Car Clubs, Custom Mechanics, Hells Angels and bike clubs in attendance. If you’re into old cars and bikes and want to meet like minded people, this is the place to be. Car owners are invited to join in the Hillclimb held on Saturday daytime, where you can scramble through the woods in your Hotrod. The Hotrod Hayride is a celebration of pre- 1960’s motors, predominantly American, as well as Hotrods we saw old Cadillac’s, Chevrolet’s, Ford’s, Mustangs and pretty much everything in between.
Food: Although we packed a few essentials for food emergencies, we were pleasantly surprised with the facilities on site. We bought our morning coffee at the Bean Machine Cafe. There were several ice cream vans on site, a hog roast, hotdog and burger vans. Our biggest surprise was discovering The Hunting Lodge (The Sergeants Mess Cafe) situated on the edge of the camping field, the super colonial interior was packed with taxidermy, guns and shooting paraphernalia. The staff were lovely and served up Full English Breakfasts pre- 11am for £6.50, a welcome treat after a night in a tent!Entertainment: There were several Burlesque girls performing over the weekend, GOGOAmy was excellent as she danced as part of the Pretty Circus Freak Show. The Freak show included sword swallowing, straight jackets and a whole host of bizarre acts which made you wince, but you couldn’t help but watch. There was also the awesome wall of death for those who dare to watch and the ladies Roller Derby teams competing in the indoor arena.
Shopping: We had a great time walking around the field packet with stalls selling everything from vintage clothing, hair pomade to auto memorabilia. On Sunday there was a Flea Market and auto jumble.
Soapbox Derby: All weekend you could see children and adults gearing up for Sunday’s Soapbox Derby. The mini soapbox cars came in every shape and size, made from every material imaginable including one made solely from a tree trunk! The creators took it in turns to race each other whilst onlookers screamed and shouted in support.
I loved The Hotrod Hayride. If you’re into classic cars, this weekend is for you, if you’re into men who are into classic cars again, this ones for you! By far the most Hillbilly of vintage festivals i’ve attended, be prepared to rough it a little if you choose to camp. the emphasis of the weekend is on the motors, though there’s plenty of to keep you entertained if you don’t own a car.
For more info visit: The Hotrod Hayride Website for details of next years event. Huge thank you to the organisers who made the event such a blast!