BUSFEST

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BUSFEST

Postby paganmanwales » 15 Sep 2018, 18:26

Having just been to Busfest I was struck by how many of the traders were absent, particularly Just Kampers. I know it is costly for them but I think firms should make an effort, after all it us the fans of VW who keep them in business. There seemed to be fewer vans from the continent as well. Does anyone else think that it maybe on the slide? I hope not, but the last 2 Busfest have certainly lacked the old atmosphere. What are the thoughts of the good people of club 80 90?
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Re: BUSFEST

Postby scottbott » 15 Sep 2018, 18:55

I noticed gaps in the trade parts of the show but saw plenty of German vans in various fields and heard lots of German accents around the show, still cannot figure out how people can afford some of the T5 and T6 conversions on show, different world than I live in
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Re: BUSFEST

Postby paganmanwales » 15 Sep 2018, 19:05

Yes, there were plenty of foreign accents. Just not as many as previously. I know what you mean about the T5 conversions, I am far to poor to think about those! :lol:
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Re: BUSFEST

Postby silverbullet » 15 Sep 2018, 21:44

Because Sterling is in such a bad way, its a cheap show for continental visitors, but conversely that makes it harder for european traders to make it pay, because their Euro selling prices for parts will look too dear when converted to pounds.
So they stayed away, as in previous years.

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Re: BUSFEST

Postby kevtherev » 17 Sep 2018, 22:18

There were certainly less T3 breakers there.
Notably Billy739 and NWVW.
We had a really good time and used the entertainment this year a lot more.
The exhibitions also got a long look from me.
To be fair I thought there was a good mix of traders, and 3hrs of Saturday afternoon was spent walking around them.
I spoke to more Germans than ever this year!
I thought the atmosphere was beter than last year, but then thats down to the company.you keep lol
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Re: BUSFEST

Postby CJH » 18 Sep 2018, 06:50

kevtherev wrote:There were certainly less T3 breakers there.
Notably Billy739 and NWVW.


Yes, that was a shame, because in previous years I've spent much of my time rummaging through the stuff on their stalls, and buying bits I didn't even know I needed. They were missed last year too. Have the prices for trader pitches gone up I wonder?

But I always enjoy the atmosphere at Busfest - plenty of like-minded people to talk to, plenty of entertainment, and a trade area that you can potter round all weekend and still feel that you haven't covered it all. And having the sanctuary of the 80-90 paddock to return to is a big plus.
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Re: BUSFEST

Postby Tiny-T3 » 18 Sep 2018, 08:37

Having spoken with a few traders this year, it is less parts and more blackbushe market.

Year on year they are taking less money and when previously people would turn up with £500 in their poecket and get the winters supplies for the van, with 4G you can check online there and then and buy parts that can then be waiting for you when you get home on monday.

Think JK not being there was a blow to the show but certainly not to owners as they ran 20% off that weekend on everything.

Couldn't find a T25 rev counter anywhere though :/
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Re: BUSFEST

Postby kevtherev » 18 Sep 2018, 18:32

Yes I can agree with the internet influence.
But what you get at Busfest is to see the goods, talk to the chap selling, strike a bargain.
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Re: BUSFEST

Postby Simon Baxter » 21 Sep 2018, 08:42

paganmanwales wrote:Having just been to Busfest I was struck by how many of the traders were absent, particularly Just Kampers. I know it is costly for them but I think firms should make an effort, after all it us the fans of VW who keep them in business. There seemed to be fewer vans from the continent as well. Does anyone else think that it maybe on the slide? I hope not, but the last 2 Busfest have certainly lacked the old atmosphere. What are the thoughts of the good people of club 80 90?


Thoughts of someone who used to trade, it's expensive and a lot of faff, it basically takes a week of work time, packing, driving, setting up, coming home, unpacking, reordering.
We have to shut the workshop, we can't do it alone so people are drafted in to help and they are basically working for free for your business so we always made sure they were fed and watered.
We didn't get to see our kids on the weekend as they have zero interest in sitting behind a stall for a weekend.
Busfest tried to turn it into a 3 day event and wanted us there Thursday, we tried once and we sat around all Friday and did nothing.
If we leave Friday we can't get in till 6pm but they shut the halls at 7 leaving hardly any time to set up and whilst all this rushing and chaos is going on our best employee, the webshop is just sat there not taking constant toilet brakes, not getting a hang over and steadily, quietly taking orders at the normal rate.
We're not greedy, we don't have loads of seconds, returns or obsolete stock to get rid of, we have 4500 or so products and we can't take it all, knowing what to take is a pain and you wouldn't believe how many grumpy folk come and moan at you for not taking something they had in their head they wanted!
Busfest for me is the same old tired format, I think VW Van relevant traders are an attraction and should be nurtured not penalised by high fees, lack of adequate camping space etc. Did you know if we wanted electric on our stall they would charge £80 for the weekend!! Towards the end, before we stopped we were in a hall full of stalls selling flip flops, stupid flowery things that dangle from your rear view mirror (that I get sick of removing when taking vehicles for the MOT, how do people drive with not being able to see properly?) there wasn't another "proper" stall anywhere near.
The last few years we just took things to display and a barrel of beer to give to customers and we basically sat and got leathered and had time to chat to customers rather than feeling torn between paying customers and people wanting to chat.
I know it's a camper show and people should take their own provisions but the prices the food / drink stalls charge is akin to being dry bummed.
The "entertainment" is reliably crap, never been anything ever there that I've ever wanted to go and see and your entrance fee is paying for it, the only thing I miss about the show is catching up with friends I don't often get to see but we can catch up anywhere without being fleeced for subsidising someone elses music taste. Vans to me are work and for a lot of traders I think that's exactly it, work.
It doesn't make economical sense for us to trade and as this stupid brexit thing trundles on and our prices keep going up and up then I think a lot of companies will have thought that it's just another expense we don't really need.
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Re: BUSFEST

Postby scottbott » 21 Sep 2018, 09:51

I agree about the music it is absolute "pooh" most of the time,I thought the band 'Mud' were crap back in the day so I sure as hell would not see them now
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Re: BUSFEST

Postby Ralf85 » 21 Sep 2018, 10:57

Having attended Busfest for several years I have opted out over the past two years. For me it costs too much, it is too big an event, the entertainment provided is pretty naff and the catering is poor and expensive for what it is. I suspect that as Simon mentions, a combination of increasing costs for traders (particularly from Europe) and customers due to customs costs, after we bail out of the EU and the slow reduction of vans still running as they age, will see this event wind down over the next few years.

I should be at Dubfest and/or Bustypes next year. I prefer them cos they are on a smaller scale, relaxed and friendlier.
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Re: BUSFEST

Postby hightop ratty » 21 Sep 2018, 12:57

Billy (the T25 breaker) wasn't there last year either - which is a real shame (as i bought something off them & had a good chat every year for about 10 years) - & one of the reasons why we don't go as a family (let alone as a trader) anymore as we could see the show deteriorating - the other being the main marquee no longer being family friendly (where it was on the one side) - which is a pity as it was our "must go" show of the year.
Getting a stall at the show is a pain in the butt - the trade management often don't reply to emails, can't be bothered & can be down right rude & unhelpful - hence I am aware of a lot of traders who don't bother with busfest anymore or tolerate it at best (which is a pity) - it might be the largest - but certainly not the friendliest trade wise - most other shows fall over themselves to be helpful to traders (& are also run by volunteers). If you don't look after the traders - (a major part of any show for many people), people will vote with their feet, as a lot of effort is put in to trade at any show (a good 5 to 6 days in total for each weekend show), and we also have other full time self employments (in addition to the camper trading) & a junior dubber (who also loves the camper scene :-)
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Re: BUSFEST

Postby Simon Baxter » 21 Sep 2018, 16:17

Yep, since Terry the trade stall manage went it's been pretty rubbish to be honest, his replacement, Sean, Shaun, Shawn, whatever, fish with breasticles, all he seems interested in is sitting in his shed, getting pissed and mincing about on a golf buggy, any feed back, questions, comments just fall on deaf ears, like it or lump it.
Thing that gets me is the tiny amount of space for trade camping, free for all, fire hazard and locked in when there's a gate right next to it that we can't use!
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Re: BUSFEST

Postby Mocki » 22 Sep 2018, 11:43

Busfest ltd plc or what ever it’s called is greedy , that is the long and short of it .

I used to go every year, back in the days when it was actually about vans and not about how much you could fleece van owner for , when TTOC ran it , when it was called Vanfest , when you could happily offer to help them marshal and they were grateful . Then someone tried to turn it into a fake mussick festival, spend all the cash on crap so called entertainment and priced the traders out of it , hell even JK can’t afford to go
We used to struggle to get 125 vans into a 100 van paddock , it took most of Friday to just mark the pitches out to get everyone in now there are less than 50 .

The only good thing it’s got going for it is the venue, it’s the only show on a proper show ground with proper drainage so at least you know if it rains you won’t need a degree in bog snorkelling to get in and out !
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Re: BUSFEST

Postby silverbullet » 23 Sep 2018, 15:12

FWIW a number of the syncronauts went to Adventure Overland at Stratford Racecourse this weekend, in the past this has been a cracking show (the fine weather helped) but this one seemed poorly attended by traders and clubs.
Its not a cheap weekend either (£80 for two adults in a van) just to poke about other peoples large vans, trucks and military 4x4's. The seminars were the same both days and all van/truck oriented afaics, no human-powered or motorbike focus that I saw.
Maybe its a sign that less people have the means to travel like this or is the world changing?
The Friday night band were really, really good if you like 70's and 80's AOR (Dire Straits, Pink Floyd, real technical musicians stuff)
I was yold that Saturday night wasnt as good.
Its a nice "end of summer" social event but I may think twice about going again, it wasnt the weather's fault (did it rain? I hardly noticed) and the club social and communal meal was excellent, as ever.

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