The Sou’West Vintage Fest has got to be one of the most colourful, chilled, entertaining days in WA’s south west. Aiming to bring together a community of vintage lovers to celebrate all things retro, the full-day event held every year in November is jam packed with good, ole fashioned fun. This year’s theme was beach party so the place was awash with bright leis, Hawaiian shirts and old-school surfboards. With plenty of family-friendly activities during the day and turning up the heat at night, it’s quickly become one of my favourite events and something I look forward to every year.
This year, the fest had a change of venue and was held at Caves House Hotel in Yallingup. It looks like this paid off massively for the organisers, Sarah and Jake Taylor of Sou-West Events, with unprecedented numbers of people streaming through the doors. The new location meant there was tonnes of accommodation nearby, from beautiful rooms at Caves House itself to camping right across the road like we did, and there was also a free shuttle bus into Dunsborough which got a lot of people home throughout the night. This made it so easy to pop in throughout the day and then return later to settle in for the night’s entertainment.
So what exactly is a vintage fest? Truth be told it’s an awesome day out regardless of whether you’re a hard-core vintage fan or not. The atmosphere that they manage to create every year is a big part of the drawcard – the beach and wine region location means it is, of course, super chilled and laid back, but there’s also tonnes of excitement, community involvement and general merriment. Even though there are several competitive events held throughout the day, the vibe is never competitive, and boy you’ve probably never heard a crowd make so much noise for a beard!
One of the big draw cards this year were markets, because the extra space at Caves House meant even more room for vintage goodies. The beautiful gardens provided the perfect backdrop to browse stalls from local and Perth-based businesses, who had everything from vintage clothing and accessories to handmade soaps, skull candles, handmade crafts and rockin artwork. There was also a cupcake stall, ice cream cart, and a couple of food trucks during the day, with a summer menu and wood fired pizzas also available from Caves House.
The classic car show is a highlight every year, showing off incredibly beautiful and lovingly restored cars, vans and motorcycles. I’m not much of a car person but even I enjoyed checking out these vintage rides which were polished to perfection. Congratulations to Darrin and Renae for winning the much-coveted top spot in the car comp.
Live music from Rusty Pinto, The Last House Band, The Surf Mist and Crash Creole really set the mood for the day, with added goodness from DJ Lee Rumble and the Beehives Go-go Dancers.
Things really kicked up a notch with the beard and moustache competition, where the guys showed off their well-groomed face whiskers with a level of showmanship that nearly upstaged the pinup competition. Congratulations to my brother-in-law Jason, proud owner of the best beard and moustache in the south west for the second time! Would you believe they even managed to pull out a couple of celebrity special guests to judge the comp – chef Matt Moran and the outback wranger Matt Wright.
The Beach Bombshell Pageant was a glamorous affair, with the bevvy of beauties getting the crowd all fired up. Again, I have to say I love the really supportive nature of this competition! Congratulations to Miss Sou-West Vintage Fest winner Miss Veronica Velvet, runner up Miss Mon Mon, crowd favourite Peachee Lamarr and Miss Sou’West Vintage Fest online Miss Charlotte Jean. Of course I couldn’t not mention MC Magnus Danger Magnus, who kept everyone in check throughout the proceedings with humour, grace and incredible style.
With a glorious sunny day leading into a beautifully mild summer’s night, the salty fresh air, good food, drinks and amazing company made this an event that won’t be forgotten any time soon. I hear that planning might already be underway for The Sou-West Vintage Fest 2018, and I for one can’t wait! Will I see you there?