Goodwood Festival of Speed: My first time on the inside track.
Jul 12, 2019
Working in the events industry, as well as having a passion for speed, it was a no-brainer to grab a ticket for the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year for myself and my somewhat reluctant other half.
As a first-timer at the festival I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect, but couldn’t wait to be thrown into to the rich history and exciting future of the automotive industry.
I’ll start by saying that one day is simply not enough to experience this festival to the maximum. First of all, the site is massive so if you want to spend time listening to the number of talks going on at various stands, exploring each brand’s space or queueing for a number of driving experiences, you’ll definitely need a weekend pass!
The 2019 festival was baking hot, and provided the perfect Saturday afternoon for sunburnt petrol heads to congregate. As we approached the festival, the valley echoed with the ‘vroom’ of cars powering up the hill, instantly setting the tone for an exciting weekend. We parked up overlooking the Porsche Experience Centre and a clear view of the Cayenne’s being ragged around the field behind their stand. In the field next to it, Jeeps were showcasing their capabilities on rough terrain, with a number of vertigo-inducing off-road obstacles.
As we entered, the natural first place for us to visit was the Porsche stand, which showcased their portfolio of cars as well as their latest Formula-E car – alluding to their new electric car which was officially launched subsequent to the festival. As we headed off into the main festival, the unmistakable screeching of tires spinning on tarmac pulled us to the left as Jaguar F-Type’s drifted around a small track. After a few minutes, we tore our eyes away from the excitement and finally made it into the main body of the festival.
Across the site were a number of your household names, ranging from McLaren to Ford, all showcasing the latest models and trying to win the hearts of the motoring community. There were some excellent pieces of design and storytelling across the site. Ford and Volkswagen both had multi-tiered stands next to each other, giving attendees a great view of the hill climb below. Honda had designed their stand to look like their all-new electric car, whilst Swedish manufacturer Polestar took a very minimalist approach to theirs.
The standout space however, was MINI’s Electric Avenue, where they combined a showcase of the brand new electric MINI (behind closed doors!) ahead of its 2020 launch with a celebration of 60 years of British manufacturing. For a brand that has always been associated with a fun and slightly more playful tone, the space did not disappoint. Positioned slightly off the main grid, the space was eye-catching and created intrigue the moment you saw it, enticing people over to explore the world of MINI. The latest models were scattered across the cobbled floor with a number of small boutique-style shops, photo opportunities and upbeat music to create a vibrant scene.
After taking in everything the MINI stand had to offer, we headed to one of the main attractions of the festival before the day came to a close – the famous hill climb. Attendees surrounded the hay bails trying to get a clear view of the rumbling antiques, speedy sports cars, souped-up rally cars and F1 cars racing up the hill.
In conclusion, the festival hosted some amazing showcases of old and new, alongside some exciting insight into the future of the automotive industry. Was it enough to keep you entertained and excited for days? Yes. Will I be there next year? Absolutely.