Hidden in a quaint East London street, tucked away behind an oyster bar and a furniture warehouse, Photobooth kicked off my festival season perfectly. Forget not being able to shower properly for 4 days and having to use the same toilet as thousands of other people, this festival is all about feeling good, looking good and having fun.
Despite getting lost on the way to the festival, we were in good spirits by the time we arrived; we had been waiting for Photobooth to come around for a while now and it’s fair to say that we probably resembled 5 year old children getting excited at the prospect of playtime at school. Of course, when you work a 40 hour week, anything that doesn’t involve your 9 to 5 is playtime. Oh, and what fun we had…
Crowds were queuing (not for very long either – BONUS!) outside, music was playing, the sun was shining and the festival itself bared similarities to that of my local Whetherspoons on a Friday night.
Half inside and half out, Photobooth Festival was well and truly heaving. The busyness of it all just meant that you couldn’t turn around without seeing a smiling face or having a conversation with a complete stranger about the concept of the festival. Everyone there seemed genuinely happy to be around each other and I LOVED that this festival incorporated every single positive factor of the likes of a day ticket for V Festival or Wireless. There was no negativity, the festival was the only thing on everyone’s mind and as long as fun was being had, well nothing else seemed to matter.
After walking around for a little while, scooping out the shortest queues and getting to grips with the photobooths themselves, we decided to make our mark on Photobooth Festival for the first time. With more than 8 distinctive Photobooths to have fun with, we were occupied for a good few hours. Each Photobooth came with it’s own box of props that people were welcome to integrate into their shots and each Photobooth had specialised features to make them so individual. For example, we crammed our way into the Underwater Photobooth a good few times, purely because the wind machine, accompanied by goggles and inflatable sharks, was just too fun to stay away from.
The Disco Booth was my personal favourite, purely because of the props that sat next to it; orange afro wigs, pink Cleopatra-esque style wigs, star shaped sun glasses, feather boas, microphones…the list goes on. There was just something about this booth that made it perfectly acceptable for us to (badly) sing classic 80s hits and whip out dancing moves The Beegees would be proud of. The Vintage Booth was another favourite as our photos genuinely looked like something out of the 60s. My favourite era (it helped that the sepia tone completely washed out my skin meaning I was blemish free for a good couple of photos).
Although there was plenty for us ‘grown-ups’ to do, there was also a lot of fun aimed at youngsters prepared. With a special ‘Toddler’ Photobooth – which we did manage to get into and yes, we got photos! – specifically for those of a young age, children were encouraged to get as involved as possible. Every Photobooth was free to use by anyone; there was no age limit and this made the event so much more relaxed. Nobody was stressing about age restrictions and I can honestly say, I don’t think I heard a child cry or scream once.
There was also face painting and really tasty fajitas to keep the children occupied; plus, it was handy having the festival split between inside and out – this meant that your eyes always had something new to feast on and when you needed a break from the crowds that quickly gathered inside, you could chill outside.
Although the name suggests this festival is pure Photobooth fun, there was also some music accompaniment in the form of local DJs. The music was relaxed, loud enough to be heard inside but not too loud you had to shout and it definitely kept people entertained whilst they were waiting to use the booths.
Another highlight of my day for me was the PowderPuff girls that set up camp at the entrance of the festival; armed with make-up brushes, straighteners, hair tongs and an array of hair pins, 2 PowderPuff girls were on hand to turn us from the Ugly Sisters into super cool 50s style Cinderella. Due to the wide variety of Photobooths, this was one of the best ideas I’ve ever seen at a festival because this means you can shake your look up, no photo is the same and you can experiment with a look you may not be brave enough to try alone…and isn’t that what a festival is all about?
All in all, for a first event, I was seriously impressed with the day. There wasn’t ever a moment of boredom, it was calm enough for you to relax but there was so much to do at the same time. The people were really friendly, the food was awesome, the idea itself is out of this world and I’ve got 10 prints from these Photobooths to keep this beaut of a day etched in my memory.
Unlike a day ticket to a festival like Wireless, for example, I didn’t come away cringing at my actions, I had a lot of fun without a little help from my good ol’ friend ‘Wine’ (this does help loosen you up – at first, pulling faces into a blank screen can be a bit daunting) and I’ve experienced something I might not have had the chance to experience otherwise. These Photobooths are being used at all types of events now (weddings, birthday parties, hen and stag parties, celebrity events etc) and I’m so glad I had a chance to see what all the fuss is about.
The fuss is well deserved, this event rocked and a massive congratulations to all involved because this was one smash hit event.
Check out the website for more information on these uber cool booths (and if you can be bothered, have a nosey at the pictures from the festival – I laughed a lot!):
Written by Vicky Gottschalk