So… Vdub Camp Fest 2022 was cool. Very cool in fact. The first thing that was evident at Camp Fest was that people needed to get out of the house. While Covid is serious and has impacted the way we live, Camp Fest was the first time in two years that life felt sort of normal – it was as packed as the law allows. For this 2022 instalment of Camp Fest the venue was once again the inland holiday resort of Warmbaths, and it’s a good thing the place is littered with pools because the weather was a little on the scorching side over the whole weekend – people needed cooling down.
Hotter than the weather was easily the cars in attendance. While this coverage is primarily of the show side of the event and the things seen around the show arena which is where many ridiculously high-calibre cars gather, many of the cars parked around the grounds were definitely show worthy. The funny thing is that modified Polos were too numerous to count, yet the Polo classes in the show were virtually empty so there was a good chance of a class in, even if by default. If you don’t enter, you can’t win, simple as that.
On Saturday the team of judges (Sebastian Cenizo, Reone Botha, Marlin Abrahams, Jamie Orr and myself, Chris) were keen to get through as many cars as possible to make the rather tough judging on Sunday a little easier, and With Vic Pardal on the mic urging competitors to get on stage to be judged, only 24 cars of the nearly 140 entered went on stage. This meant Sunday would indeed be rather rough so the partying was skipped in favour of feeling fresh on stage instead of wanting to curl up and die.
The plan was to have cars lining up for judging from 08:00 with judging getting underway an hour later, but the first car only rolled up around 10:00. This meant the math didn’t add up if the show was to end by 17:00 and the judging to end at 15:00 – getting through all the remaining cars would be physically impossible. As luck would have it, after begging for contestants to pull up the whole day, we got through about 30 cars. Either the party was mad the night before and people were too hung over to stay in the hot sun all day, or the show may be morphing from being less about the show and show cars and maybe more about the event and gathering with like-minded people, a-la the massive Wörthersee event in Austria. Thousands attend but only a handful enter the shows, but show cars literally litter the streets.
The level of competition was mad, and it’s clear that some people have been busy since the last Fest in 2020. The quality of class-winning builds levels up every year, but with a few ex Best of Show cars parked in the arena for comparison, if they’d entered they would have again been in the running. OGs know how. This year’s best of show was Geran’s Mk7 R, an insane build that not only turned heads, but caused plenty butthurt. Facebook was lit yo. A few tantrums were thrown, and some pretty offside comments were levelled at the judges. That’s nothing new of course, but its tiresome now and quite frankly makes some people out there seem scarily desperate for approval from the masses. Why? Build a car for YOU. No one else, just you. You’ll be happier, that’s a fact.
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The amount of cars not only entered, but seen around the venue that belong to customers and friends of VAG Café was amazing to see. The top quality show cars proudly displayed the Café’s wares, and owners I spoke to when asked about the parts couldn’t recommend the Café more highly. I don’t just shoot this event for VAG Café because it’s a job, I shoot it because I’m proud to represent the brand and to be associated with it. Thanks Oom!
A full list of class winners will soon be posted on the VDub Camp Fest socials, keep an eye out for it… Oh, and for the full VAG Café album, head on over to the VAG Café Book of Faces like NOW!