It's been a dream of mine for many years to produce and host a residential vintage weekender.
PLEASE NOTE BEFORE READING ANY FURTHER: This awesome event will happen regardless of the success or failure of the kickstarter funding campaign, but securing early funds allows A) Me to sleep at night B) My followers to get some fabulous limited edition items & experiences C) Me to take my business to the next level. Eek!
If you choose the 'Ticket' reward, please note that as per all kickstarter campaigns, if I don't reach my target (of 8K) then I don't get anyone's money, no one gets any of the rewards but hey, I tried! So what happens to your tickets if the campaign is unsuccessful? ('but I've booked the weekend off, I've got rid of the kids, I've bought a new dress...) well once the campaign closes, I will contact everyone who selected the ticket option and the booking can still be honored but at the regular ticket price (and of course no extra goodies) So it's in everyone's interest (*smiles sweetly*) to share this campaign and make it a success.
Now for the story...
I have been a full time vintage entertainer for nearly four years and have built a solid reputation - as Dawn's Vintage Do - which keeps me busy with regular bookings from nursing homes to weddings and public events. I also produce cabaret and theatre variety shows and have my own pop up cabaret club in the heart of Chichester, a beautiful Cathedral city on the South coast of England. Every club night has sold out and my years of advertising, marketing and promotional experience has really helped this. It's not just who you know but what you know...
The Vintage Weekender project will come to life 3 miles south of Chichester on the coastal village of Bracklesham Bay where there is a place I feel is my spiritual home - Southdowns Holiday Village - a privately owned venue which plays host to various weekenders from Elvis to Ukulele fesitvals and many well known entertainers have performed there. It is a relatively small site with a capacity of only 300 guests who can stay in either the single level chalets or the main hotel building. This is a very well kept site and has a 'no children' policy and therefore all facilities are geared towards the grown up market and well maintained. This aspect particularly appeals to me because I want my Vintage Weekender to be for grown ups who want a weekend away to enjoy it without the children.
From the moment guests arrive they will be whisked into my world of 1950's & 60's with music, immersive activities - think knobbly knees, Bingo and talent competitions plus Slot Car Grand Prix - and of course scheduled live and DJ music to enjoy in the ballroom. Can't dance? That's fine because there will be expert group dance tuition from swing jive to Charleston and go-go! Not a fan of dancing? That's fine too because there will be a vintage market with relevant traders, a pop up beauty salon (hair and make up) plus activities dotted around the site such as indoor 150ft, 8 lane slot car racing, games arcade, skittle alley and cafe to ensure you'll never be bored! The site is located a 5 minute stroll to the beach, but there's also a large heated outdoor pool onsite which will play host to a Tiki/Hawaiian pool party complete with pin up girl poolside fashion show and live ukulele band to serenade guests.
Each night will see a different live band; Jiving Friday/Devils Cut Combo, Sassy Sixties Saturday/The Fliks, Rocking Sunday/ The Ace Trio
Each night between the bands there will be a 45 minute set from Dawn Gracie doing what she knows best - performing, engaging and involving! On the Saturday night between The Fliks set, Dawn will be treating you to a burlesque cabaret in keeping with the theme and has secured seasoned professionals such as Cherry Shakewell. A true vintage pin up.
Throughout the weekend there will be plenty to do, with a vintage market (indoor area located in the heart of the site, open at certain times) with clothing, home wares, accessories, and a vintage 'up-do' salon and make up station. There will be scheduled activities yet to be revealed but overall I aim to create a relaxed, friendly and fun atmosphere with something for everyone happening at all times.
Of course guests are welcome to take time out in their well equipped chalet/hotel rooms to prepare for each evenings entertainment.
What will the funding be used for?
Securing funding (to my goal of 8K) will not only allow me to part pay for the hire of the venue for the whole weekend without relying on ticket sales alone, but also continue booking the extra entertainment and side line activities I have on my planning board such as film licenses to run a cinema each evening for those wishing to chill out between dancing, bus shuttle services to and from our beautiful city, production of classic seaside postcard items particularly 'face in hole' boards for hilarious photo opportunities and of course many other immersive props and entertainment. The more in the pot, the more on offer.
So here's a little challenge for y'all! If we smash the target and reach 18K (a girl has to dream big) then I hereby pledge to send EVERY SINGLE PERSON who helped me achieve this... whatever level of reward you chose... Will receive something extra special.
Going one step further, if we reach 25k then It will of course mean the WORLD to me, PLUS I will be dreaming up EXTRA SPECIAL stretch goal reward with the help of my VIP facebook group (as per reward #3)
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges around this project - Having produced shows and events for many years, I have come up against many situations that have taught me so much. From team member and cast illness to venue power cuts! I feel very qualified and capable of dealing with scenarios that are seemingly out of my control and my paramount concern is always for the customer and if they are having a good time or not. Over the years I've built a large following including excellent business contacts and have many people willing to step in/assist me should i need help.
Regarding the worst case scenario with the venue - should the venue have an unforeseen situation whereby I would need to relocate it, I am very lucky that there are various venue options locally and i would need to simply inform all entertainers, suppliers and guests of the new location.
This is my first Kickstarter campaign and I have studied carefully the rewards theory and feel that I am offering ideal and original 'experience' rewards - after all, my business mantra is 'Entertainment & Experience' so I thought mugs and bags wouldn't cut it (although they may be available to buy at the weekender itself!) so have come up with clever and appealing offerings. A recent quote from The Worthing Journal 'Could I have just one per cent of your style and X factor please - just one per cent, that's all I'm asking!' so i have created rewards at the higher end that satisfy this kind of comment which is regularly made on my facebook pages.
The rewards have also been formulated so that it gives even the non event attending person an insight into my planning process which is usually a closely guarded secret and so I hope this will be quite appealing. The actual 1-2-1 rewards that take time in my diary have been limited in numbers due to my own diary constraints but this campaign is my top priority and of course each of the 'photo opportunity' (aimed at businesses) rewards are fantastic publicity for the Vintage Weekender.
I have a wonderful project manager Emma Shepherd who is exceptionally capable and should I become unwell or have to be unavailable for an amount of time during this kickstarter campaign, Emma will keep the social media and planning stages ticking over. She has proven herself invaluable to my business and is herself an excellent event organiser so this campaign and event is in very capable hands.
To reiterate - if this campaign does not reach target and therefore no one gets charged/get the goodies on offer then the event will still be going ahead and I just need to rely on straightforward ticket sales alone between now and September.
If that (ticket sales) still don't reach the target required to pay for the venue hire and entertainment costs, then I will bank roll it myself with the intention of building on the experience for next year.
She who dares.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (32 days)