"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
Monday, April 7, 2014
A Beginner's Guide to Viva Las Vegas-The Rockabilly Weekender
For a few years now, I've been meaning to provide a nice little compact 'guide' of sorts, for those who may be attending the VLV Rockabilly Weekender for the first time. The event has become synonymous with Car Culture, vintage lifestyle, and Rockabilly Music, so it continues to gain in popularity.
I went to my first VLV in 2007, when the event still took place predominantly at The Gold Coast, and I've seen it grow and improve over the years. However, I've also seen it become a bit of a nuisance in certain areas, so much so that many people have chosen to avoid it altogether rather than deal with the crowds, security, and media frenzy involved. I've seen the vintage style I love so much become no more than a novelty that is exploited by tourists and hotel staff alike. However, it is still possible to enjoy the Weekender, and hopefully this guide will provide some valuable hints that will help make your first Viva a good one.
If you follow my Youtube channel, you have likely seen my Packing Video and 'First Timers' videos that were posted this week. All (or most) of this info is available there. I have opted to create this written post for those of you who prefer this medium, but I will post links to those videos also, at the end of this entry. :)
So without further ado:
Next, check the schedule and determine what you definitely want to do. My husband has definite acts he likes to see, so it's important that I know how to plan our time with that in mind. So plan your itinerary with the others in your group and if you have different tastes, you can plan to mesh your schedule where you can and separate for some things. If you want to see the Fashion Show and your fella or room mates want to head to the pool, don't sweat it. Do your thang. Let them do theirs. Everybody wins.
If you're going, as many of us are, principally for the music, don't tie yourself to just the acts you know. Look them all up on Youtube and you may be surprised what you find! I tend to always look up the acts from Scandanavia first; I am utterly thrilled by the grasp of American music that the groups from these countries showcase. I also love to research bands from Japan, where so much of the most authentic Rockabilly music is surfacing, and this year, I discovered a fella from Germany who just tickles me to death. :)
So take some time to give the bands a listen!
If you are a fashion lover, and the vendors are your driving motivation, I cannot stress enough how important it is to BE THERE WHEN THE VENDOR ROOMS OPEN! It's hectic, yes. It's mayhem, yes. But it is SO worth it. The best vintage items will go quickly so to have your pick of the litter, you must be on hand, be bold, and have some cash. Some vendors won't wait for you to go to the ATM. That perfect circle skirt is only yours if you can pay for it, friend.
Head for the vintage vendors first, since those pieces are one-of-a-kind. If you love something, buy it then. Don't wait. If you like something, but want to hold off...I say wait for Sunday when prices tend to go down. Do not, especially on Thursday, try to bargain with the vendors too much. These people have paid great expense to be there and most of them sell vintage every day, so they are pricing it according to what it's worth to THEM to sell it. Keep that in mind.
I usually buy reproduction or vintage styled garments that are manufactured in larger quantities at the Car Show. It's just more fun to shop there, I'll admit.
Finally, begin making your list. I put mine together thusly:
At the top of my list, I usually put all pertinent information to my trip: Confirmation numbers, flight information, this year's instructions for obtaining your pass etc. Losing this info is a big party -pooper, so stay on top of it!
Next comes anything 'tech' related. Cameras, computers, cords, batteries, chargers. I do not need to be without these things. Part of my trip is business related so this info must take precedence if I want to avoid unexpected expense and hiccups.
After the electronic devices, comes items I'll be carrying on the plane or in my purse. Books, sunglasses (I bring pairs in my luggage as well), phone, snacks etc.
Then comes the real list:
Go through your bathroom and write down EVERYTHING you use on a regular basis. Try not to miss anything, even small things like a headband to hold your hair back when you wash. All items from Shampoos to toothpaste to prescriptions go on this portion of the list. Where you CAN, buy travel toiletries to save space in your luggage.Don't forget feminine products if that will be an issue on your vacation, and pack a heavy weight conditioner and body lotion just in case the dry climate makes your hair unmanageable or your skin tight.
1.Headache Meds (Someone you meet or know will want them.)
2.Spray Deoderant (this is a perfect way to keep blisters as bay, when you use it on your feet. Prepare for the walking in any way you can.)
3.Moleskin Padding: Bring along a little pair of scissors to cut the padding to fit over 'hot spots' you develop on your feet. The best way to prevent blisters.
4.Blister Bandaids: the ones for this purpose keep out water, if you go swimming, and protect and heal the blister faster.
5. Water: (no, don't bring a 12 pack on the plane with you, but stock UP at a local market before arriving at the hotel and keep it handy in your room. For every alcoholic beverage you consume, drink 8 oz or more of water. It's so IMPORTANT to stay hydrated in the desert!)
6. Sunblock: Go for a high SPF so you can stay in the sun longer. The hotel is chilly...it is NOT FUN to walk into those hallways with a sunburn. Brrrrr!
7. Eye Drops: Moisturizing eye drops are a great choice for keeping the red out of your cat-eyes.
8. Saline Nasal Spray: Don't buy Afrin! Just the simple 'Ocean' spray is what you need to keep nasal passages clear and non-irritated.
9. Protein Bars: Drinking champagne late and eating dinner early can make you queasy in the morning, even if you don't overdo it. Protein bars in your suitcase will get you ready for the day even better than the first cup of coffee.
10. Sewing Kit: For unexpected button or hem problems.
11. Safety Pins: You or a friend will be forever glad you remembered them.
12. Cozy socks: for the hotel room...carpets are nasty,ya'll.
13. Preparation H: For puffy eyes, in the morning. Yep. I said it.
Once you get this stuff in check, move on to:
Again, take stock of what you use regularly, over the course of a few days. If you're planning wet sets, make sure to pack a good setting solution. For a heat setting, include a heat protectant. This section of the list is also where you'd put hair accessories (consider which ones you really want to use, so as not to overpack), bobby pins, curling irons, pin curl clips, and hair spray. For the latter, I don't recommend a travel sized option since you're likely to use more than that with all of the 'dolling up' you'll do.
If you're planning to use rollers and pin curls as your principal setting, don't forget to bring a heated set or a curling iron as 'back-up'. You can't be certain how your curls will turn out if you've never experienced desert weather.
Now it's time to plan your outfits!
As tempting as it may be to just throw your favorite stuff in a suitcase and decide what to wear on the fly, it will likely not be your best option for Viva.
Don't limit your fun by wasting time with making decisions! Plan your outfits and be done with it!
This portion of the guide will help you figure what is best for certain events. Then you're on your own..
For Daytime Events:
Go for stylish floaty comfort. Wear shoes that have been well broken in, since this is when most of your walking will take place. If you are most comfortable in pants, playsuits, and shorts, rest assured you won't be alone. Carry a sweater for your strolls through the hotel but carry a large bag so you can store it away when you're outside.
Below are some examples of past Viva Daytime Attire:
Friday Afternoon Pool Party:
Saturday Car Show:
Sunday Pool Party:
For Evening Events:
For evening, you can go a little more formal, a little bolder. A bit of sparkle never hurt anyone in Vegas. So feel free to explore fashion that would be entirely too garish at home. Here are some evening attire pics at VLV, to inspire you:
Once you've planned your outfits, move on to packing.
I get my planned clothing cleaned in plenty of time, so that I can keep those items put aside for about a month prior to packing. I am no packing expert, but I find that by putting shoes in the bottom of the bag, filling in the space between them with smaller items like underwear, really saves space. Also,put your foldable items in large gallon ziploc bags, squeeze all the air out, and place them on top. Place toiletries in a hanging organizer, to keep them together, and anything product-wise that doesn't fit, can go into the pockets of your case. But MAKE SURE that they are placed into a plastic bag first, so as to prevent leaks during travel.
AFTER YOU ARRIVE:
Obtain some cash, if you haven't already. Separate food money from spending money and plan how much you'd like to spend each day. Keep large cases of water in your room along with beer or any other beverage you plan to consume in larger qualities.
I always unpack as soon as possible to help my clothes recover and feel more 'settled'. I detest living out of a suitcase, so to speak.
Anyway, that about covers it!
Here are the links to the videos I mentioned earlier in this post:
Viva for First Timers
Viva Packing Video
Hopefully this helped some of you! I hope that your first Viva will be amazing and that these tips contributed to that somewhat. And I hope you find some time to relax as well.
It's a vacation after all!
Til Next Time,
So Long, Dearies!!