Blue skies, floral headpieces, foot-long hot dogs and fifteen thousand people surrounding the Vapouround Bus made for the perfect summer weekend in the Derbyshire countryside.
We set off on Friday afternoon to Walton-Upon-Trent to see where the Vapouround Bus was going to be in position at the festival and boy did we get a good spot. Parked front and centre between the main stage and the prosecco and cocktail bar, the bus basked in the 30C heat, the colours and wrap fitting in perfectly with the festival vibe.
On arrival at the festival, the Vapouround Bus stood out as the first thing people saw on entry.
Despite the heat, more and more festival goers made headway for the bus each day, as word spread of the test stations on board. It also worked in our favour that the bus provided welcome breaks in the shade while party folk kept in view and earshot of the stage for fear of missing out.
Friday evening, an estimated four thousand people blew off some steam as the work week came to an end. From the top deck of the bus we could see the boho boutique tipis set up in the back field. The mood was mellow and the vibe relaxed as a George Michael tribute act officially opened the weekend.
By the next morning, the festival crowd had multiplied like we had never anticipated – the tips of the tipis could hardly be seen. It grew so busy on Saturday afternoon as an estimated eight thousand people arrived on the scene to soak up the sun. The Vapouround Bus hosted a hen party of smokers and former smokers on Saturday afternoon who were desperate not to smoke over the weekend, so we introduced them to e-cigarettes for the first time. The next day, the bride returned looking for more juice.
We met a group of friends in their 20s donning their finest Hawaiian shirts who had tried vaping and a couple of them said they dual use mixing smoking and vaping. After a quick penalty shootout by the side of the bus, several members of the group said they were curious and wanted to know more. With starter kits on offer and friendly advice from the team about what would suit their specific needs, they were much more open to trying every flavour and complimented the bus team for being there when needed, before leaving with their weekend vape supply.
On Sunday, there was a sense of it being the morning after the night before as tired-looking revellers were slow to rise. An older crowd descended on Catton Hall with deck chairs and picnic blankets in tow by the afternoon and this crowd, although smaller at roughly three thousand people, seemed quite familiar with vaping and made for the bus throughout the day.
Due to there not being anywhere on site where cigarettes could be purchased, more and more full-time and social smokers were glad to try vaping over the weekend. With such a vast array of flavours to try on board, there was something for everyone and we left happy knowing we might have just helped someone quit smoking for good.
The Vapouround Bus is excited for its next summer festival already! Keep an eye on the website for dates and details.