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Today at Atelier Kaz - ex-Honda R&D, F1, Indy/CART engineer

Silverstone Festival (Classic) 2023 - 02

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Now to the feedback....

This is purely my personal view attending as part of car club display package over just one day.

If attended as a spectator or over multiple days, very likely to be different feedback from mine.

Event Date
This year, felt so many car events were packed within short period that multiple events were held on the same day/weekend.

Personally, I preferred the old days of having this event at the end of July instead of August.

I know other major race events affect the scheduling.

Having this event during the last bank holiday weekend of summer was questionable.

Overall display
Just too many clubs spread all over the place.

I know it’s no longer a ‘classic’ event but still, finding EV next to vintage car was not something expected.

In fact, behind the S2KUK club stand, many big car manufactures brought their nice shiny marketing display stand and of course, they were all focused on the new EV models.

While I have no problem doing good for the environment and for the future, would love to see some coordination on what cars to be displayed and what race series competing on the day.

I don’t think NSX would fall into snobbish aspect but still, at some stands, found ordinary cars that can be seen everyday on the street show cased.

Probably one of the aspect of making it ‘festival’ and not ‘classic’ event.
Another way of making money by attracting as many car clubs as possible but would love to see some sort of display criteria, just like Beaulieu Supercar Weekend.

Speaking of too many car clubs, the interactive map through the Silverstone Events App was not updated until just before the event.
Because of this, it was so hard to plan ahead on which part of the circuit to visit to find each club display.

Rather than the interactive one, just show plain circuit map with number representing each car club location.

We always enjoyed wondering around the shops and sponsor display area as there were many interesting things to watch.
Also good time gathering some of the latest info on the specific products.

As this was my first visit since 2019, may be it changed over the last few years but to me, many interesting shops disappeared and the display from many sponsors were not to the level of my expectation.
More like family oriented playground than a technical oriented marketing promotion.

I didn’t buy any foods or drinks as we brought our own ones but still, I always enjoyed watching how some of the food were prepared during the event.

The best was the pizza place at Beaulieu Supercar Weekend.
They actually had nice large oven and prepared the pizza beautifully.
No doubt long queues.

During Silverstone Festival, I saw nothing specially prepared.
Can’t remember the exact size of the food court from 2019 but felt much smaller or may be I didn’t visit the right place this year.

Because of the weather, if we had to, probably opted to get the food/drinks at the paddock café as I know the place for years.

Race timetable
This is something heavily biased as it all depends on what you are looking for.
I love classic formula cars and endurance/GT racing but due to weather condition, the timetable had to be changed/cancelled/shortened so it was hard to follow the program.

Hope they can organise the timetable with more flexibility next year.

Still loved the sound of non-hybrid engine and nice presentation of late afternoon endurance cars with lights on.

Paddock viewing area
I don’t know this was changed over the last few years but until 2019, we were able to get really close to the race cars and even chat with some of the engineers and team members.

This year, so many barriers placed around the garage so felt like kind of separation.

Lost interest in watching the activities from such distance and the weather changed rapidly so at one point, I found myself inside the paddock café watching the F1 Dutch Grand Prix with hybrid engine while hearing the classic racing cars in the background….

Just before this event, I was at British Motor Museum in Gaydon and also visited another one in Beaulieu so these had some influence but I felt somewhat disappointed.

Was expecting much more items/cars showcased but looked as if too much effort being placed on presentation and not the actual contents.

Unless something changed, I would probably visit once every few years and not every year.

Ticket App
Addition to the Silverstone Events App, you need the Ticket App to enter the venue.
Didn’t have any issues with it and the whole process was very smooth and no delay even with so many cars arriving at the same time.

However, the requirement of App usage was never mentioned during the ticket purchasing process and not in the T&C.
The screenshot or the paper print of display can’t be used as the ticket QR code is linked with realtime configuration so the clock must be synched with the hand held scanner at the gate.

For me, not a problem but I know several people who doesn’t have smartphone or doesn’t feel comfortable installing such App.

Later I heard that many people complained about the fact that nothing mentioned about the use of App at the time of purchasing the ticket that the organiser had to issue tickets in different format.

I found that once scanned the two tickets, you can no longer transfer one of them to another phone.
This didn’t cause any issues on this occasion but if one of us wanted to visit the nearby Silverstone village or if entering certain place requires the scan of ticket, everyone must stay together with one smartphone so not ideal.
This can be done if transferred the ticket to the smartphone of another family member or friend before entering the circuit but again, nothing mentioned about such limitation at the time of purchasing the ticket.

While I agree with the paper-less, would prefer having backup method.

Value for money
Due to family situation back in Japan, I was not sure whether I can make this event or not so waited until the very last moment before purchasing the ticket.

So, missed the super earlybird discount and paid just over £100 for the car club display package for Sunday only.

It included 2 entry tickets + car pass for the infield display stand.
It also allowed us to enter the museum and didn’t watch but the live music on stage.

Compared to the early years, the price went up massively but for me, felt fair deal despite what I mentioned above.

Later, I found out that if one wanted to attend as a spectator on Sunday, it would have costed £99 per adult.

I think it included the car parking near the gate and children under certain age can enter at free or discounted rate but still, not sure one can justify the cost as a nice family dayout.

I would say good value if attending as part of car club display package but if I were to attend as a spectator, not something I would do every year.

Live show/performance
On Sunday, it was McFly performing on the live stage.

Another sign of ‘non-classic’ event and becoming ‘festival’.
In my personal view, big name but not so compared to those performed years ago.

If you are into their music, probably good value for money as the ticket price included it as well.

However, by mid-afternoon, I already walked more than 20,000 steps and still counting despite the changeable weather.

While I stayed until late and helped the packing up of the club stand, decided to head back before the live performance.

I know there was an option to just get the ticket for the live performance so for some, better choice than paying the full ticket price.

So, overall, I had wonderful time and just chatting with the people at S2KUK Owners Club made my day but hope the organiser will review all feedback because I think they are still experimenting the new style.

Some went backwards, others went too far.


[All photo by Kaz-kzukNA1, copyright to the event organisor]

Updated 11-10-2023 at 02:32 PM by Kaz-kzukNA1 (photo copyright)

Personal View/Self Talk