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Santa Pod
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Big Bang

Big Bang Camper & Bus Show 2012 Report

27th to 29th April at Santa Pod Raceway

View a statement on the Extreme Weather and read the Big Bang 2011 Report below and view more photos on the 2012 Gallery page.

Camping spacer The Gypies spacer Splitty spacer Monster Truck

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Big Bang Camper & Bus Show 2012 Report

Water wash-out! Big Bang Camper & Bus 2012 was sadly beaten by mother nature and her relentless assault of rain and high-winds. Friday and Saturday of the event suffered from a rain affected track and the Sunday of the event was cancelled altogether due to dramatically worsening conditions.

Wii Dance spacer Winner spacer Optimistic show-goers arrived on Friday anyway, and although the rain was falling, things were not so bad inside Fuelers bar where live bands played and the Wii Just Dance competition took place in the early evening. After much flailing of arms, the eventual winner was Amy who topped the tables with a brilliantly timed display of dancing.

Friday night consisted of 80's Electro in the Big Top and Ska night in Fuelers Bar, so there was something for everyone... as long as you liked to get retro!

Saturday awoke to another grey and damp day. There were hopes that the sun might break through, but it never really happened, and the Rust and Rat show took place under heavy skies. Despite the damp, a decent turn-out of cars took to the show paddock to take part, and there was plenty for spectators to look at.

Camping spacer Beetle spacer The Coolest Beetle award went to Seb Morris with his '67 bug. This bare-metal beetle had a solid chassis, but the bodywork showed decades of repairs and patched panels, including an odd welded-up cabriolet decklid and loads of panel seams on display that betrayed repeated
resurrections.

Van spacer Van spacer The Coolest Bus award went to Mike Chare for his '56 split-window panel van. This superb early van had a great stance sitting on a low, narrowed front beam and with fantastic original paint that showed its age beautifully while still looking like it had plenty of life left.

Other Cooled spacer Other spacer The coolest "Other Aircooled" award went to Si Medlicott (and crew) who brought along a brilliant '64 razor-edge Ghia (T34). This unusual dub had been given a fully-freshened-up pan and running gear, but showing original paint and patina for an achingly cool look.

Watercooled spacer Watercooled spacer Simon Drummond won the Coolest Watercooled award with his Mk1 Golf convertible. This 1991 car was in fantastic condition, but had been painted with an amazing paint that rusts - even the plastic trim on the car was rusty! The car was topped off by having a great stance and a sweet choice of wheels.

Interior spacer Interior spacer Coolest Interior award went to Dan Dudson's '92 VW Polo, which had a crazy mix of interior materials that really made you want to get in and touch every surface. The door cards were fake fur, the boot-liner was wood panelling, and the roof liner was bamboo blind material!

Judge's Choice spacer Choice spacer The Judge's Choice award went to the car that attracted the biggest crowd all morning. Matt Ward's Jetta-bodied Beetle was truly insane. Although it was still a work-in-progress, it was driven into the showground and eyes popped from sockets! Madness doesn't begin to
describe it.

The handling track also opened on Saturday afternoon, and although the turnout was low, Max Edwards in his 1200 Beetle took the trophy with the best time of the day.

In the Human Powered Racing competition, enthusiastic racers braved the cold rain with a selection of bikes and skates. Because the competition was running on a narrowed track, the race was done in heats and the eventual winner was Jack Whetron. There was an additional winner for the best entry, which was a cool chopper bike kindly donated by the amazing folk at the Poi Bus, and that went to Thomas Chetwynd who bounced the full length of the track on a space-hopper! If anyone was in need of a bike, it was this guy. There followed a mankini race between VWDRC drivers wichich raised money for charity.

Handling spacer winner spacer winner spacer winner

Trials spacer Trials spacer More bikes took to the bicycle sprint track, where a quick sprint and then a slalom-weave was required to clock the top times. It was Jake Drabble who took home the trophy, handling his trials bike with skill and power to record a great time of 29 seconds dead around the course.

In Fuelers Bar, more bands took to the stage and were greeted with big crowds hiding from the rain and eager for some sweet tunes to fill their ears. Once the bands had done their thing, the funnymen took over and Paul F Taylor and Bobby Mair tickled the audiences
funny-bones with their unique brand of stand-up comedy. Following on from that the charity auction raised £271.62 for the local air ambulance charity thanks to the fantastically generous bidding and donations that took place from the assembled crowd in the bar.

Guitar Hero spacer Guitar Hero spacer The Guitar Hero competition followed on from the auction, and some very talented players went head-to-head to battle for the trophy. After a long qualifying session, "Steady" had qualified with 213,374 points, and Nick Adamson qualified with an amazing 308,293 points. Nick was the clear favourite, but in a final face-off Steady gave Nick the runabout, and beat him 176,119 points to 157,898 points. Incredible stuff to watch.

Around site, the Live Action Arena hosted monster truck shows and fire shows from Ronnie Picardo's Jet Beetle, which included a mad caravan-burn! The Festival Circus tent was the venue for several brilliant circus shows, and also allowed kids and adults to have a
crack at learning some of the basics of circus skills.

As day turned to night, Fuelers Bar vibrated to the sounds of live bands once again, and the Big Top went rave-crazy with Dance Anthems.

Sunday morning came, and the rain was no longer falling from the sky, instead it was falling sideways carried along on 60+mph gusts of wind. In exceptional conditions like these, the fairest course of action is to cancel the remainder of the show. Santa Pod Raceway does not take this action lightly, and we apologise for the severe disruption.

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Big Bang Called Off Due To Extreme Weather

We are heartily sorry that we had to cancel Big Bang on Sunday. It is not a decision that anyone at Santa Pod took lightly, but at the advice of UK Event Safety, who had already been dealing with cases of hypothermia due to collapsed tents and flooded sleeping areas, it was decided to cancel the event.  An additional problem was dreadful flooding that was only getting worse and it would not have been sensible to allow more people onto a site that was already in a bad way.

No-one at Santa Pod can ever remember seeing such extensive flooding in the camping fields!

We hope that despite the terrible weather experienced at the event, weekend ticket holders were able to enjoy the entertainment as much as possible and got a chance to experience the circus, monster truck shows, comedy, daytime and evening music that went ahead as normal on Friday and Saturday. However, we acknowledge that the disruption to the event was extensive, and we would like to offer an Extreme Weather Concession to weekend and Sunday ticket holders to be used towards next year’s event - the Big Bang Camper and Bus Show 2013.

Sunday tickets will retain 100% of their face value.
Weekend tickets will retain 35% of their face value.

  • Credit values must be redeemed in advance no later than the Friday a week before gates open.
  • These values apply whether your tickets were used or not and there will be no refunds.
  • Advance ticket holders can redeem their values by contacting the Box Office directly on 01234 782828.
  • If you bought tickets on the day, then please keep them safe as these will need to be returned to the Box Office no later than the Friday 1 week prior to the Big Bang Camper & Bus 2013.
  • 2013 tickets are now on sale.

Please note that this this does not form part of our Adverse Weather Ticket policy but is merely a gesture of goodwill to our event supporters.

Thanks again for your support – hopefully Santa Pod will have dried out in time for Bug Jam! Hopefully we’ll see you there and we can try again to have a great time with VWs.

GSF Autoglym
Big Bang