As some of you may know via my Facebook page, I will be making the pilgrimage to Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend for the first time since 2012. I am beyond excited, and I will get to spend some good QT with my main gal and maid of honour Nicole! I am sure I will have a much better time having her with me and we can totally enjoy ourselves :-)
Seeing as Viva is only a little over a month away (!), I wanted to give everyone a good pre-game list to refer to regardless of whether it is your first time or you are a seasoned VLV vet.
Let’s get started!
1. Don’t Overpack
I know this seems like a pretty basic tenet, but any gal who has been to Viva previously knows this is impossible. You need a day dress for each day, an evening dress for each nightly event, accessories for each outfit, shoes, undergarments, and more. One can simply not afford to look less than fab! But this also means you’re risking having a veritable army of suitcases to lug with you. This may not be so bad if you are driving for a couple of hours, but for someone like yours truly who is flying from NYC to Las Vegas, it’s a logistical nightmare. Luckily, the military taught this girl how to pack and be efficient with space. I know how to roll clothing to make the most use if my space and to not get many wrinkles. It may be painful to have to leave those vintage 1940s wedges that match perfectly with your vintage New Look wrap dress for a pair that is more comfortable and can go with two or three dresses (albeit not perfectly), but you will be glad you did. Which leads me to…
2. Be prepared to leave some suitcase wiggle room
The main lesson I learned at Viva my first go? You’ll be shopping. If you’re not shopping, you’re not living the full Viva experience! And seeing as such, you’re going to be bringing those goodies home, n’est-ce pas? You’ll be needing room for those, darlings! I have heard numerous occurrences of girls having to go and buy another suitcase just to get their spoils home. And you know what another suitcase usually means – checked bag fees! Why deal with that crap? Even better, have a flattened/expandable bag tucked inside your main one for such an issue. Then take it as a carry on. Voilà – problem solved!
3. Heels may look nice…but OW!
Some of you may know I have chronic pain in my left foot from nerve damage in a condition called RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy). Because of this, I rarely wear heels. My husband couldn’t care less (he’s about an inch shorter than me), but sometimes a woman just wants to feel sexy and gorgeous in her heels! Well, Viva may not be that place. You will be doing a LOT of walking (and dancing!). If you slap those 4″ on at 8 AM for a day lasting until 3 AM, you won’t make it that far without being in horrendous pain. Nearly everything at Viva requires walking or movement of some sort. You don’t want to spoil your awesome trip because of some stupid foot pain and only remember the grief those blisters gave you, right? Go with those flats or a sturdy pair of wedges and rock what the man above gave you, girl!
4. Looking to see some pastie-adorned ladies? Be prepared for lines
I remember my very first day at VLV 15 – my first 45 minutes at the Orleans was spent waiting in line…one that ran and wove nearly the whole length of the casino. Why? I had to see the burlesque showcase! But that line though :-( I am a New Yorker, we notoriously despise lines. I grumped my way to the front and got my tickets, but I know it would have been a little easier to prepare for that line mentally prior to actually being in it. I never even tried to get tickets for the burlesque competition. It would have given me agita.
6. The “main” days of Viva are always Friday and Saturday
I always prefer to arrive on Thursday, rather than Wednesday sometime. If you look at the schedule here, you can see there aren’t really many big deal events going on Thursday or Sunday (well, I see Kim Lenz on Thursday night, sooo…there can be an exception or two ;-) ). So take the time to dance, meet up with friends you aren’t hanging with the whole time, or go see what the rest of Vegas has to offer (it’s amazing – trust me, I lived there for over two years!). Maximize your time to however you please!
7. Did you notice I left out 5?
Just seeing if y’all are paying attention :-P
8. Wear as much authentic vintage as possible if you want to look unique
I can’t stress this enough. My first go at Viva I brought a lot of Bettie Page dresses. And for each dress I saw at least three other girls nearby wearing the same one. That’s a shitty feeling, honestly. I now know much better than to do that again. And luckily my vintage dress collection has grown so much since then, so I have a lot of unique pieces I can wear when I go. As much as I absolutely love Pinup Girl Clothing and Bettie Page, I would never dream of bringing dresses or clothing there unless they were basics. There is just way too much of a chance of running in to other girls with the same exact outfit. Try and bring your most fabulous and most original pieces to Viva – it will be worth it! You’ll be the only fab girl wearing that one of a kind fab outfit :-)
9. Be sure to have FUN!
A lot of women seem to think of Viva as some sort of huge competition with everyone else. I HATE that. I go to enjoy it, not to compare myself with everyone else. I am there to shop, enjoy my friends, listen to music, check out awesome cars, and just generally rock out and have a good time. Why stress yourself out trying to compete? You will only remember that and not the awesome show that Imelda May gave at the car show! And what kind of fun is that?
What tips and tricks do any of you all have out there for fellow Viva goers?