Drag racing, rock’n’roll and denim. Chopped festival is one-of-a-kind, and we were there for three fuel-injected days of music, camping, hot rods, fire circles and petrol, held in Newstead, Victoria. Right on the doorstep of ‘hot rod capital’, Castlemaine, Chopped was thundering with hundreds of pre-1960s hot rods, trucks, custom bikes, Bobbers and Choppers.
In its seventh year, Chopped is the festival for vintage car enthusiasts across Australia. And it’s a real treat, featuring some stunning tributes to a bygone era.
Flags swished to signal the start of each head-to-head drag race, while punk legends the Cosmic Psychos provided a fitting soundtrack to the Live in Levi’s Music Stage, alongside Intoxica, King Salami & The Cumberland 3, Mesa Cosa, Levitating Churches and many more. Some of Australia’s best garage, rock’n’roll, country, bluegrass and surf bands came together to form this uniquely Chopped aural experience.
Smack in the middle of all the grease, noise and rockabillies was Anthony in the Levi’s Tailor Shop, customising Trucker Jackets. Customisation was nothing new for the Chopped crowd, who had already added old favourites like Harley Davidson patches, and so most were after something a little different – something we could help with. Anthony weaved his magic on custom linings, embroidery and studs throughout the festival, but it was our supply of one-off, US-imported vintage patches that were most popular.
On top of all the fun in the Tailor Shop we also fitted out all the friendly staff at Chopped with their own specially customised jackets.
One of the reasons we love Chopped is because it’s packed with people who live and breathe denim (along with Rockabilly, V8 engines and petrol). Denim shorts were a big hit with the ladies, alongside many-panelled skirts, gingham, denim vests and vintage tees.
The sun put on a good show throughout the weekend, as did the dirt: clouds and clouds of it getting sent up with burned rubber. When the noise and the dirt got too much, it was off to the Tiki Palace, which served craft beer and cocktails amidst bamboo, period DJs, a flaming Easter Island head and fake palm trees. Food trucks were out in force, providing festival goers with the fuel needed to carry on.
Meanwhile, wheeling its way through the crowds was the annual Levi’s Rambling Truck to keep the good-feeling going, with the likes of Tape Wolf, Double Ya D and Boss Christ onboard to serenade between sets.
This year’s Chopped was the festival’s biggest and more ferocious year yet, and after feeding our senses with three days of music, engines and denim, we packed up feeling pretty content.
If you missed it this time around, keep an ear out for next year’s Chopped. We wouldn’t miss it for anything visit their website.