Goodwood Revival’s Henry Bass on providing a platform for brands to tell their stories

Goodwood Revival General Manager Henry Bass talks us through the brand values of the show – and what sort of licences Revival can help bring to life for fans.

Earlier this month, brands spanning Porsche, Motul and Sky Cinema hosted activations at Goodwood Revival, a celebration of classic British motor racing, vintage fashion – and the only sporting event of its kind to be staged entirely in a period theme.

We spoke with Goodwood Revival General Manager Henry Bass about the brand values of the show – and what sort of brands Revival can help bring to life for fans.

Henry Bass, Goodwood Revival
Hi Henry; great to catch up. For anyone new to Goodwood Revival, how would you describe the event?

The Goodwood Revival is the world’s greatest historic motor race meeting and the only sporting event of its kind to be staged entirely in a period theme. But it’s also a celebration of sustainability.

We’ve got original classic cars that have been cherished and cared for as well as precious vintage fashion that’s been preserved and passed down the generations. We might be reanimating the period from 1948 to 1966 when the Goodwood Motor Circuit was originally open, but in actual fact, the event’s whole ethos is thoroughly modern – to reduce, reuse and recycle.

This year we had a new Make-Do and Mend area with guest speakers and a series of interactive workshops for visitors to get involved in. We also held the inaugural Car Boot Sale on the Sunday of the event, with Revival Style Adviser Bay Garnett on hand to judge the ‘best in show’.

It’s important to us that these elements of the event are interactive and encourage people to make changes beyond the Revival weekend. Ultimately the Revival is about shared passions whether that be for cars, fashion or a chance to immerse yourself in a different way of life.

Henry Bass, Goodwood Revival
If we look at Revival as a brand, what are some of its key brand values?

As a brand and as an estate we’re very clear about our values. For us it’s about quality, authenticity, exceeding expectations and inspiring people. We aim to deliver an exceptional experience for Revival guests and partners, ensuring that everyone has a wonderful weekend.

The Revival is the pinnacle in historic racing – this year we saw the 2009 Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button making his historic racing debut, not to mention on-track appearances from six-time Olympic Champion Sir Chris Hoy and rock legend Brian Johnson of AC/DC.

Away from the track, the attention to detail that goes in to putting together the event is just as remarkable. For instance, we have our own Costume Wardrobe filled with over 12,000 items of clothing that are used to dress members of the Goodwood Actors Guild who appear at the event, interacting with visitors. We live and breathe our brand values.

Henry Bass, Goodwood Revival
The event itself has become a great place for companies to bring their brands to life in exciting ways. Why is Revival a great place for brands to express themselves in this way?

The atmosphere of Revival is an attraction in itself – it’s like walking onto a film set, where the audience becomes part of the story. The immersive landscape is key; there are witty and whimsical surprises to be discovered everywhere, so the audience is very receptive and ready to be engaged, making the event a great place for brands to tell their own stories and create authentic connections with customers.

I imagine you want brands that feel like an authentic fit for Goodwood Revival hosting activations at the show. Does that mean it’s pretty much exclusive to heritage brands?
Despite the period setting, activations need not be all about heritage celebrations. With Revival’s thoroughly modern ethos of reuse, reduce, recycle and ‘Revive and Thrive’ message, brands can explore sustainability stories too.

A few examples of activations at this year’s Revival include Sky Cinema’s live action film set in Earls Court, where the audience could experience a ‘behind the scenes’ tour through meticulously recreated sets complete with a cast of actors, director and camera crew at work bringing memorable scenes to life.

Henry Bass, Goodwood Revival
There was also the perennial favourite Wall’s beach – a 1950s seaside scene complete with beach huts, deck chairs, sandy beach and of course Wall’s ice cream, served from a vintage Rolls-Royce ice cream van.

Great stuff. Thanks Henry – I look forward to seeing how brands continue to embrace Goodwood Revival moving forward.

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