Love VW Bugs? Get Yourself to Santa Pod Bug Jam!

Every year, round about the middle of July, the roads where I live seem to take on a certain genre of traffic. I happen to notice that more and more old VW beetles, campervans and Golfs are literally taking over the nearby villages of Podington and Hinwick, a few short miles from where I live. And I think to myself – Ah, it must be the Bug Jam VW Festival come around again at Santa Pod! Last year was a complete sell out and many VW fans were turned away from the site disappointed. This year the festival starts from Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd July 2012 and as the original and best VW festival in the UK, you’d better get tickets now if you don’t want to be one of those who missed out last year. Bug Jam is not all about old VW beetles, it includes Drag Racing, RWYB, 4 Music Arenas, show & Shine, Comedy, Traders, Stunt Displays, Jet Car, Autojumble, Funfair and much, much more. The gates open 9am Friday, 20th July and you can order your advance tickets at Eticketing.co.uk.

The rules have changed however to make sure that genuine VW fans get the priority they deserve at Bug Jam in 2012. In this instance, Santa Pod Raceway have announced a series of measures to make sure that getting into this year’s event is as straightforward as possible. These are as follows:

  • There will be a limited number of tickets to the event available on a first come, first served basis. If we sell out before the event, then no tickets will be available on the day.
  • No 7.5 ton lorries and transit-style vans (except for camper vans and VWs) will be allowed into Bug Jam and camping plot sizes will be limited.
  • People will not be able to reserve space for friends so if you want to camp together you will need to arrive together or if you are a group with ten or more vehicles, then you’ll need to pre-book a club spot to guarantee your area.
  • NO EXIT & RE-ENTRY: This year once you have arrived at Bug Jam you will not be allowed to leave the Santa Pod Raceway site and re-enter at any time during the weekend. Anyone who leaves site will have to pay full admission again to re-enter. This is at the request of local authorities. There will be camping supplies available on site including crates of beer at reasonable prices. Please bring everything else you will need for the weekend with you including enough petrol/diesel.

Now the good stuff; here’s what you can expect for your weekend:


Get your own VW on the track on Friday (£15) and Saturday (£20), unlimited runs and a full performance print out for each run. Don’t forget to bring your driving licence if you want to use the track. RWYB competition with classes – Everyone signing on for RWYB will be put into classes to find the fastest Aircooled Bug, Aircooled Van, Karmann Ghias etc. There will be a hard-standing RWYB paddock in the pits for people bringing vehicles on trailers, just ask for a RWYB Paddock pass at the gate when you arrive.


Saturday morning will be for rat-look and military, and Sunday will be for the shiny ones and show cars. All VWs welcome as usual, and trophies across a range of classes. Free entry and prizes from Autoglym. Enter on the day, classes on the Show & Shine page. Strictly VWs ONLY.


Bug Jam once again hosts four music arenas including the Main Stage, on both Friday and Saturday evenings, catering for all tastes from indie and dance djs through to live bands and tribute acts.

The Bug Jam 25 music line-up so far is:

Friday: The Wholls, Beatlemania and The Complete Stone Roses on the main stage with Haçienda in the Dance Zone, Carwash with Wham!Duran in the Retro Zone and Motown in Fuelers Bar.

Saturday: The Blind Hearts, The Current and Simon & Oscar from Ocean Colour unplugged on the main stage with Propaganda indie night in the Retro Zone, Super Hero themed night in the Dance Zone and Foam Party in Fuelers Bar.


You don’t have to wait till the evening for the entertainment to start at Bug Jam with The Live Stage busy during the day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

Friday: Live band Soldier, DJs and breakdancers.

Saturday: Escape artist and street performers Rob & Pete, Cover band Kinwah,

Sunday: Soulsisters and Fires Attract.


There will be a line up of top comedians on Friday & Saturday this year, including up and coming new acts and established pros to tickle your ribs. Headlining Saturday will be Rhys Darby (Murray from ‘Flight of the Conchords’) along with: Joe Bor, Dougie Dunlop, Christian Reilly, Stephen Carlin, Adam Bloom, The Noise Next Door, Jamie Bowen, Raymond and Mr Timpkins Revue & Dave Johns.

For more information about Bug Jam visit their website at bugjam.co.uk

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