Oakley Court Hotel, Sunday 29th August, 2021
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"From what had gone before this was certain to be..........A Picnic."
Updated: Sunday, October 10th, 2021
2020 was planned to be the 15th anniversary of The Rocky Horror Picnic Show, or as it is commonly known, The Picnic. We waited as long as we could in 2020 to see if the event could go ahead, but for obvious reasons, we had to postpone the event in early June until 2021.
Even then, many of our overseas guests couldn't travel or couldn't take the risk of the UK government changing the travel rules at the last minute yet again. This did mean that the hotel were able to contact everyone on the standby list and offer them a place at the 2021 event. After those people had been offered a place the bookings closed early August with a hundred and twenty attendees signed up for the event.
During the lockdowns the hotel had also begun a major refurbishment programme. Of course the outside of the building itself and much of the original woodwork remained the same, but it took a little getting used to new colour schemes and new furniture around the place. Quite a few of the familiar staff were no longer with the hotel so it took a little while to get used to the changes. We were one of the first big events after the lockdown and it was lovely to be back at Oakley Court once more.
It was so nice to see the flag flying once more over 'the castle' on the Sunday morning. There was a rather funny moment when it first went up, upside down, quickly fixed by Neil from the hotel. He also took us some photographs of the inside of the tower and a view from the top, thanks Neil!
The hotel had arranged a separate check in area for the picnic attendees to try and speed things up. Most people managed to get their room on time, but we did have a few delays for some, not a huge problem and hopefully just teething problems after the refurb and changes to staff.
As always people started meeting up and chilling out on the terrace before the actual picnic started. After a year and a half of lockdowns and restrictions, it was so nice to be able to see fellow fans once more and talk out in the fresh air without masks.
It was nice to also welcome quite a few new people to the picnic, there is always that wonderful look in their eyes as they see the original filming location for the movie for the first time.
The picnic itself started at around 4pm and the hotel very kindly offered us the use of the marquee next to the river to have the food. We also had tables out in the open next to the river.
As always the food was glorious, with veggie/vegan options available as well. Dessert was in particular wonderful. We had many comments that the picnic food was at least as good as previous years, if not better.
After the group shot everyone had the chance to relax and do what they wanted until the movie screening a few hours later. Some chose to explore the hotel and grounds, and at least one of the attendees decided to have a nap!
The hotel staff escorted a few of us to an art installation in the grounds, well I say art installation, what we saw was a HUGE bouncy stone henge. Watching the fans do the Time Warp and bouncing around on the structure was an unexpected memory of the weekend. Illya even got to try out his gymnastic skills for the first time in many years.
We started the evening event with Steph and the TW team selling a few items of merchandise and then we ran the traditional Picnic Raffle. And yes, next year I will use the microphone, I obviously can't project my voice as far as I think I can. (Those at the event will know what that refers to!)
The movie screening room worked very well with the number of attendees we had this year and the a/v was much improved on the 2019 event.
One final Time Warp after the movie and a few of the attendees headed off to the bar for a few late night drinks while others retired to their rooms for a well earned sleep.
After breakfast the next day, the remaining attendees met up for the usual 'plain clothes' group shot on the lawn. It doesn't matter how many years we do the picnic, I still love the game of 'can you figure out who that is without the costume?' that we play on the Monday morning.
As we headed home after check out and saying goodbye to everyone we reflected on how much we had missed the event in 2020. It was so nice to have a little bit of normality after the previous eighteen months we had all gone through. Here's to 2022 and beyond.
A big thank you to all the staff at Oakley for once more making the event a success and a special thank you to all the attendees for your kind words.
We have hundreds of images from the day below and please do feel free to send us more images or let us know what you thought about the 2021 Picnic.
Images from the 2021 picnic
For more information about the events, please see the main Picnic Show page for frequently asked questions and links to all previous years events.
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