Players Show 11 2017


Posted on: September 21, 2017

Words and Photography: Michal Fidowicz

The big Players show which takes place at North Weald Airfield every September holds quite a lot of person significance to me. Back in 2014, it was the first show I ever went to. Up until that point, all I knew about UK’s car culture was quite literally what I could find on the Stanceworks forums, the ilovebass website and some generic car Instagram pages (which I recall usually having the words JDM in their handle.)

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As my parents were never into cars or anything of such nature, I never felt comfortable asking my dad to come along with me and spend a whole day looking at cars equipped with wonky wheels, obnoxious exhausts and bright paint jobs.  Back in 2014 I was only 16, and never really sat properly behind the wheel of a car (let alone understood the concept of a clutch.)

The only thing I knew was that this stuff got my attention and interest. I wanted to see it for myself, and I wanted to get involved in the party. Luckily for me, that same year I met Sonny who also shared my interest… and so did his dad.

I remember being beyond excited to finally get a chance to go along and see the stuff I admired on the internet. I woke up nice and early, got ready and waited for Sonny’s dad to grab me. Now I don’t remember why, but I ended up brining my mum’s bare-bones old Nikon DSLR. I remember her giving it to me and telling me to grab some photos… and I’m so glad that she did. It was the first time ever I used a camera, and I was instantly hooked. I still have all 200 odd photos on my computer sitting there, and it’s crazy to reflect on the progress in quality and style in those 3 years alone.

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I have very vivid memories of all the Players shows I’ve been to, 8, 9, 10 and now 11. I remember the sound of Walking With Elephants being blared on at 8, the Airlift stand with the purple E31 at 9, and Jake’s and Ben’s beetles parked up in the hangar at 10. Flicking through old photos of the shows got me thinking about what I’ll remember Players 11 for.

Now I must say, this year’s show definitely wasn’t as vast as I remember them being. While I’m aware your average person’s memory has a habit of cherry picking and glamourizing past experiences, there definitely wasn’t as many cars present as in the past. I wouldn’t say this is a bad thing though, as the weather was terrible on the Saturday and intimidating on the Sunday which definitely put people off.

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The quality was still what I expected it to be though. There was something interesting to look at wherever you went. In the past I’ve had a habit of cramming 120+ photos into an article, however I decided to tone it down a little for Players 11 and focus on the cars that I’ve not seen before, or those that really made me look twice.

The variety at Players 11 was definitely present, and it was nicely accompanied with good taste too. You had everything you could ask for, classic BMWs, ground up restored Fords, VWs with the latest and best suspension available on the market, and so on and on, and on.

The thing that stands out to me most about Players shows in the past is definitely the specific feel to the event. Maybe it’s created by the live airfield next door which constantly had planes and helicopters coming in and out, maybe it’s the music, or the general turn-up-on-the-day approach to letting cars into the show. I must admit, it’s very hard to put my finger exactly on it… maybe it’s a mixture of all these factors. All I know is, the show is very laid back and everything is in its place.

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Another factor which will make Players 11 stick in mind is the fact that it’s the first Players show I took my own car to. Only took me a few years I guess! I convoyed in with Tunca in his Green E36 and Ben with his Black (he’ll say purple but he’s wrong) Mazda MX5. Will also joined me in my E46 for the trip, as I’m sure most people can relate, it’s always nice to be surrounded by your pals at a show. For most, including myself, it’s the main reason I’m there.

I was also lucky enough to be near centre stage when the Players guys had their give-away. They were simply throwing all sorts of merch into the crowd. Who’s going to say no to a free hoodie? I was just close enough to try and grab something. I jumped and managed to snatch something out of the air. I was lucky enough to bag myself a hoodie… but awkwardly enough it was an Airlift hoodie with a coilover in a coffin on the back of it. I guess I have no choice but to buy bags now…

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Players 11 didn’t disappoint, and I left the show with a massive grin on my face as I had a great time at North Weald Airfield. I already find myself looking forward to next year’s show season and it’s not even the end of this one yet. I especially look forward to the Players shows as there’s nothing quite like them.

In the grand scheme of things I still need to put together our Rollhard Belgium coverage. There’s simply so much to cover that I need more time, but don’t worry if you’re keen to read about it – it’s definitely on its way! This Sunday we will be attending Westside in West London and bringing you coverage from that, after which we’ll start preparing for Ultimate Stance (I just booked my hotel for it, exciting stuff.)

As always, thanks you all for reading and I hope you enjoyed a few more words from me rather than the usual endless album of photos this time. We’ll see you at Westside!

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