Up upon the windy hill, at a fabulous Sunrise, we manifested a luxurious Wizard Lounge, Yurt and garden. It was a perfect home base for a fantastic festival!
Arriving on site, the excitement was building, as was the infrastructure. In the set up, we get the chance to appreciate all the work that goes in to make sure that everyone has a great time, to keep us all safe and well. The fantastic medical and welfare team, the V crew, the ‘management’ and the ‘switched on’ staff and Green Security are all prepared for any eventuality, and know exactly what is needed to host a stunning event in a field.
After a warm welcome at the gate from security and the box office lovelies, we pulled onto the site with many of the contents of our collective living rooms. Chai wallahs magnificent structure and Earth heart’s stunning dragon space made a huge impression, striking up beautifully from the land. The Tin Village was crawling with people putting the whole thing together, the Spit and Sawdust stage was looking great, and all the areas and arenas were coming together nicely. The relaxed vibe on site provided the perfect environment to set up home with ease. What struck me most was the joy and dedication that was being put in by everyone to make a beautiful and inspirational experience.
With sofas in place, pictures hung, magical structures manifested and pretty things all around, we had the chance to kick back and have fun with the Wizard crew before the gates opened. Nestled in across from Lost Horizons, close to the craft area, we found ourselves surrounded by innovative eco projects and ancient crafting techniques; Magical! What a delight it was to find that we were just at the entrance to the Forest Garden … home for Sanger’s horse-drawn stage and our wonderful Rainbow Circle family.
Friendly faces and smiles greeted us wherever we went.
It wasn’t long before I had my funniest festi moment … my son came and told me that The Love Police wanted to see me. So off I went to the village green. They had been looking for hippies to hug and Kai said ‘ I’ll get my mum!’ Hug after hug greeted me and then the local police community support officers arrived.
Charlie Veitch was ready with his megaphone. Reminding us of the illusion of authority that the police uniforms give, he invited us to hug the police because they are people who need love too. People ran to give them a loving embrace and they went away glowing, transformed by the experience. Charlie then suggested to take off their uniforms and make love to the police … No takers right there and then, maybe they got lucky later on.
On Thursday night we stayed at the Wizard Camp to eat drink and be merry. It was divine to relax and spend the evening with family and friends while the sound of poets, bards and musicians reached us from Sanger’s stage on the other side of the hedge.
Friday was busy all day long, many people coming for Wizard Consultations, or just enjoying the ambience we had created. Some people came back again after seeing us last year and having had amazing transformations…it is such a blessing to do what you love surrounded by people who are indeed walking their talk. Questions about the firewalk sparked off some fascinating discussions, and people started to get excited about this year’s Wizard Training and the glasswalking workshop planned for Saturday evening. Janetta’s Seer workshop on Friday went really well and was much appreciated.
Random night-time wanderings, brought more good times and synchronicity. I was particularly impressed with the Pussy Lounge. Tempted by the bed of nails, we stuck around and were treated to a great performance from The Duckworths; a quirky band whose melodic crooning brought to mind tones of The Cramps and the Violent femmes …. They soon got us dancing. Two of our party joined the Casino table and we went back to the Wizard Base for more coffee brandies by the fire.
Early start on Saturday with a whole host of people coming in and asking about Wizardry. ‘Can i be a Wizard?’ …’You already are, you just need to remember,’ Children came to experience real magic and other beautiful beings came to, well… lounge in the Lounge. It was a perfect respite for all the Wizards magically manifesting magnificence all across the site to find comfort and peace.
At lunchtime we took part in a Pimms and Lemonade ceremony…All Hail the Lemonade of the West! I took solace in the fact that the Pimms was packed with fruit and had a glass or two for lunch. It was in fact a surprise marriage proposal, and he said Yes! Great celebration! Later on someone came in for a Love Spell, he left elated, and oh so lovable!
Max’s Healing workshop was great, lots of people wanting to know more about the different paths of Wizardry. A large group of people arrived to the Glasswalk, our last workshop of the day, it was incredible, everyone crossed the bed of broken bottles safely. Many people walked several times. Having shattered illusions and remembered that they have the power of the whole universe inside of them, they confidently left the space, a few steps closer to realising their dreams. A great bit of magic that energised me for the whole night.
Ash’s wise and wonderful words drifted from over the hedge in the evening. His familiar faerie tales to inspire and draw me in to Sanger’s Stage. Pock ‘The Bard’ followed Ash, reminding us all that we are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams. One of my fave poems written by Arthur O’ Shaughnessy some 150 years ago, skillfully brought to life accompanied with the banjo. Pock’s light-hearted encouragement to bring out the Bards preceded a powerful performance of ‘Gwyn Ap Nudd’ … a potent tale of the King of the Underworld, spoken with a rumble and resonance that reflects his otherworldly presence.
Saturday night’s wanderings took us to 10 Ton Tongue playing at the Spit and Sawdust stage – WOW! What a pokey performance, it gave me shivers…those guys are channelling something I am certain! Emma… you rocked!! Then on to Celtech, one of our favorite local bands. The marquee was packed! Onward down the hill and back to the Pussy Lounge, what fun…jumping about to the Mad Cows. Into the Tardis, through the time warp tunnel that opened out into a great dance venue. A quick shake of the booty then we stopped by the crew bar for some rum before wandering in to Chai Wallahs, then across to Earth Heart to jump around some more. It was late and we were hungry so we stopped by the Hog Roast stand to fill up on the way home. It was hard to sleep, the wind was howling and making the pictures in the Wizard Lounge dance wildly in their frames. I was still buzzing and my mind wouldn’t settle … still we got a few hours nap before morning.
Sunday had back to back bookings all day long, so we were in the lounge or yurt almost all the time. What a treat it was to hear Ash’s familiar bardic banter from various stages around us. He found such peace in our space that he had taken the time to craft a few words for the Wizard Lounge … what a blessing it is to be honoured and spoken of by such an extraordinary bard. Peter’s psychic protection and manipulation workshop was dramatic, using all the scary Wizard tools to enhance his teaching.
It was raining pretty hard on Sunday afternoon, so we went to get the vehicle to put away some of our less waterproof things. The chance to Seize the Day and dance in the rain distracted us, so that’s what we did! I was chuffed when they played my request, and I got to make big splashes and a mud puddle dancing to ‘I swear’. Excited by the risk of dying in a rather stylish manner from the threatening blend of electrickery and water on stage, Seize the day played for as long as they could before being told that an encore was not possible. The water was streaming down onto the amps at that point and it did look pretty dangerous.
Dripping wet I climbed the hill and went back to wizard camp to get dry. I failed to bring in the van, but it was worth it! Later I heard Badly Horsedrawn boy, Pixi and Dave singing ‘If I was a Russian’ ..so again it was round to Sanger’s stage to see them beautifully accompanied by Lyn on the double bass. A delightful yet crazy bear turned up with the funkiest moves I have ever seen from a teddy!
I ran into Jonathon Cainer , stopped for a quick chat and a hug before going home to get ready for another random wandering around site. The yurt was so warm and toasty, brandy coffee was on the go, and my bones were starting to relax from the wet and chill of the day. Max fell asleep, visitors came, and we ended up staying in the comfort of the yurt for the night. A perfect end to a perfect festival!
It is only now I am at home that I realise that I never looked at a programme, and as a consequence, I missed a huge amount of bands and talks that I would have liked to see. As a bonus, I stumbled upon some fabulous music and people who I might not have seen otherwise. It was a perfect gathering.
BIG Thanks to the team for pulling together another amazing Sunrise Celebration! It just gets better and better!…. and to all the unsung heroes of the crew… (you know who you are) Thank you for making the magic happen !
Highlights of the event were the Love Police, the amazing bread making technology that was set up beside us, the central fire space, 10 Ton Tongue, the dancing teddy bear, and Seize the Day in the rain!
….what were your festival highlights?