Doune The Rabbit Hole 450

I shall again be running the bar – the Whistleblower’s Arms – at the Doune the Rabbit Hole Festival from 22 to 24 August at Cardross, Port of Menteith.

I find this festival, which is very much a lifestyle event and features mostly new talent, an extremely life-affirming experience. Last year it brought me back from a very dark place. Some of this blogs most active commenters and helpers have been among the volunteers over the last couple of years, keeping the event going. Personally for me the festival is necessarily centred around Williams Bros and Thistly Cross, but there is a tremendous variety of music:


The event is very family friendly, and also an amazing place to meet new friends. It does not have any specific political orientation, but I might fairly say that the vibe is very much in line with the kind of unconstrained intellectual space promoted on this blog. On top of which Cardross is an extraordinarily beautiful place. The variety of local food on site, ranging from vegan to game, is one of the things I really enjoyed. It is a not for profit event and nobody gets a salary.

Tickets are not expensive by festival standards, and certainly cheaper than a weekend break in a hotel. But there is also the alternative of working your passage – the festival still needs plenty of volunteers.

I am genuinely looking forward to it enormously. Hope to see you there.

450 thoughts on “Doune The Rabbit Hole

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  • Clark

    Doune the Rabbit Hole is a family-friendly festival with plenty of space to camp, separate areas for tents and camper-vans.

    Fans of Iain Banks may be interested that the festival site is just half a mile down the Forth river from Easter Offerance, the setting of the religious community in his 1996 novel Whit.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node

    Don’t forget your dancing boots, you’ll need them for the Peatbog Fairies.

    In an unrelated development, I have it on good authority that there have been some blue pills going around the Scottish dance scene with the word “yes” stamped on them  🙂

  • Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin)

    The event is very family friendly

    I’m not. That’s Manx TT weekend….phew.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node

    Ba’al (re something you said elsewhere)
    You must’ve missed Afrend politely requesting that people avoid possible confusion by refraining from associating trademark and copyright symbols with Habbabreak. He’s a strong supporter of open source and free distribution.
    Also, you should be careful not to reveal a simple method of circumventing Habbabreak.

  • Tony_0pmoc


    Your festival sounds great. My wife and I have been to well over 100 Festivals in 32 years. I assume you are flying and staying in a hotel. I can’t criticize you for that because we have already done the same this year to a festival in Spain. But in my view camping is essential to really appreciate what a festival is all about. You don’t have to live like a refugee, but if you do for a few days, you really discover how wonderful the human race can be. People are just naturally friendly and help each other and freely share what they have got. There can be no real security at a festival. You cannot lock up a tent. Yet in over 100 festivals, we have only been robbed once…and that was in the middle of the night…when we were in the tent, fast asleep, with two very young children…Even then…the thief took only the cash in my wallet…left the wallet and all the credit cards…and did the same to almost every tent around us…How did he do it? Well he said to the only guy who woke up…sorry mate wrong tent…and went on to the next. Even so one robbery in over 100 events with no security is a pretty good record. Your only security is to try and make friends with all your neighbours as soon as you arrive..offer to help to put up their tent…and offer them a beer. The very worst weather…if the mud really is that bad…brings out the best in people…rather than the worse. The problem with Festivals now, is that many have grown too big, and been taken over by large corporate companies…attempting to maximise profit..and employing if you are unlucky…some rather unpleasant people. Small festivals of just a few thousand are far more fun…and there are absolutely loads of them…Some even now, are virtually or totally free. For example…a pub or even a small town will put on a festival. You simply pay for the camping (if you camp). The beer, food and other trade pays for the event.

    Get on your dancing shoes.


  • Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin)

    I thought it would be clearly understood that the ™ was facetious. However, I bow to Afrend’s wishes. And yours.

    As to the rest, (a) it’s quite obvious to anyone with Party A blocked when “Party A..//£$%” appears, what’s going on. And (b) you have now publicised it further.

    I would imagine Afrend might be considering a simple alteration to the script. ” *Party A* ” would perhaps be part of it.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin)

    Or *Ba’al Zevul*. Though I may stick with (Chimp Assassin), rendering the precaution unnecessary.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node

    (a) but maybe not obvious to party A
    (b) that’s why I switched threads

  • Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin)

    If I needed any further discouragement from racing – and I’ve never even wanted to -, that would be it, Craig. But it has to be said that racers go into it with a full consciousness of the risk, and not a few with bits of titanium holding them together already. It’s a high-risk sport…and that attracts the riders as well as the public. Sorry to know you lost a friend there.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin)

    Party A never reads my posts anyway, A.Node. It said so.

  • Mary

    O/T Hurrah for the bees.

    From 38 Degrees

    Wonderful news, we’ve protected our bees! Yesterday Syngenta withdrew their controversial application to allow their banned bee-killer pesticides back on UK fields. [1]

    Owen Paterson, the environment minister, sided with Syngenta. But the decision was deemed so toxic that it was brought all the way up to the Prime Minister and his cabinet to discuss.

    The day before the big meeting, the huge people-powered petition signed by over 219,000 of us was delivered to the PM’s desk. [2] And on the morning of the meeting, hundreds of us swarmed on Downing St to confront the ministers as they arrived. [3]


    Also beautiful today are the honey bees on the lavender here in the sun. Have not seen any for ages.

    I also watched a masonry bee going in and out of a hole on the front wall of the house. It was a hole I drilled in the wrong place when I was putting up a handle grip on the wall by some steps! I am a real botcher at drilling holes but glad that one came in useful.

    I have also had cutter bees in the past. They cut pieces off rose leaves and insert them into a hole to make a nest for their eggs. In my case it was the end of the hose leading from a pump in a half water barrel which circulates water via a small fountain. I have some goldfish and there is also a miniature water lily there which is just flowering. Chicken wire over to deter the herons which fly overhead. They have been before and took all the fish.

    This morning I walked up on the downs along one of the old drove roads. There were thousands of butterflies fluttering in the long grasses. Marble whites, commas, skippers and others I cannot name. However did they survive the winter floods in their pupal state?


    “However did they survive the winter floods in their pupal state?”

    ‘Life’ finds a way, Mary. 🙂 Great news !

  • Mary

    Happy holiday Ben. Is American Independence Day celebrated very much these days?

    We have Hillary Clinton over here flogging her book ‘Hard Choices’! The media especially the BBC are falling over themselves with propaganda for her as the next president.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node

    Half time and 1 – 0 to Germany, but the French WILL score in the 2nd half. Germany will need to score again to win.

  • craig Post author

    Thanks Ba’al. Really did bring a tear. He was my dad’s right hand man, and his mum knitted the woolly hat that got me through the Dundee winters! Can’t imagine him on anything except Honda.

    A Node – no chance. 2 – 0.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node

    Hmmm, Craig, I overestimated your blog. I was assuming that the French team would be checking this thread in the dressing room at half time and my pep talk would make the difference.

    Ah well, I KNOW that the Brazilians will be reading this …… 2 -1 to Brazil.

  • Pete


    You’re right about small festivals. First time I went to Glastonbury I think there about 10,000 people there at most. Security consisted of five young CND members sat around a table in a farm gateway. No cops on site, and no need for them. And no trouble- other than Roy Harper being dragged offstage by Ginger Baker’s roadies, to which one of Roy’s fans retaliated by slinging a brick at Ginger Baker (he carried on playing though). One hippie had stood up and cried, “Ginger Baker represents war!” I think GB was said to have signed a deal with an American company who also made weapons. And now 35 years later they have had torture apologists Metallica headlining on the Pyramid Stage! In those days you didn’t even need a tent- you were allowed to sleep in the big marquees and they also put up some big communal teepees for anyone to sleep in.


    I wish I could attend, even as a vendor. It’s much more reasonable in cost than Burning Man, and family friendly as well, not that I would drag ‘chirren into it.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node

    Half time, 1 – 0 to Brazil.
    Good game. Both sides going for it. Neymar and Rodriguez are giving it everything, good to see the star players grafting instead of prima donna-ing. Surely more goals to come. I’d like to see James Rodriguez get an equaliser, then I’ll support whichever team deserves it most. I couldn’t grudge Neymar a goal either, mind you.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node

    Cheers, Anon.
    I was hoping for a late Columbia goal to take it into extra time – didn’t want it to end.
    Did you see the size of the grass-hopper on James’ shoulder when he scored that penalty?

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node


    I used to do Stonehenge free festival instead of Glastonbury. Only missed 2 or 3. Us ‘Stoners’ kinda looked down on the Glastonbury bunch as weekend hippies. Weekenders maybe, but I guess I have to concede now that you outlasted us! Hawkwind often played, in fact it probably wouldn’t have kept happening without Nik Turner. We always reckoned Glastonbury stole the pyramid stage idea from Stonehenge.

    Stonehenge was like the gathering of the clans every year, a great coming together and a starting point for the summer’s Peace Convoy. Anything up to 120 vehicles would straggle back and fore across southern England, a week here, a couple of weeks there, dig your own shitpit and erect your own stage free festivals, drug fuelled, and if I’m honest, mostly drug-funded. Eventually, come September, a few dozen stragglers would make their way over to Wales to end the summer at the Mushroom festival, originally near Aberystwyth but hounded through different locations year after year, until finally settling in Hay Bluff above Hay-on-Wye. I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t still a few never left!

  • Clark

    A Node, I was at the last, er, three(?) Stonehenge festivals. I briefly glimpsed the Battle of the Beanfield, before riding off to avoid the police. Got arrested at a “routine stop” the next day, held overnight, bailed, and ended up at Bratton Camp(?), above a white horse cut into the hillside chalk. Hawkwind turned up and played, of course.

    Maggie had to stop it. It was proving that anarchy could work. You could get anything on-site; get your clutch changed, get your TV fixed…

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