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

    No, arrested later that day, I think.

    The police had some Portacabins near the roadblock where they “processed” us before bussing us to Salisbury. We had to queue to go through a door. When I went through, there was a copper with his back to me on my left. A big copper on my right put his hands on my right shoulder and shoved me hard into the copper on my left, who whirled ’round looking daggers at me. “Sorry, that officer pushed me” I said. He turned his back to me and the other ushered me on. Looking behind me, I saw them repeat the performance on the next one in the queue.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸A.Node


    I missed the Battle of the Beanfield. Not sure if I was unlucky or lucky to do so.

    After Stonehenge the previous year, I didn’t go with the Convoy, I went to Kent to make some money cherry-picking. Convoy had gone up to a festival in York-shire called Nostell Priory, then they were moving to a peace camp at RAF Molesworth. I’d lost my trusty old bicycle and was getting about in a Morris Traveller with a bicycle inner tube tied to the handbrake which stopped it from jumping out of top gear. After the cherries, I drove straight to Rainbow Fields at Molesworth where, with the advice of a guy who knew what he was doing, and a scrapyard a few miles away, I managed to put in a ‘new’ gear box – just 4 bolts, as I remember, and my mechanic guru climbed into the bonnet of the car (which was balanced on 4 stacks of breeze blocks) and jumped on something till the gearbox popped into place. Anyway, by this time Convoy was due to have arrived from up north, but instead, just a few stragglers limped in. Turned out that there were thousands of police around Wakefield for the miners strike (yes, Maggie again) and they took the opportunity to even some old scores and trash Convoy, well and truly and brutally, everybody lost the lot, cars, buses, benders, many jailed. Until then, Convoy had been too big to touch, police cars used to escort it from county to county, but maybe Nostell Priory made them realise that all it needed was enough cops.

    After a few weeks more in Rainbow Fields, I took a carload of people to a protest at Barrow-in-Furness in the Lake district. Can’t remember what it was all about, but when it was over, since I was near the border, I decided to check out Scotland again since I hadn’t been home in a decade. Next Spring, I was preparing to head south in time for Stonehenge when someone offered me a great job travelling about the country checking electricity poles. I took it, and in my first week, I opened a newspaper to read about the Battle of the Beanfield. The free festival scene never really recovered, Criminal Justice act (yes, Maggie again) and all that although a few years later I did manage to track down a few old faces still keeping it going.

    Lost touch with everybody now, but the spirit’s still alive. We nurse the flame up here. Now we call it a party instead of a festival, and DJs and decks are easier to get together than bands and stages, but it’s still a few hundred people in a field in buses and vans with music and lights … and it’s still free …. and we still dig our own shitpits.

  • Mary

    I was sure Peacewisher I had put up that piece about the Algerian team donating their fees to Gaza but perhaps I didn’t!

    A fine gesture anyway and hope the money is put to good use.

    The author of the Stop War piece, Matt Carr has severed his connections with Huffington Post because of their support for Israel and censorship . A man with principles.
    Well reasoned and rational.

    There is a protest in Kensington today.
    London: Emergency protest at Israeli Embassy demanding an end to collective punishment and the occupation

    London Palestine Action 05 July 2014.

    Palestinian demo

    End Israel’s War Against Palestinians
    Saturday 5 July 2pm to 4pm
    Israeli Embassy
    Kensington High Street
    London W8 4QB

  • Foolish grin

    Down the rabbit hole sounds wonderful. I hadn’t realised that there was a real connection people who post on here or that they might do something organize a festival like this. I have made a critical comment in the past about people posting too much: I retract.

  • craig Post author


    Are you around? If you are interested to come up again I think I might be able to organise you a lift up and back?

  • Phil

    I caught the tail end of free entry Glastonbury and spent a few years going as it transitioned into the monster it is now. I did have some fantastic times there.

    However, Stonehenge was something else. We were young clash city rockers, not integrated with any groups there, and had never seen anything like it. At first we were nervous, scared of some bikers if I recall, but once you embraced it, got over the shock, phew, it was a beautiful mad time. Wish I’d gone more now. I do remember at the time thinking all festivals must be like Stonehenge and Glastonbury.

    I didn’t know similar free festivals still go on today ANode. I am glad to hear that. I struggle to be nostalgic about shitpits though. I trust DTRH has decent loos.

  • Sofia (Cosmic Explorer)

    “Spirit of Gordon” Log: 14 07 05 09 19

    The ship feels earily silent, apart that argument about Afriends software. The crew continues the search for Dad, with the extreme caution that such a dangerous undertaking requires. Our instruments indicate that he has taken up residence somewhere in the recycling complex. This is confirmed by the sudden exodus of thousands of traumatised rats. Too bad they took the only functioning Deep Space Survival Pod.

    The inquiry into the unfortunate incident with the Qztolon emissary proceeds and I understand that Anon and Jemand are taking their task so seriously that it leaves them little time for much else.

    Their task is hindered by Ba’al’s prodigeous ability to concoct ridiculous fantasy excuses for his actions. My two favourites so far….

    “… Qztolnonis highly inflammable – spark from unsecured glipper electrode initiated catastrophe – remains proved addictively tasty…”


    “You know what the speakers on those KXW 1048347 translators are like.”

    Well, yes, they could be better, but I lestened to the recording half a dozen times and it seems pretty clear to me that it said “I want your people to meet me.”

    Ben and A Node are working on repairs to the improbability drive (when they haven’t got more important stuff to do) and we expect to be well underway by Sunday evening when the Vogon Galactic Guard finally take their attention off the telly and resume their patrols. I understand they have paid the referees 100,000,000,000,000 Fomalhautian Sgnaangs and expect a Brazilian triumph.

    Crew moral is so crucial to an undertaking like this and all they all want to be on planet earth in time for Doune. I expect the organisers will leave a couple of acres clear for the ship this time so we don’t have a repeat of last year’s fiasco.

    So, it’s almost time to move on and stop pointing accusing fingers (or tentacles) at each other.

    We’ll be passing quite close to the Electromagnetic filaments in IC 5146 so this may be thel last communication for some time.

  • Peacewisher

    @Mary: Perhaps you posted it somewhere else. This good news needs posting everywhere, because for sure the mm aren’t going to publicise it. Even that Independent article I referred to was more interested in saying this was a political act, and putting the question that FIFA might investigate…

  • Mary

    Terrible and most cruel Doug. I did not know he was alive.

    I put this post up from Dr Abuelaish on the Dead children in Palestine thread.

    He has experienced his own tragedy. I remember seeing him get the news live about his family. It was on a video. At the time he was in Israel working in their medical system. No irony that they killed his daughters.

    They lived right up in the North of Gaza near the Erez crossing which is like the entrance to Hades.

    This is a very good description of it. Disembodied voices bark instructions out of speakers and you know that guns are trained on you.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸A.Node


    Yeah, we’ve got quite a good scene up here. We have a couple of friends with land – means we have landowners permission, makes everything easier. We usually do a couple a year, typically 3 days of music in 2 marquees, 2 quality PAs and lighting, 30 DJs, kitchen & chillout, and lots of cool people. Everybody gives everything for free, nobody gets paid. If anybody ever made a profit, the whole thing would fall apart. Instead, people look for ways to contribute. We got people with professional outdoor projectors and lasers, usually someone sets out hundreds of paper bags with night lights in them, log candles dotted about – at night it looks like space city. We pass round a hat on the Saturday afternoon but we don’t need much, maybe £500 to £1000 for generators, fuel, water bowser, van-hire, stuff. Regards the toilets, years ago someone gave us an old trailer and we built loos on it. Now we just have to tow it over a hole in the ground, saves us hours every party 🙂

    The trick is to keep the numbers under control. No Facebook, no open invites, once you’ve been a few times you can invite friends and take responsibility for them being cool. Up to about 400 is do-able, everyone just gets the vibe. Any more and you need people on the gate and stewards and stuff, and no-one wants to have to do that at a party.

    There are a few old-style free festivals about too. There’s one in the West Highlands called ‘Midge Death’ been happening for about 20 years now, usually around the autumn equinox. It was always held at Cluanie Dam, Invermoriston but there was an accident a few years ago and now it’s moving about. For those with Facebook …..
    …. otherwise Google ‘Midge Death’

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸A.Node

    #!#! Warning !#!#

    It is called “midge death” for a reason.

  • Afrend

    I have considered your recommendation Baal and have decided against implemention. An example: “*anon*” would also discreetly hide “Anonymous” and “Benny Shanon”. Better to occassionaly have unwanted friends pop up than miss people we didn’t intend to.

    Thank you for the suggestion and of course you can always edit your own Habbabreak script to include wildcards. Give it a go and let me know if you need assistance.

    Fred, am I on your Habbabreak list or are you just ignoring me the old fashioned way? You’ve said nothing about my gift especially for you. A simple curt rejection is all I ask.

    Wonderful new name ————·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node. Habbabreak is for love and unity.

    Bon voyage Sophia. How I wish I was with you all. Habbabreak is for freedom.

    Mary, Habbabreak doesn’t isolate. People do. Habbabreak simply cuts out the interference that distracts putting you back in the moment. I so wish you of all people would try it.

    Escape your demons! There’s an app for that!

    The House Of Afrend – a permissive software, peace promoting, free loving, all in, egalitarian house

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    Afrend : “Wonderful new name ————·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node.”

    Thanks, Afrend, and I’ll use that as an opportunity to drop the “A” and complete my metamorphosis from A.Node to ————·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node
    There, it’s done. I feel much lighter now.

    BTW, though not a user myself (scrolling – I need the exercise), I love the concept of Habbabreak and your style in distributing it. See a need – fill it. If everyone did that, the world would soon be sorted.

  • Ba'al Zevul ( -(h2/2m)d2Ψ/dx2 + 1/2kx2 = EΨ )

    Thanks for your response Afrend. If it becomes a problem, I will take your advice, but very grateful for the script as it stands.


    “Palestinian Authority [PA] and Israeli security sources are convinced that followers of ISIS in the Gaza Strip are responsible for some of the recent rocket attacks on Israel.

    Hamas, they say, seems to be losing control over the dozens of terror cells belonging to ISIS and other jihadi groups.”

    Maybe even the kidnap/killings?

  • Ba'al Zevul ( -(h2/2m)d2Ψ/dx2 + 1/2kx2 = EΨ )

    Bugger. Superscript doesn’t transfer from Open Office to Craig Murray. So much for the smartypants sig…

  • Ba'al Zevul (Chimp )

    Hamas, they say, seems to be losing control over the dozens of terror cells belonging to ISIS and other jihadi groups.”

    This would be the direct result of Israel’s refusal to deal with Hamas as the legitimately elected representatives of Gaza’s interests. What the fuck did they expect?

    Answer: exactly that. Delegitimise and divide; enables the presentation of the victims as aggressors. It’s not inconceivable that Israel’s found a way of supplying the militants’ crap missiles – which usually land in fields, or even in Gaza…


    Howdy Ba’al. Working overtime? 🙂

    I can’t imagine ISIS bleeding off former Hamas supporters, but it could be many are dissatisfied with not just PLA performance, but Hamas as well.

    Hezbollah, next?

  • Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin )

    Flexi-time, Ben.

    Hizb’ullah are Shi’a, so I doubt that will work! One of the aims in bringing Assad down was of course to end Syrian support for them and destabilise Lebanon – again – in Israel’s favour. They have very good reason to remain supportive of Assad, and none whatever to collaborate in the Sunni Caliphate that ISIS have in mind.


    Palestinians are Sunni, so it may be a better fit, and Shia are considered apostate by that sect. But conversion, although culturally unusual, is possible. What other explanation for ISIS operating in Gaza with apparent approval from someone?


    Ignore that last post. Totally bolloxed with no recovery possible.

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