Doune the Rabbit Hole 19-21 August 59

As regular readers know, this blog is intimately connected to the Doune the Rabbit Hole Festival. I always enjoy meeting many of you there in the eponymous Whistleblower bar, and this year the tremendous moral uplift I personally get from our pop-up community will be more welcome than ever, after a difficult few weeks coping with family illness.

There are a couple of short videos from last year which capture the eclectic atmosphere brilliantly. In this first one you get to glimpse Nadira at 1.34, evidently enjoying the music!

While this second one by Stirling Council I think encapsulates the extraordinary charm

I am obliged to note in passing that we are challenged financially this year as Creative Scotland have withdrawn our £15,000 grant for no sensible reason. Yet they continue to fund other far more commercial and far less artistically innovative festivals. Which is even more reason for you to come.

I shall as ever be running the bars, having found a niche in which I am competent.


If you can’t afford to buy a ticket, we still need volunteers, both for the festival dates and immediately. Please contact [email protected]. It is just as much fun if you are working!

I can honestly say that nobody who has come through this blog, either just to enjoy the festival or to volunteer, has ever told me they found the experience less than uplifting. I look forward to seeing you – and don’t forget to buy the barman a pint!

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59 thoughts on “Doune the Rabbit Hole 19-21 August

  • Nick

    It will be our first time this year, me, my wife, and our 3 year old. Looking forward to meeting you and buying you a pint 🙂

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Good to hear that you are in such a fine mood.
    Would come if I thought I could enter the UK, and exit it.
    And going with my brother to Brittany instead.
    Is there a way one could email you money to make up for the official shortfall, as I am always willing to contribute to a worthwhile enterprise, and suspect other posters who can’t go are too?

  • RobG

    Have a good one, Craig.

    And I hope to see you back in the saddle on this blog sometime soon.

    The world gets madder and madder by the day.

  • Tony_0pmoc


    Have a Great Festival.

    Currently helping my daughter get ready with the camping gear for Boomtown.

    I assume, I am still serially banned, even probably from this IP address which I am only using cos my home broadband is screwed – and they can’t get an engineer out to fix it till next Monday.


  • Habbabkuk

    Enjoy it, Craig, have a great time and….husband your strength (it sounds as if you will need to 🙂 ).

    And – enjoyable as your posts are – don’t kill yourself to get back into the posting saddle (as RobG put it), you’ll have noticed that the regulars seem to get on very well all by themselves. Alas.

  • Alcyone

    Hope your mother is recovering well!?

    “I can honestly say that nobody who has come through this blog, either just to enjoy the festival or to volunteer, has ever told me they found the experience less than uplifting.”

    Even if one were a teetotaller? Or is the alcohol essential to raise spirits? I question whether alcohol has any place in creative life, except of course if you’re Jim Morrison. And look what happened to him.

    Or, for that matter, an ordinary person living their life creatively….not something that many people understand in reality. And I don’t mean ‘artists’ of whatever variety. Btw I checked out some of the musicians work and the DTRH website and my impression was lots of quantity, not sure of the quality. That would be par for the course today. If someone knows better, I’ll be grateful if they could highlight a youtube or two as it’s always wonderful to hear some new music.

    Here’s a brilliant smooth-jazz guitarist i was introduced to just yesterday. Sadly a little too late to listen to live as he died last year aged just 51 and I can’t find the reason for his early death. I hope not alcohol!

    Enjoy your poison, whatever it is!

    • RobG

      They don’t make ’em like Jimbo anymore. When The Music’s Over…

      The Lizard King is a member of the 27 Club, and it was booze that killed most of them, rather than drugs.

      My own experience of creative people is that they’re artists not because of booze/drugs, but despite it. They tend to be sensitive souls and perhaps need to anaesthetise themselves?

      Anyhows, all roads lead to Rome, and I don’t think it’s fair to criticise those who take different routes.

      The Ronny Jordan link isn’t working for me, so in the meantime here’s the saxophonist Art Pepper, who was a mega heroin addict. Pepper got mixed up with the criminal underworld and during the 1950s and 60s, he served four prison sentences for drug related offences, one of them a 3 year stretch. Despite all the time he served, and the heroin addiction, the quality of Pepper’s recordings were not affected…

      • Alcyone

        That is the difference between living in awareness and without. In the former state, sensitivity proceeds naturally to creative response not a cry for anaesthetics. IOW a sensitive conscience is not soluble in alcohol.

        Art is not creativity per se, it’s essentially technical. Look up the etymology of the word art. There’s a lot of crap ‘art’ around the world that passes for creative. Nature is is the most creative artist, devoid of thought, but not of intelligence. We are part of all that, Nature, the environment etc but our conditioning and ‘education’ is towards thought/knowledge/books/dead stuff. So clarity is rare and corruptible by drugs and alcohol. Indeed, any escape including organised religions.

        Glad you liked Jordan. Check out Mulatu Astatke if you don’t already know him:

        Btw do you use Spotify or equivalent? Anyone who isn’t, isn’t really living.

        • RobG

          Alcyone, I don’t use Spotify and avoid the internet as much as possible (I also don’t have a mobile phone).

          However, corners of the internet like Craig’s blog are always interesting, and I’d love to delve into the nature of what is ‘art’ and ‘creativity’ and all that. I don’t think it would be off-topic in this thread.

          I agree that nature is the best example of Art, yet most of us barely notice the nature around us (or its ever increasing destruction).

          I could go into one about all this, but am more interested in the opinions of other people…

          • Alcyone

            I would get on to Spotify, even non-subscription. It’s the World’s Jukebox and makes sliced bread (I know its not the way in France) look stale.

            I’m not sure about opinions (look up etymology), I’m interested in the FACTS, that is what I took birth for. And of course FUN, but I mean serious fun, not alcohol, drugs, religion, ‘novels’, history books and crap…sorry Craig.

            As for the facts, we all learn from each other and from Nature–everything you want to know is encoded within her, every truth. As is known, I learn(t) a lot from K. There is hardly a thing he didn’t figure out–I’ll venture to say he’s the wisest man to have walked this planet in Modern Times (good Dylan album), if not in all Time. The man is completely irrelevant, but his work exists. For example:

            ” Questioner: Is not creativity one’s harmony with Nature.

            Krishnamurti: Are you in harmony with nature? You miss the point. I want to find out, I am hungry, I have observed all the great painters, I have seen all the great plays and so on. I ask what is creation? What is it to be creative? Do not give a definition, I want to learn!

            Questioner: Doing something new is creative.

            Krishnamurti: What does that mean? Something totally new and fresh, without a decision? That means the past must end. Has it ended with you? Or are you just talking about creation as you talk about a book. If you are, I don’t want to play a part in it. I want to learn, I am passionate, I want to shed tears over it! One can live creatively without doing any of these things, neither baking bread, painting a picture, or writing a poem. You can only do that when the mind is non-fragmentary, when there is no fear, when the mind is free of all the implications of the past, when the mind is free of the known.

            Questioner: For me, creativity isn’t a thing, it’s a movement.

            Krishnamurti: Not for you, Sir, nor for me – you are all making it personal. It is not an opinion. I am hungry and you feed me with a lot of words. Which means, you are not hungry. Yesterday, after talking about attachment, I was watching it; the mind was watching all day, whether it was attached to anything, to sitting on a platform, talking, wanting to tell people, writing something, or being attached to a person, to ideas, to a chair. One has to find out and in finding out one discovers enormous things, the beauty of freedom and the love that comes out of that freedom. When we are talking of creation, it means a mind that has no aggression.”

          • Clark

            SPOTIFY WORSE THAN THE NSA! – from Spotify’s terms and conditions:

            If you connect to the Service using credentials from a Third Party Application (as defined in the Terms and Conditions of Use) (e.g., Facebook), you authorise us to collect your authentication information, such as your username and encrypted access credentials. We may also collect other information available on or through your Third Party Application account, including, for example, your name, profile picture, country, hometown, email address, date of birth, gender, friends’ names and profile pictures, and networks.

            And the rest. They collect and broadcast sensor data, whether you are running, walking or, presumably, having sex, and they collect and broadcast data about your friends, too. And they keep doing it regardless of your privacy settings.



            OUT DAMN SPOTIFY!!!

    • RobG

      Your link to Ronny Jordan finally worked for me (previously it kept hanging after a few seconds); much enjoyed his musicianship – and some lightness in this dark world – and will check out more of his work.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    My wife and I have been camping at well over 100 Festivals over the last 35 years…

    You will have a brilliant time, but do not forget it might get very cold at night, so bring several pairs of socks too.

    You will find that most people are incredibly nice, helpful and friendly and hardly anyone ever steals don’t bother locking up your tent?????? – just make friends with your neighbours.

    There might just be two of you – but that can easily become a global village within just a few hours – even in Scotland – (I guess).


  • nevermind

    enjoy the festival, I shall keep away this year. If you have lost the SNP controlled grant, I hope that you will ask the bands to tighten their wage belts as well.

    my best to all who came last year and who work their butts off to make this work for all, have fun

    • Alcyone

      A “tax” on all alcohol and sugar sounds a whole lot fairer to me! On alcohol, especially before and after reasonable drinking time, say 18.00 to 20.00. Very fair on non-drinkers too, especially children whose fault it is not that you must drink.

  • Anon1

    Is this festival safe for a non Scotch Nat? What if I turned up wrapped in a Brit flag like Andy Murray?

      • Anon1

        Whiskey? The only marketable Scotch commodity apart from shortbread and diseased salmon and you go and give it the fucking Irish spelling.

        • RobG

          Captain Haddock always drank Loch Lomond ‘whiskey’.

          You seem to have a bit of a downer on the Scots, not to mention the Irish, and not to mention just about all the rest of your fellow human beings.

          Just imagine what a Superman you could be if you were able to direct all your hate energy into positive, lurv energy?!

          What’s going on…

          (‘Whats Going On’ was released in 1971 and was one of the first Motown songs to make a political statement. It was inspired by stories that Gaye’s soldier brother Frankie told him about the Vietnam war.)

          • RobG

            Alan, I enjoyed Taste and will check out more of their music; but (here we go!), popular music thesedays is totally anodyne, sterile, because we now live in a fascist lunatic asylum. Such systems to not allow art of any kind, because art, by it’s nature always challenges the system.

            Back in the 1970s, 80s and 90s we still had loads of musicians who were challenging the system. The last band I can think of who continued this into the 2000s were Arcade Fire…


            Whether you like Arcade Fire or not is beside the point: there are no high profile bands like that any more. It’s no longer allowed. You live in a police state.

            Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of highly talented musicians out there, but they’re now reduced to busking on the Underground, etc, and won’t be let anywhere near the mainstream.

            It’s called Fascism, and it’s where we’re now at.

          • dpict

            Hi RobG.

            “Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of highly talented musicians out there, but they’re now reduced to busking on the Underground, etc, and won’t be let anywhere near the mainstream.”

            Have you heard of Sleaford Mods? They are a rare band that actually look poised to refute your statement above. They aren’t that far from the mainstream but are radical, original, and as perturbed by the status quo as any decent, thinking person should be. I was going to blether more, but best just to hear them. I hope you’ll have a listen. ATB


    • fwl

      Nice thought if all posters got hammered at festival and ending up arguing off message and making new friends from opposite politics persuasions.

      • Habbabkuk

        And it would be even nicer to think that all regular commenters attending Doune might forswear talking politics for the duration and just enjoy themselves 🙂

        • nevermind

          You are such innocence at times Habby, its exactly those venues were activists and NGO’s meet each other, well not much at Doune, but that how it was at the BGG. Activists have to switch off too and there were lively discussions to be had with a lot of networking going on.

          It was also a fair that had no electricity unless generated by the wind sun or steam. The Rinky Dink tent was linking up with the Burning m,an festival, i.e. they were able to see us dancing and we were able to see their party, and all from eight people cycling and providing the energy.

          A wedding ceremony on top of a hill, within a stone circle was put on to the internet so relatives abroad could watch it, it was done by operating two mobile phones, one for sound the other picture and the power came from a solar panel the camera man/ director/editor/ technician carried on his back mounted on an old aluminium Rucksack frame.

          There was no litter anywhere and festival operators such as Michael Eavis and Stuart Clumpas were enjoying themselves at the then meatless fair, brimming with entertainment. Toilets were organic, lit up by solar LED’s at night, showers were solar, clean and enjoyable after a hard days work.

          Our emergency training included a response to lost children, within ten minutes a line of festival goers got ready and combed the whole site in a long line, going into every tent, every venue, stall, restaurant, yoga tent, until the child was found.
          At one occasion it was not found, well, it was twenty minutes later when two stewards had visited two coaches parked away from the site, they did not have permission to come on site, but the girl had seen the buses and realising her play mate was on one, she visited them, off site.

          If you don’t know what BGG means you have to google it old chap.

          And should you want to know more about fairs, like Glastonbury, and why it has got nothing in comparison to the BGG,. because it is too big, environmentally unsustainable and to big to function well, just let us know.

  • Anon1

    FAO Craig,



    The Brexit vote was supposed to bring about a new, unquenchable desire for Scots independence and a Second Vote. No longer could the Scots exist under such a system that treats their aspirations as if they were a part of England less the size of Yorkshire.

    Where is it, now?

    • nevermind

      o/t but urgent

      The Brexit vote is supposed to bring about a bill of rights, eventually replacing the ECHR,. pleasing all right wing nuts on this wonky car, but Mrs. May has shelved it for good, keeping the ECHR for now.
      What will the 1922 committee say to such delay by Mrs. May?

      Apparently the NHS has gathered well over 1.5bn since the vote, so how come that some A&E’s have to alarm us that they can’t open during the night, have not enough staff.
      Jeremy Hunt is nowhere to be heard or seen these days, mind, the media and BBC are helping a lot by keeping the focus on the other Jeremy, far more popular with nurses.
      So when will this witch Hunt be in the news instead of some money wasting NEC saga?

  • Tony_0pmoc

    fwl, ” but your forgetting golf”? All I had, was no job, my new, really nice girlfriend – her sister’s playtent and one gas burner.
    Stonehenge Summer Solstice festival 1982. There was a sign on the Gate



    You haven’t lived unless you have camped like a REFUGEE


    • fwl

      Oh I have camped like a refugee travelling penniless can make for memorable experiences and happy coincidences.

    • Ben Monad

      “You haven’t lived unless you have camped like a REFUGEE”

      You should ride it like you stole it.

  • Ben Monad

    Festivals should last at least seven days. You can’t even form a Groove in three. 🙂

  • Brianfujisan

    Hope things have Eased with the illness of your
    Mother Craig

    ” What if I turned up wrapped in a Brit flag like Andy Murray?”

    No one would bother ..Yes some may wonder why you’d want to be Antagonistic at an Earth fest full of colour and Light, and children…So stop yir nonsense and just go

    P.s. Some more video from Last year

    • Alcyone Killjoy

      That’s for the Escape Artists, sorry Tourists…and others who haven’t grown up…

      • Ben Monad

        Yeah. You are the Krishnamurti adult in the room.. ROFLMAO. Maybe you should switch brands.

        • Ben Monad

          Don’t you ever feel shame for yourself? Oh well. Self-awareness is a skill, or at least an avocation.

        • Alcyone

          You can have the world of skills and Ignorance. Laugh some more, it might make you cry once you’re exhausted. Good place to start, my smartass Transatlantic friend. Or, lighten up and have another smoke–that’s the groove of your paradigm–accept it, the ‘what is’ is Sacred. Don’t worry too much about Krishnamurti–he’s long dead and gone and well over your dopey head.

        • Ben Monad

          You crying would make sense if you had some investment in the shallow interpretation of your claim but I guess since the Master is dead the imposters should play. You are a fraud beyond all recognition Villager.

  • Brianfujisan

    ” the vocalist, well she would probably make her point better in bed.”

    Hod Yir Wheesht you. Women Rule.

  • RobG

    The various identities of the spooks on this comment board are quite hilarious.

    I’m making a list of you all.

    But in the meantime it is August, the ‘silly season’, so can you folks please give it a rest, at least until September.

    (yeah, we know there’s British troops now fighting in Syria and Libya, without any Parliamentary approval, not to mention Yemen and Iraq, but that’s ok cause it’s the fight against the twerrorists, innit).

    Cue the next false flag, that most dumb shits will completely buy into.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    When you are over 50, it is also a very good idea to take a Flower Bucket with a lid on – for those times at 5:00am in the morning in the tent – just try and make sure you don’t kick it – and empty it at the proper place when no one is looking…and tidy up all your mess – your camping gear before you go to bed and be first up in the morning before it gets really hot in your tent,

    The temperature typically goes from really cold, then snug and cuddle – such that you really want to – to extremely hot by 8:00am if the sun is shining.

    My wife and I have become very brown – so take some sun tan lotion too – and take it easy..


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