Five Days to Go to the Best Party in Scotland! 52


There are five days to go to the best party in Scotland. Not the Edinburgh Festival, with its Fringe of 2,000 talentless sweary comedians playing to stag and hen parties who cover the street in vomit, and its stalls selling £5.50 small slices of pizza.

No, there is a world of nice people, talented musicians, and great beers and ciders, passingly quaffable wines, fine whisky and fashionable artisan gins and tonics all served by me. It’s called Doune the Rabbit Hole and it starts on Friday.

Both weekend camping and day tickets are still available, and I now have a discount link I can give readers of this blog.

I am going to be foolishly honest here. After 7 years in which the festival has grown by 15 to 30% each year, this is the first year when we have a serious decline in sales. This genuinely puzzles us, and I think it is partly because last year the terrible weather (freakishly cold and wet even by Scottish summer standards) gave many people a bad experience. Thankfully this year’s forecast looks great. And as we are the only music festival I am aware of in Scotland which is not currently in receipt of any public funding at all (though I keep trying) we really do need to sell some more tickets.

There, that was refreshingly honest, wasn’t it?

You don’t have to take my word it is great fun, there is plenty of evidence. It is particularly designed to be family friendly without being in the least uptight.

Do join us. I believe if the money is an issue, we may still have room for more volunteers. At this stage get in touch with me direct via the contact button top right of the blog.


52 thoughts on “Five Days to Go to the Best Party in Scotland!

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I’d love to be there, but unfortunately it clashes with 2 other festivals on the same weekend, one of which is almost socially compulsory for us because over 10 years, it has grown from a total of about 10 tents in a field, to an expanding global village, where we camp together and share food, cooking, beer, wine, cider etc.

    You look 10 years younger the other side of the bar.

    Good luck with the weather.

    Tony

    • Tony_0pmoc

      The Daily Mash has a good reputation, The Tories and T-in-the-Park do not, but saying that, how would you know unless you were actually there? As strange as it may seem, I have now been camping at close to 200 festivals, and have never witnessed any violence whatsoever. I don’t actually count plastic bottles of pIss throwing contests (with the top removed) as violence. So far as I remember such contests started at Donnington Monsters of Rock about 30 years ago. I don’t think anyone got killed or seriously injured, but this was in England. Do Scottish Tories still do this?

      Tony

  • glenn

    Was hoping to get there this year, but unfortunately I’m living on the continent at the moment. Will definitely make it there one year…

    • Brianfujisan

      Hi Glen

      Atz a Shame you are out the country..would be kool to meet up at Doune..

      take care noo.

  • Ian

    Oh Craig. you are in danger of turning into grumpy old man. Good luck with your festival, but your swipe at the fringe is classic GOM. Sure, there is an overload of comedians, as there has been for many years, yes all sorts of tat and hucksters cling on to the coat tails, but if you can’t find some thought-provoking theatre, from all sorts of cultures, readings, music, discussions etc you aren’t trying very hard. A cursory look will yield subject matter from Syrian war and the ethics of charity, the history of slavery and its effects on now, financial chicanery etc etc. All things you have written about, and presumably have an interest in.
    BTW festivals all across the UK, outside of the stalwarts like Glasto and Belladrum, have been struggling, for a variety of reasons, one of them oversupply.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Ian,

      Oh come on “grumpy old man” ?? That is outrageous. Its Craig’s blog and he is completely entitled to some poetic licence re Edinburgh Festival going on outside his front door every year.

      Its probably a bit like (one little festival I went to 10 years ago) and I heard Sweet Home Alabama played about 10 times in 12 hours. Hardly anyone did Neil Young….

      And I’ve been to Larmer Tree and Latitude – so I know what you arty farty Edinburgh fringe festival type people are like.

      I think you are Great !!

      Tony

      • Ian

        Well, he’s not normally like that. It would be a shame if he ended up like his regular commenters btl who are predominantly GOM.

        • craig Post author

          Ian, I used to love the Fringe.Never missed it. I saw Brian Blessed play MacBeth in a small cellar. I saw a pre-fame Berkoff try out his Hamlet before it went to the Roundhouse (actually it was pretty rubbish), I saw countless European theatre companies – on the Fringe, not the main festival,

          That was before venues started charging producers £1,200 an hour and collecting that from 12 shows in a day. Ever wonder why there are zero full plays lasting over one hour at the fringe? And no full cast plays, just one man shows or at most three or four handers and those damn few (except for subsidised student productions)? Didn’t used to be like that. The Fringe used to be magnificent.

          Yes, you can put on a two man socially aware show about Syria within these constraints. But beating the constraints to produce something of artistic validity is very, very seldom achieved.

          • Ian

            Ok, fair comment. I still think it can throw up good things, but i take your point about the commercialisation which constrains what people can do. i remember the fantastic Polish and Georgian theatre which turned up on the fringe, and i hope some of that kind of work still makes it. Seeing that kind of thing can stay with you, and open your mind to some very different ways of thinking about culture. that is why i still value what makes it through the moneymakers, venues agents who have seen the opportunity to cash in big time.

  • Kempe

    ” Not the Edinburgh Festival, with its Fringe of 2,000 talentless sweary comedians ”

    That would include Alex Salmond…Unleashed would it?

  • Blind Tam

    The answer may lie in the price., it’s not cheap….. I was interested in going, looked at the price and thought….. no. It is entirely the prerogative of the organisers to charge what they want but then they have to live with the consequences if numbers do not stack up. Carnival 56 in Dundee this weekend was £58 and has had good sales. Good luck anyway and hopefully the sun will shine.

    • nevermind

      Maybe the answer lies in what events the Scottish Arts Council decides to favour, its a fine line, Blind Tam.
      Organising a festival is a years work, there are so many factors and boxes to be ticked, with authorities, artists, police fore brigade,etc.etc. Money is not earned from good bands, they need paying, but from serving good food and some good drinks, more organisation.
      I worked on the BGG (big green gathering) in Wiltshire and Somerset as well as in Glastonbury and some of the Albion Fairs of the 1980’s. You need a big old barn to store all your kit, whatever tents you have, kitchen and bar equipment.
      And then there are the managing side, artists to contact, press releases to be written, radio stations to approach, maybe artists introduced on the airwaves or TV, if possible.
      Its a long haul and it does not take very many hurdles and or pitfalls to make you loose money.

    • craig Post author

      I hope Carnival 56 was good and carries on to success. Its tickets were advertised as “From £76” for the weekend, and I presume that doesn’t give the possibility of camping.But I take your word there were £58 tickets. An urban park festival is a different thing to a green field festival. The direct costs of putting on DTRH are about £210,000. It would certainly be good to be cheaper. But Mugstock, for example, receives an astonishing amount of public money and thus its tickets are much cheaper, but sells less tickets than we do. It’s not easy to predict.
      You can volunteer and come for nothing in return for working a couple of shifts!

  • Peter

    Why have a family friendly festival the weekend AFTER the Glasgow schools go back? Curious timing

  • Sharp Ears

    Baroness Scotland

    O/T but as Craig has dealt with her before, he (and others) might be interested in p 13 of the latest Private Eye which details her ‘excesses’ at the Commonwealth Secretariat.

    8 links on this search
    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?s=baroness+scotland

    A puff piece in the Guardian.

    ‘It’s unfair to call me Baroness Brazen’ – inside Lady Scotland’s refurbished home
    The Labour peer has been vilified for a £338,000 refit of her residence as Commonwealth secretary general. Is she simply guilty of ruffling feathers as she tries to reform the organisation, or is there a deeper prejudice at work?
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/aug/07/unfair-lady-scotland-inside-refurbished-home-commonwealth

    Risible. Nothing to see here readers. Move along now.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Some tips, about camping at Festivals…before you go.

    1 – you need a tent. Try putting it up befpre you go in your back garden if you have one.
    2. – just because the weather forecast is brilliant and it is summer, it can get incredibly cold at night – so take a pair of socks and if camping in Scotland a hot water bottle.
    3. you need something to boil water. do not assume it is available on tap cos it isn’t even if you can find a tap.
    4. It gets dark at night…take more than one torch
    5. when you arrive and find a place to erect your tent – ask your neighbours – if its O.K. to put your tent up here, and chat to them..they are going to be your neighbours for the next few days.
    6. if they really do not know to put up their tent, help them, before you give them a beer.
    7. Food at festivals can be extremely expensive – the people flogging it are trying to make a living too -so take at least some of your own.
    8. It is entirely possible to keep fresh food fresh whilst camping, if you pack it in a cool bag – with lots of frozen water (ice) before you go. I use empty plastic milk flagons -about three quarters full (water expands as it freezes) so stick it in your freezer a couple of days before you go.
    9. Where you are camping maybe a considerable distance from where the bands are playing…before it gets dark – see if you can find your way home in the sunshine, because its a lot more difficult when its dark.
    10. Have a good time, and if someone is completely lost and its 3:00 am invite them into your tent, and make them a cup of coffee.

    It will soon be light and your faith in the human race has just been reignited and relit.

    Tony

    • Stu

      What’s your opinion on peeing in the middle of the night…..

      Out the tent door or in a bottle?

    • Sam

      You forgot to mention “If pitching your tent in the dark, make sure there are no cow pancakes where you are about to erect your tent”.

      As for anybody needing a hot water bottle, they might be better off in a hotel.

      Food at festivals has always been expensive. If you intend moaning about the price, bring a packed lunch, dinner. and breakfast with you. dry your eyes, and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANaP26V1tFw

      Camping people used to have that famous “stiff upper lip”. Not any more apparently.

      Of course, camping inside Britain’s third most populous city might not include any of that “great outdoors” stuff, eh?

        • JOML

          That’s good to hear, Node. Going to see them in October at Usher Hall – no tent required!

      • Michael McNulty

        Regards the price of food at festivals, I had a neighbour twenty years ago who told me he had considered selling food at Glastonbury. He thought he’d make a killing hiring a food-stand to sell spare ribs in a home-made barbecue sauce. The idea fell through when he learned it was £400 per day for the pitch. What must it cost now?

        These festivals will harm themselves if nobody can sell food at a profit. Punters who go hungry for two days will not want to return.

      • tony_0pmoc

        Sam,

        I have never been camping in Britain’s third most populous city…However if you are referring to fairly near to Sheffied or Manchester, you’ve already missed Rock&Bike Festival £30 the entire weekend inc camping (if you book early) – about 30 miles south of Sheffield..but you are maybe just in time for Rock the Lakes about 30 miles west of Manchester…now £50 the entire weekend inc camping.

        I’ve never taken a hot water bottle, and I agree the Pretenders – have still got it – saw them at Hyde Park a few years ago when Neil Young was on and Paul McCartney turned up. I guess around 60,000 people turned up – maybe more.

        Politicians are lucky to get 30 people turning up in the audience…or even more than 3. That’s a bit naff if you can’t form a quorum.

        Tony

    • Brianfujisan

      Cheers Tony..

      Mind also the dreaded Midge in the North.. Not so bad in August.. But..it’s been a bad year for the wee fkers… Or a Good year if you are a Midge..

  • Tony_0pmoc

    From the Telegraph…”Philip Hammond views Liam Fox with ‘contempt’ ” well , so do I actually even though as far as BREXIT is concerned I agree with Liam Fox – but that is not the point as Craig Murray has already explained. Liam Fox should be in jail awaiting prosecution for Treason….

    and so far as the rest of them and The Torygraph output and headlines…You guys at the Telegraph are becoming a serious embarrassment… You are not very good.

    Have you all gone off on holiday and left your 15 year old kids doing work experience at The Telegraph for free? Did you explain the basics re the propaganda? They haven’t done their psychology degrees yet..and you’ve left them in charge.

    You are suppossed to be a professional newspaper. You are nearly as bad as The Guardian.

    Its Disgraceful.

    Tony

  • Ishmael

    Craig, i’m very against a lot of your views, & think how you treated me was wrong.

    I won’t be coming back in any short term, But never the less I get we come from different worlds, different values and viewpoint. It was my choice to come here. I did not mean harm.

  • Sharp Ears

    £22.50! to see Alex Salmond speaking to David Davis at the Fringe.

    August 14 2017

    Alex Salmond relaunches his career with a Trump impersonator and David Davis

    Scotland’s lost chieftain has relaunched his political career, accompanied by a six-piece band, a scantily clad man with a red sporran and David Davis, the Brexit secretary.

    Even by the wild standards of the Edinburgh fringe, Alex Salmond’s show Unleashed was uncharted territory, the former SNP leader contriving a performance pitched between a political rally and The Graham Norton Show.

    The formula won the cheers of the faithful as soon as he rolled on to the stage, and by the end, a handful were still prepared to stand and cheer.

    For £22.50, the most expensive ticket on the fringe, the audience also enjoyed the band, a comedian and red-sporran guy, who emerged from time to time with a placard to announce how long the show… paywall

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/salmond-leers-for-laughs-at-edinburgh-fringe

    Obviously not in favour with the Times.

    A little more friendly review in the Guardian.

    Alex Salmond … Unleashed review: music and chat but no juicy gossip
    2 / 5 stars
    Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh
    The former first minister of Scotland and ex-MP promises a political kiss and tell, but while a convivial host, fails to deliver the goods
    https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2017/aug/13/alex-salmond-unleashed-scotland-first-minister-edinburgh-review

    • nevermind

      Why watch a politician who loves the sound of his own voice when there is Simon Day, eco warrior….at least he’s funny.

  • Clark

    This is the Doune the Rabbit Hole Festival, live from the Cardross Estate, Stirling, checking in on-line via the dodgiest satellite connection imaginable. Seriously, the pole for the satellite dish is rigged with fucking cable-ties. I managed not to tear any of my hair out before I got it on-beam. I’m mega busy here, so don’t hold you breath if you leave me any replies.

    • Node

      Seriously, the pole for the satellite dish is rigged with fucking cable-ties

      Tensile strength of 8 heavy duty cable ties = 1 ton. Seriously, what’s your problem?

      • Clark

        Yeah, flexing in the wind; the alignment needs to be quite accurate. The clamp is bad enough, let alone the pole. I’ll try to find some spare scaff clamps.

    • JOML

      And a fine range of ciders too! Just back (bairns have school tomorrow) but didn’t disrupt Craig for conversation – for a holiday away from his day job, he looked very busy! Hope you had a good time, Clark, despite the rain. Today looks like the best for the sun.

      • Clark

        JOML, thanks. I was really glad that the weather turned out nice for the festival itself. It’s Tuesday now and it’s back to rain again; site clearance and packing up is going to be hard work!

  • Clark

    Jeez, that was the hardest work it’s ever been; mud, mud mud. I’ve had the box office bus to myself since last night. I slept about ten hours and really needed it. The festival was again really lucky with the weather; Saturday and Sunday were lovely days, but that doesn’t help us of the crew much. Torrential rain last week turned the site to mud making work very difficult and slowing us right down; much time and effort were expended just freeing bogged-down vehicles. The rain dried up just in time for the festival itself. Yesterday was dry and I managed to get my tents away, though only half packed. Today the rain is back and the site looks almost as muddy as it did on Thursday.

    But we did it.

    • nevermind

      Thanks for that Sharp easr. Justback from this years DTRH. I have to say the weather did not dampen the spirits of those who attended, despite the headline band getting stuck in Morocco, and much beer and cider were enjoyed by the crowds during the 27 hrs. I helped serving behind the bar.
      met some very interesting people and had the delightful opportunity to pogo and jive with a friends daughter who thoroughly enjoyed her stay at the fair.
      Despite the schools being on, many children were present and had a great time.
      I’m happy to say that I have turned another 9month old toddler to liking lemons, it was a tremendous moment when she first bit into it, realised the sharpeness by crunching up her little face, but then after a spl;it seconds contemplation biting into it again, with gusto. 10 minutes later her mum came back asking me for another piece of lemon, her little todd’ had eaten the whole lot. I gave her a few pieces and got a smile in return, two more happy people.

      And should somebody from the Scottish arts council be listening, you have to re-assert your fairness, do your social network research and apply criteria fairly when deciding who to fund in 2018. This fair has now been in existence for 8 years, it is enjoyed by 2-3000Plus people annually, it has a clean record with no incidents recorded, due to its excellent stewarding and it deserves public support.
      Just sayin’.

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