DOUNE THE RABBIT HOLE
Back in August I had the good fortune to attend Doune the Rabbit Hole as a volunteer. My friend is an arty genius involved in the festival and she had invited me and Rockin' Roy to go along for the week and help with the decorating team. If your first thought is 'Decorate a music festival? Surely you just throw up a banner?' You've never been to Doune.
We arrived on the Monday evening, reasonably unprepared for camping because a) we hadn't been camping in a couple of years, b) we were skint as usual, and c) we don't have a car so whatever we took, we took on several buses (and a very generous lift!) to the site. Day one was a blur of waterproofing paper lanterns and giant stars, painting tiny buckets, and building giant butterflies. This was interspersed with countless introductions, several cups of tea and utter delight on the discovery that we were going to be fed delicious hot veggie food during our volunteering. Have now become a bit obsessed with chicken-of-the-woods mushrooms which were growing near by and made their way into our curries, yum, yum, yum.
We worked until it was long past dark then it was back to the tent to sleep. Unfortunately trying to get comfortable on the ground for a soft city dweller like me was a bit like trying to get a unicorn to ride a flaming unicycle, or something, I don't know, I'm tired, who are you again?
I was working mainly with the same team for these days but there were many others working hard building the stages and fences, decorating other parts of the festival and doing the million and one other things that it takes to put on a show.
We were lucky in that for the duration of the festival - Friday, Saturday, and Sunday - me and a couple of others were off-duty and could just dance, drink and create merriment. So we did.
When I signed up to go I had heard of very few of the acts playing. I am pretty into my music and it was wonderful to be able to discover so many new artists. The way Doune works you can actually connect with them too. There are no big barriers or lines of security, you can go directly up to a musician after a gig, shake their hand and thank them for playing. Or give them your wine and buy all their albums, which is what my friends did. I like my friends.
On Monday we spent the day packing up, then it came time to wrangle lifts home, my bed and shower a most welcome sight. Phew! Look forward to next year and hope to be able to volunteer again. Read more about Doune 2014.