Festival Preview: Sunrise Celebration 2011

Sunrise Celebration 2011 – Festival of Organic Arts and Culture – is taking place between the 2-5 of June at Gilcombe Farm, Bruton, in Somerset, UK. This year’s music includes the amazing ambient psytrance outfit Shpongle (DJ set), The Beat, System 7, The Orb Soundsystem, Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit, Zub-Zub and Eat Static (DJ set). For the current line-up (more to be announced) please visit here. There are also talks from PsypressUK’s good friends Andy Roberts, author of Albion Dreaming; Dr. David Luke, general psychedelic legend and PsypressUK contributor, and Dr. Andy Letcher, author of Shroom. For more details and a full line-up of talks please visit here.

Renowned for its unique family vibe, the Sunrise Celebration provides a buzzing blend of the best in festival culture, alongside new and exciting ideas never before seen in a field. Based on a lovely organic farm in Somerset, the festival features 8 arenas, 15 entertainment venues, 8 talks and workshop spaces and a lot more besides. Whilst music is at the beating heart of the event, there’s also plenty more to get engaged in:-

–          Listen to inspiring talks and participate in diverse workshops

–          Be a part of frontline, topical debates

–          Experience ancient wisdom alongside new and emergent ideas

–          Run, play and frolic freely in the fields

–          Learn new eco-warrior or spiritual warrior skills

–          Cavort with carnival craziness till you drop

–          Dance with your body and soul till the morning light… and beyond!

To find out more information and to buy tickets please head over to the Sunrise Celebration website. And, if you’re still not convinced you should attend this amazing festival, I hope my review from last year can go some way to persuading you – world class event, trust.

© All rights reserved by Mark Falmouth

Sunrise Celebration 2010 Review

Looking for beers. Henry and I. Not beer – a pint of cold lager…FREEDOM LAGER! The amber-golden taste slips easily down our parched throats; sinking into the inner abyss where sweet organic cider has already prized open the space. An hour of hunting over. Had our eyes not been consumed by the many layers of Sunrise Celebration our hunt would have been fruitless. Time slowly became a conundrum; the mystery from which to dive-in.

Bumping along the path on the Thursday night. Still early and still slipping into the festival’s groove – yet stillness is alien. The open tent of Chai Wallahs became the tendril through which the spread of our travel patterned in fractal journeys; outwards through pinnacle spectacle; inwards through the empathy and co-existence of Sunrise. The seeming of perfection as the The Egg set alight our pace for the weekend.

Morning time and Laila leads the sun salutation. Like a bouncing bean – fuelled by Ashley the morning drink pixie – as readiness proceeds….RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS….From nowhere the Kindness Offensive appear. Our neighbours, a couple, are given a brand spanking new tent, blow-up bed, camp table and even a teddy bear. Take that moment of kindness, of happiness, stretch it out for four days and this is the Sunrise Celebration.

(us having fun last year!) © All rights reserved by Mark Falmouth

Hundreds of thousands of years cut from history. We’re led by cave girls – Bronwen and Laila – with war paint on their faces, skulled clubs and passionate matriarchal power. They led us; Henry, Meghna and I. They led us through scorching heat as we tripped our way through Permacultures and Transitions. It was the roots of history; roots reggae and the roots of blistering geometry but the roots were planted by psychedelia – Canterbury’s own Syd Arthur. Barrett and Brown? Siddhartha? “Ambiguous” said the lead singer when we accosted, hugged and thanked him later.

According to Meghna “reflections were everywhere” and yet still when Bronwen noted her thoughts on my pad it was the time of no worries; “the time of indifference” where “words grow and play on the dry page. Crawling around the ground.” Henry reflected too: “Is it all psychosomatic?” Nod. “No. I mean, is it all psychosomatic?” Nod. He felt the awe-inspiration, the being of Sunrise, the “somewhat ethereal presence.” Above, the clouds ceased to float. They reanimated in miniature explosions; they’re shadows cooling.

STOMP. SWEAT. SKANK. A thousand people bouncing with the Gentleman’s Dub Club. Rising reggae monoliths reaching the echelons of Jah. My words but a cry; my voice turning horse. STOMP. SWEAT. SKANK. All a far cry from the new age beats of Kangaroo Moon but a shuffle and explosion from the sunshine beats of Chukin. The whole day from salutation to sunset was baked and by bed I was done, I was baked, I was beaming. “On peut boire le ciel” Henry had said and it shpongled around in my sleep.

Saturday was a journey within a journey as the Ancient Futures yurt brought the space to cosy conundrum. Dr. David Luke had us hum our pineal glands into existence and the seat of our soul vibrated to the forefront of our minds. The mysteries we explore are laced in ourselves. My words: “For the last two and half days my third eye’s illuminated in the lights of the festival” and in reaching the exterior; the interior turned seamlessly about…

© All rights reserved by Mark Falmouth

…Only for the brutal reality – the reading of the codex, the consensual demonstration – to appear. Andy Letcher spoke on the evidential shroom – yet was confronted by the audience’s abject fear of having to design, neigh create, ourselves in post-modernity. The magic of mushrooms is that they rely on the present, the presence and not on the history that abstracts the Self. This little Psilocybe doesn’t live in history; it lives in the ground and a modern grounding is like our time at Sunrise; transient tales, smoothing sails.

Saturday disappeared just as time and the Autumnal Psilocybe had done before. The dancing juggernaut reaching its critical point as the The Correspondents and Zion Train started vibrating the whole of Chai Wallahs into (to quote the Propellerheads) “a seething roaring mass.WAIT. Have I mentioned Lucas? The exemplifier of Sunrise Celebration’s draw. He who came alone, Polish speaking, first ever festival… “How is it Lucas?” I asked. “I’m havin’ ze best time of my life.” You could find him in the Solar Dance tent – a Psy-Trance junky – pulling his “crazy Polish shapes.”

Bronwen and Henry left Sunday morning. Sad times as the camp broke apart; they left to do some raging against the machine and so it was that they passed from the Sunrise dream. Leila, Meghna, Lucas and I ventured forth on a Sunday roam. There were times when our body parts floated apart and you had to grab them back… lest Pac-man and the ghosts gobbled them whole. Sometimes my thoughts broke down into sleep; lying undisturbed on the festival floor but in waking up, I was gathered up, even as the Sunrise began to set.

By night new friends had materialized – Rosie, Kev and Hakim – and we danced with Buddha at the back of Chai Wallahs, we listened to stories and we bumped round a fire. And we radicalized the finale as we cursed the World Bank – “How dare they prolong the Rizla shortage and hike up the prices.” Fortunately for us, each and every person, the parts of the whole, would slip between and share the wealth and pass us papers, one, two and three. I noted the “wee small hours” and time came crashing back; by morning we were sure we didn’t want to leave – yet a year in a life and the Celebration will beat once more.

Via the House

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2 Responses

  1. Only nine months ago and it seems like a dream…

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