Wilderness Arrival

Seven years ago I first came up to do Wilderness Festival. I was in a piece called “Bugs” and as far as I remember I had some form of mental illness. I got the script on the morning of the show. It was strange.The next year I came up again. Did I do the Odyssey? I think maybe I did. Yes. I took so my clothes off and came out of a stand of bracken with a hat for modesty in book 6 to be found by Nausicaa. It’s entirely textual. The third year it was the Odyssey again, in the driving rain, under a tree with loads of glowsticks and a small group of committed audience. I loved The Odyssey. Wonderful. Mad. Dark. Strange. Immediate. Varied. It’s funny to think I improvised the Odyssey consistently for about 2 years with some amazing voyagers. Happy strange fun times. I miss them.


The next year I was back again and I delivered a neuroscience lecture in The Forum with PowerPoint. Then I did a piece about Transhumanism which is feeling more and more prescient. I got the lecture three minutes before I delivered it. I had never seen the slides before. It went down brilliantly. Natch. The fifth year I wrote a radio play about punching cows and growing tomatoes. It was performed in the same place I had delivered the lecture. I lay on my back and listened. Then the year after that I drove some lovely people out to the festival and they paid me to be their chauffeur with a ticket. I adored them for that. We are still mates. I just hugged them all. Last year it was so much a part of my calendar that I still wanted to go. I was filming until Friday night though, so I couldn’t commit to a show. I actually bought a ticket. I paid £100 via Gumtree. It was strange being there with no job, but relaxing. I’ve always stayed in public camping anyhow so I can camp with my friends and because it’s closer to the lakes for swimming. But not having the performer band almost caused me problems on arrival. The guy wouldn’t let me in as I was “too late” so I had to sleep in my car, apparently. Thankfully I knew enough to drive round to performers where they were kind enough to let me blag through the gate. “Delivery for The Factory. They need this for the show late tonight. It’s an emergency.” “Yeah mate, of course it is. Go on. If you see a guy with a beard, let me know. The other gate are on the radio saying not to let him in.”

I’m happy to be back again, which is just as well because Happy is my job. I’m working for the Ministry of Happy. Measuring the public levels of happiness and administering more in case of emergency. So I’m here. I set my tent up in the rain. Once again I’m in this particular field with old friends. This is going to be delightful. And I’m posting this now with a generic photo just so it’s done and I can get stuck in. Aaaaaaaaargh

Also the internet will get flooded soon. And my phone will die.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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