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The Wickerman Music Festival, Scotland

Aug 9, 2008
Dumfries and Galloway is a region of Scotland found in the southwest corner which is becoming increasingly popular with tourists as a vacation destination. While this area of Scotland has all of the usual tourist attractions, ruined abbeys, stately homes and castles, it is the lush countryside and fantastic Solway coast which attracts most. The rather moderate weather and the numerous sandy coves have led to the areas nickname of the "Scottish Riviera" and, with a close association with Robert Burns and the wonderful village of Kirkcudbright (a one-time artists' colony) there is plenty to discover in Dumfries and Galloway.

Dumfries and Galloway is one of the most beautiful regions in Scotland. Found in the southwest corner Dumfries and Galloway has a number of beautiful picturesque places to visit and it was considered so beautiful and inspirational that many artists have, in the past, lived in the quaint village of Kirkcudbright. So beautiful is the Solway coast that it has been dubbed the "Scottish Riviera" and it is becoming extremely popular as a Scottish vacation destination.

Towards the end of July each year the peaceful Dumfries and Galloway is rocked by the raucous sounds of one of Scotland's most exciting music festivals, the Wickerman Music Festival. The site for the festival is at East Kirkcarswell, near Dundrennan right in the heart of Dumfries & Galloway and for as far as the eye can see there is beautiful countryside populated only by sheep, cattle, and a whole horde of very friendly festival folk.

The Wickerman Music Festival is unusual form several reasons but most noticeable is the fact that it is a theme based music festival. Rather than being a festival of a particular type/genre of music its' theme is an old British movie Wickerman (1973) which, over the decades, has obtained a cult following. Although there has been a Hollywood remake, in 2006 starring Nicolas Cage, many much prefer the original which was rather unique, to say the least!

Wandering around any music festival ground you are bound to meet all kinds of people dressed in amusing costumes but at the Wickerman Music Festival the costumes seem to appear more often than usual. Many of the costumes will have an animal theme and this is taken from the 1973 classic movie which saw people dressed in similar costumes. There are a great many references to the movie throughout the Wickerman festival site, with art installations and an open air cinema. The climax to the movie was the burning of a wicker man and this is replicated, minus the human and animals, as a climax to the music festival late on the Saturday night and is enjoyed by a huge crowd of eager onlookers.

Considered by a great many people to be a family friendly music festival, Wickerman has excellent facilities. Of special note are the toilets because usually, at music festivals, they are terrible but at Wickerman they are emptied often and usually rather clean. If you would rather not use one of the portable toilets and would like something a little more similar to yours at home then you should pay a little extra for a "Down n Dirty" ticket as these toilets are superb, porcelain types which are continually monitored by cleaning staff. If you would like to take a shower there is also a block of portable showers available too! Throughout the site there are plenty of family friendly things such as a fairground and circus. Even the food stalls are better than those usually found at festivals.

Being held in the gorgeous Dumfries and Galloway countryside it is wonderful to see that the Wickerman Music Festival organizers have gone to great lengths to ensure that there is minimal impact upon the local, and global, environment. It is actually the "greenest" music festival I have attended and each year more effort and thought goes into improving this aspect of the music festival. Litter is never a problem as "wickerpickers" can be seen wandering around collecting litter and categorizing it into the various types ready for recycling. Around the camp site there are various places to put materials suitable for recycling and even the abandoned tents are packed up and sent off to charity. It is truly amazing that only a very short time after the event it looks as though nobody was ever there!

Strangely I have left the music aspects of the Wickerman Music Festival until the very last and this is for a simple reason that virtually all types make an appearance at this extremely diverse event. Punk, Ska, reggae, folk, dance, electronic, pop, rock, world music and many, many other types appear across a multitude of stages and tents making it, possibly, the most varied UK music event of the year. Obviously this means that many different types of people attend Wickerman but it also gives people the opportunity to experience types of music which they may not otherwise be exposed to. The really great thing about this music festival is that, even though there is an extremely diverse crowd, all folk are warm and friendly to such a degree that the atmosphere is one of the things that will remain with you long after the festival itself has finished.
About the Author
Wickerman is a wonderful festival and the internet has many Wickerman photos 2007 and more Wickerman 2008 photos are appearing all of the time, so go and take a look
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