Psychedelic Forest Carnival 2019

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Kelburn Castle
14th September, 2019

After an enjoyable afternoon at the football with family and friends I realised we were a 40 minute drive from Kelburn Castle and two of the young team decided to check it out. Getting in was a bit of a struggle with no internet for the card machines, we managed to push our way to the front offering cash only for the door staff to spend a long time glaring suspiciously at my English £50 notes. Directions in the event were provided by a team of loved up security who seemed to be firmly in the festival spirit.

Getting parked we decided to wait out a brief rain shower in the car – good move! The first bar we visited was a road block so we widened the search and found The Saloon which was less busy and had a bar and a roof and they were playing some bouncy funked up tunes that helped the drinks flow nicely. I was starting to take a liking to the predominantly Weegie crowd and had gathered for myself a crowd of young admirers helped probably by the fact my companions were predominantly younger and better looking than me. The young team did a great job of working the floor and soon our booth was the place to be. Doing my good deed for the day I helped a disabled guy get his crutches and sent him in his way having warned him the floor was uneven. We both wished each other a good evening.

Turns out Shane is a good protestant name so we were able to be friends. When we explored the site the true psychedelic nature of the event became apparent with brilliant light displays amongst the leaves and branches. There was even a DJ booth in a treehouse which looked and sounded amazing. The Elektrikal Crew are pounding the best sound system in the country and it really makes a difference. The sound and the bass line was fucking incredible.

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On the Viewpoint Stage we saw Samson Sounds with Dandelion who were funky with a great brass section and had us making fools of ourselves jumping around on the dancefloor, loving the vibe. It wasn’t so much a dancefloor as a muddy type 1 surface but it seemed to do the job. Having been impressed with the view from the Saloon the new vista from the apply named Viewpoint Stage was like something from a dream or (perhaps) a trip. Full moon, trees, trees, lights, lights. Either I’d been properly spiked or the castle was busy changing colours as we grooved, what a magical experience. It seemed to be predominantly female artists and DJ’s which is a great positive message and more importantly had the whole place bouncing.

I saw Eva Lazarus while the young team continued to hunt in a pack for young ladies. She was utterly brilliant, a force of righteousness, a proper dancehall vibe. Loud, crisp sound and her huge vocals filled the trees with the proper stuff, what an amazing talent. Her DJ was brutally brilliant as well, at this point the young team reported for duty. Benny Page tore the sky off the roof. Sick as fuck. He played an absolutely roasting set of everything from old school jungle, Andy C Classics to Chasing Status’ latest remix of ShyFX “Original Nutter”. I totally lost my shit and so did the young team. Brilliant MC who knew how to build a night and took us where we wanted to go.

Best party in Scotland, only missing The General on the decks. Next year!


Graeme Steel

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