Doune The Rabbit Hole 2022

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Cardross Estate
Lake of Menteith
Stirlingshire, Scotland
14-17 July, 2022


After 3 long years of silence over the hills and fields of Cardross Estate the music finally returned to the beautiful and calm festival that is Doune The Rabbit Hole. With many 300 year old Oak Trees surrounding 6 classic stages you felt like Alice in Wonderland discovering new acts and talent that will surely influence your musical journey over the next 4 days. To think that for 3 years this place fell silent during one of the most difficult times that Scotland have endured in decades, but you cant keep the dance down forever. To experience first hand the joy, the relief , the love and the appreciation of all those that had missed the connection that people and music bring to Doune was a sheer pleasure. Colourful happy smiling faces, that saturated the atmosphere like a wet blanket on a hot day filled the Festival. What more could you ask for ? Well, with the line up that Doune the Rabbit Hole had secured it was certain to be memorable festival. With a larger capacity and a new layout there was more ground to cover and more acts to see so bored was not an option. All angles were considered which resulted in so much more creative areas such as: Yoga and Mediation tents, kids storytelling and workshops and not forgetting the majestic Mary Poppins tent. Hidden steam rooms and huggable trees allowed for a moment of relation between the music and theatre that was on offer. Spoiled for choice is an understatement. There was so many incredible acts that the only down part was who we could and who we couldn”t see as one can”t be i two places at once, but we can at least try…..

The Thursday evening seen Patti Smith and Her Band take the main slot and she did not disappoint . With such a huge back catalogue to cover the classic songs just kept giving and giving.. A most delightful experience it was. With 3 full days ahead of rap, dub, rock, punk, disco, funk, dance and Scottish legendary bands to fill our guilty pleasures our legs will be doing all the talking, well dancing is more likely…. Jabbering between stages you would have come across such bands as Gentlemans Dub Club to Black Wolf Trap ( who recently smashed it at the Meadows Fair) who were on fire.. With DJ sets from Huey Morgan, Tim Burgess, Optimo, Mungos Hi Fi and the formidable house of Samedia Shebeen with all their guest DJs and performers which filled the air with tropical and African beats that shook the very ground we stood on. The Tum Tum Tree tent treated us to acts like Sex Cakes, Doss ,Storm The Palace, Yoko Pwnos, The Victor Pope Band ( one of Edinburghs best known punk rock bands) and they with Mark Macghee at the controls this was the secret place to engage in some great up and coming talent… With Amy Macdonald, Belle and Sebastian, Teenage Fanclub headlining on the weekend evenings the Douner”s were covered from all directions of musical diversity . 10 cc , She Drew Her Gun, Tide Lines, Yard Act, Buzzcocks The Rezillos, Girobabies, Los Chichanos , Utah Saints, Snapped Ankle ( weird but amazing), An Dannsa Dub, Peatbog Fairies, Billy Nomates, The Bluebells, 808 State and not forgetting the classic 70s legends Boney M and Baccara. This injection of 70s disco, funk and soul created a sea of pure love and affection for a young and old. The audience were transfixed back to a time that disco fever had given us for many decades. Smile, dance and be free was the feeling flowing through the sea of fans… Over all, after what felt like 10 years, this was a perfect reintroduction to the festival scene we all missed so deeply. Big shout out to all crew and staff at Doune the Rabbit Hole for allowing us to join your party and be free to dance in the hills again…. Until next time, take care all…


Words & Photography: Raymond Speedie

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