The Kelburn Garden Party.
4th till the 9th July 2019.
The first time I went to Kelburn, was back in 2013 it was just after a very rain soaked Eden. It was the year that I saved the communal fire from being extinguished, subsequently taking on the roll as Fire Marshall at future Edens, Audio Soups, Woodland Dance Projects and now Kelburn Garden Party. It was on my first visit to Kelburn that I looked after the fire in The Pyramid Garden. On a ticket with Monster Andy and Paula Wakiwitch with whom I had recently become acquainted with. Indeed it is when I first sampled the delights of this magikal wonder of Mother Nature in her most lush and comforting guise.
It wouldn’t be until 2016 that I would return, this was as DJ Divine and having the honour of performing Bowie nd Prince on The Beach Plateau Sound System as well as giving a Poetry Performance and drumming for The Victor Pope Band all on the same afternoon. I was up and down the beautiful glen on a tight keep fit and performance art afternoon. I loved it. My heart was broken then though So the emotional shards of losing friends to Heaven and a relationship that was punishing and delighting in equal measure. I was carrying a lot of weight on my shoulders. stuck between a rock and a hard place. Kelburns Healing Magik offered Grace and respite with time to think in the soft sea air.
Missing Glastonbury this year and dealing with my Housing and benefits crisis throughout June after a wonderful Eden I was back on the treadmill with my hands tied from making any firm commitments to forthcoming festivities because the day before I left for Kelburn Garden Party I was pretty certain I was going to be homeless in September. So having confirmed that pending homelessness was not the case. I cried my tears of relief and packed for my adventure.
I managed to get a guest ticket from Fathom Ross as Colonel Mustard And The Dijon Five were headlining on Friday Night. I had previously offered my talents as Performance Poet and Dj Divine, but to no avail. Kelburn was working me the fire was still burning within me from Eden, I didnae wanna work as a Psychic so when I offered my fire tending skills and got the green light I quickly gathered a reliable crew of Ross and Travis Macdavis who both fire tended with dedication at this years Eden. I wanted to work and this was just the salve that my soul was crying out for.
3am. Thursday 4th July
All stress has now processed,
Reiki, My Love My Saviour.
Take Me To The Field Of Dreams.
The Flames Of Love.
Divines Heart To Tend.
To Heal Deeper.
In Mother Nature.
Kelburn Garden Party.
Divines On His Way
Thursday 4th July.
Ross came to pick me up at 10am with the news that his wheels didn’t like motorways so we were having to stick to the A71 all the way to Ardrossan as we neared the West Coast, the softness began relaxing my heart, we got onto The Kelburn Site at about 2pm. Ross went to pick Travis up from Largs so the three of us were on site for 4pm. Plenty of time to set up camp, settle in and prep for the lighting of the Summerfield Fire. So so many friends were camped in the crew field. The feel-good factor from being immersed in such natural beauty with gentle sea breezes the Divine heart began to smile. After a hearty dinner, the first Kelburn fire was lit and I grounded the love and set the intention to heal the hearts of all that enjoyed its warmth. With the vortex open, I held the love till 6am, during that time, all the emotional buildup released it all flooded out of me. I left the fire at 6am and had a cup of tea in the welfare tent, then headed to my sleeping bag feeling like a new man. ZZZZzzzzzzz.
Friday 5th July.
I awoke to the sound of falling rain it was going to be a very wet day indeed with a constant scotch mist hanging over proceedings so I grabbed my brand sparkly new bright yellow illuminant waterproofs( Well it was Yellow Friday) then headed for some Brunch. After which we kept the main fire well stocked. Ross and I prepped the fire at the Pyramid stage getting the flames welcomingly warm as the coaches began to arrive. Its on wet days that warm fires are most necessary.
The first act of the opening evening Richy from Richy And The Reinforcements and spectacular drummer from Edinburgh’s very own Jamie and Shoony set the tone for a weekend of quality musical entertainment. It was while tending the fire and doing my make up that I was joined by a Romanian tree spirit called Paula. Once I had finished my own, Paula asked me if I would do the same for her. “Of course I replied. Divine had made the first of many new friends and the fireplace was soon rammed with damp festive revellers. I held space and kept the fire heartily burning till mid night, Travis came and covered for me so that I could grab a bit of The Mustards performance at 10pm, The courtyard was rammed with The Yellow Following and my bright yellow waterproofs were not out of place. The build up to The Mustards appearance on stage was immense. It was when Fathom Ross appeared on stage with a large sequined iridescent pearl number that a gasp went through the crowd. Colonel Mustard And The Dijon 5 amped the spirit of the festival up.
I returned to the Pyramid fire held space and flame until midnight and then headed for my next mission, the fire at the Tall Trees.
Saturday 6th July.
I headed to the Tall Trees at midnight. This was a completely different world the teenage element of the party most of which were spangled. Extra care was needed to keep the fire and punters safe. Soundtracked by some rather wonderful techno I worked the flames beautifully until the music stopped and security cleared the arena at 4am. Where I headed back to the main fire to drum some sunrise rhythms. My shift finished at 6am. The damp wet day before had been replaced by the beginnings of a hot Summer Saturday Kelburn day. Also it was a rare appearance of a day off during a festival and The Grandmasters Leftfield were Headlining that night. I rested from the full on Friday for most of the day, quite spangled myself, I chose to not sleep and to party on through.
Saturday 6th July NikNak and Leftfield.
I got to the Landings Stage early to watch and dance to NikNaks opening set and really let rip, loads of good time memories came flooding back from The Lost Disco in Croatia where I was first impressed with the skill of this wonderful duos tune selection, NikNak warmed a very hot dancefloor up perfectly. I headed for dinner and then returned to camp to rearrange the Divine wardrobe and then on to sort the wood at the main fire before heading back to The Landings Arena where I found a chair on which to sit and hold Rhythm for the duration of Leftfields Master Class in electronic music. My positioning was perfect to really listen and it wasn’t until Open Up came into the mix that my inner dancer burst into life. My body was tired so practiced some yogic breathing to energise and it worked. It was a spectacular night and Dawn was breaking to another unblemished day. I slept deeply for 6 hours and was back on duty at 1pm on Sunday. Refreshed and raring to go. Good Time
Sunday 7th July.
I was served a Sausage Casserole Brunch by the Crew Canteens Head Chef and it really set me up, After Lunch I got my fire tending map for the day. I was in charge of The Pyramid Fire which is what I wanted as that was where Mark McGhee’s Making Things Happen stage take over was happening. But first I went and had a tidy up of the main fire place, meditated and grounded the Angels. I arrived at the Pyramid Stage just as the late afternoon temperatures were reaching their peak and prepped a small fire so that once dusk began to hit and temperatures began to drop. the fire within the stone circle glowed a heartily warmth and was welcomed by all. By the time The Girobabies hit the stage the garden was packed. It was a very entertaining evening indeed, climaxed by Captain Hotknives and his Northern English Punk As Fuck poetry. He was really really funny. Lots of friends and people that I care about were gathered round that fire, to top it all off, my Romanian Tree spirit friend came to give me a cuddle. It was a really lovely experience.
When The Pyramid stage closed, I headed up to the Tall Tree’s to check on Ross, Travis was at a completely different fire. Ross was fading so I told him to go get some rest and took over. (Yogic Breathing works) So the transition from the heavenly beauty of The Pyramid Garden to the Tall Trees with a DJ playing 80s cheeze I concentrated on building the flames and had a right good singalong. Just as dawn was breaking a young lad was snarling and darting daggers at this other young lad, my alarm bells were going mental. The ruckus began, he was like a bull dog when he attacked, they got pulled apart and the young lad that had been attacked came and sat next to me. Hmmmm, this is a precariously dangerous situation. I didn’t have a radio and couldn’t see any security, I said listen I cannae leave you to find someone coz this intimidating butch shite is going to bite. I knew it wouldn’t be long before security came to clear the arena. So I advised that he just sit tight next to me until the cavalry arrived. Poor lad he was shaking. No further aggression accrued though, security escorted them both safely. But by eck, in all my years of Fire Tending at festivals that was a first. I fucking hate bullies, they just ruin it for everyone.
I headed down to the main fire, Grabbed my drum, played some rhythms and let it all go.
Monday 8th July.
Getting into my sleeping bag at 6am was such a welcome comfort, I was out like a light, slept deep and rejuvenating. When I awoke, I got chatting to a couple that were camped opposite me, they were talking about Tarot my ears pricked up and I explained that I had been dedicated to Tarot since 1992 and had worked as a professional Tarot Reader for 25 years. The concept that Rachael and Dai presented me with blew my mind in a cosmic kind of way. The major arcana were represented by 7inch singles that referenced the imagery of the cards. It was such an original and fascinating concept. The next sensible step was to create a DJ Mix of the singles that were pulled. Wowzer, what a truly brilliant idea. My inner Psychic was stoked and I gave them both Tarot Readings and then headed to the crew kitchen where I gave a few other readings too. It was another lovely day, my body wasnae allowing me to do walking around much, I was knackered but very very happy. I built the main fire up for one last night with the intention of sleeping by the fire. Just as the flames got toasty the rain came back in, so I grabbed my drums and had an early night.
Tuesday 9th July.
I awoke to the sound of falling rain, pulled on my Bright Yellow waterproofs headed to the crew kitchen had a cuppa and some Coco Pops and meditated on the beauty of the Clyde. kelburn Garden Party had been an epic adventure and such a deeply healing experience, I really didnae want to leave. Good Friends, Community, fire, great music and Mother Natures Elixier. Even when I returned to my tent and the rain was falling heavily I laid down and protested just a few hours more. We left late afternoon. My heart had come into a natural balance returning to Aulde Reekie to the news that my Benefit and housing issues had been resolved. Another weight of my mind. This time I could truly relax, process and dry my tent coz I had to pack it wet. What an amazing adventure. I smiled a smile of appreciation that such wonderful things are available in Scotland. Aye it was a winner. I enjoyed it, My Mind, My Body and My Soul. Enjoyed it too.
Good Time Divinexx.
Photos (in order). NIKNAK on the Landing Stage. 2 Divine 2019. Mark Mcghee Girobabies. Divine 2013. Divine 2016. Colonel Mustard view from the stage.