About This Festival
The Wickerman Festival is an annual music festival held at the East Kirkcarswell Farm in the picturesque region of Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. Musically as well as creatively, the festival has been likened to a smaller version of Glastonbury. With a widely eclectic mix of music and art to suit everyone, it has suitably been dubbed "Scotland's Alternative Music festival."
The Wickerman Festival, named after the legendary 1973 Christopher Lee/Edward Woodward horror film, is an annual counter-culture, family-friendly event held in the same area as the film was shot. Born from an idea in 2001 by the festival's artistic director, Sid Ambrose, he took the idea to local farmer Jamie Gilroy, and ensured that the festival would eventually settle within a natural amphitheater of 120 acres of prime Galloway grazing land at East Kirkcarswell Farm, Dundrennan.
The festival encompasses a mix of arts, music, films and every creative type of British outpouring ever seen by man or beast. With the motto “The Wickerman Festival—it's better than it needs to be,” it’s well-renowned as Scotland’s alternative music festival that aims to entertain and deliver a real spectacle that amazes and astounds at every opportunity.
Like any Scottish festival you should be prepared for any type of weather and the Wickerman Festival is no exception. Though it is held in the height of summer, temperatures can drop at night and the chances of rain are ever present—but with a little preparation this certainly won't effect the fun-meter. When the sun is shining, expect to see flashes of pale skin as the locals pay homage to the sun's glorious rays.
Wickerman has been a sellout event in recent years, attracting nearly 20,000 devout followers. The festival is known to have a cult-like following and caters to a broad audience, from rockers to ravers, with plenty of activities for families too.
A Myriad of Music
Sitting on 120 acres of isolated farmland, the festival features ten stages that host an eclectic and exciting mix of leading artists, iconic acts, local bands, alternative acts and up-and-coming talent. Catering for all musical tastes, the two-day event features stages including The Summerisle Stage, The Acoustic Village Stage, The Reggae Axis Tent, The Bass Camp (which features The Skiddle.com tent), The Ho Down Wendy House, The Headphone Arena (which features a silent disco), The Greenman Inn, The Scooter Tent (for punk/ska/northern soul music) and the Solus tent (which feature up-and-coming Scottish Bands).
The event follows the standard formula set by many dance/music festivals, with a mix of classic and contemporary styles spread across two days, leading up to a crescendo of energy towards the end of the festival, featuring more punchy and powerful headline acts.
A Microcosm of Entertainment
The festival is a wonderland for adults and children alike with a variety of entertainment and arts and craft activities scattered throughout its fields. For anyone wanting to learn a new skill, you can attend a drumming workshop, a mountain bike skills workshops with the Forestry Commission and for the more adventurous types, seek out the chainsaw juggling or Cosmic Circles Fire Dancers.
Families can spend time at the children's area, check out the funfair for kids, the children's circus and Dumfries Museum's Activity Tent. And if you're with a group of friends, why not watch a movie at the outdoor cinema, grab a bite at the various bars and food stalls or even play a bit of festival golf? At the end of the full day's worth of activities, there's a special quiet camping zone for those who value (or just need) to sneak in a power nap.
What truly completes the festival, though, is its unforgettable finale, as thousands of fans flock to watch a towering 40-foot (13 meter) Wickerman statue be spectacularly set alight at midnight on the last day of the event. The burning of this effigy harks back to pagan rituals.
Festival-goers can choose to sleep in their campervans/caravans (with or without an electric hook up), or select luxury camping options that include 18 foot-tall hand-made tipis, yurts and cloud-houses, which dot the magical festival landscape