Rogan suddenly found a signal on his mobile phone. Thumbs moving close to the speed of light he updated his Facebook status.
“Right beside the Wickerman. Gonna go up in flames in a matter of minutes. Dad knows guy who makes Wickerman”
I’m too old for festivals.
I’m too Chronically Fatigued for festivals.
I’m too squeamish to go near festival toilets.
I’m not used to the idea that not just my ribcage, but even my kneecaps could vibrate because of the sheer force of the sound coming out of the speakers.
I have to admit, if it wasn’t for the fact I’d got free passes for me and Rogan because I was accompanying Tony Bonning in the children’s tent with my bouzouki, then I probably would not have chosen to spend my weekend at the Wickerman Festival.
But it was Rogan I felt most sorry for. At 15 years old he needed to have a bunch of friends his own age to go off and explore with, not be saddled with a grumpy old man who would get worn out every time we had to walk more than 100 yards.
However, standing only a few metres from the 30-foot high willow sculpture as it was lit at midnight made up for everything, both for me and Rogan. The rest of the festival goers, including all the press photographers were much further back, with marshals ensuring no one could get too close.
Trevor, one of the builders of the Wickerman (see - Building the Wickerman) managed to get us in with him when he went up to light it. Apart from his partner, and the guy in charge of the accompanying firework display, the only other person allowed up there was a woman who had won a competition to be the one to set fire to the Wickerman.
Once the flames started to lick around the base of the legs, we headed down the field to get enough distance to be able to watch it go up in a blaze of glory with the fireworks exploding behind and above it.
It was all over in about 15 minutes, but they were a spectacular 15 minutes and my finger didn’t stop clicking the camera the entire time. For some reason it stirs something deeply primal watching a huge figure going up in flames.
Below are a small handful of images from the Festival, but there are plenty more at my recently created Flickr account and can be found here:
Rogan with the Wickerman in the background
The Sex Pistols Experience tribute band - pure theatre as they swore at each other and goaded the audience. Better musicians than the originals too.
Trevor prepares the base of the Wickerman with a last coating of straw
Heading up with the lighted torch ready to set fire to the Wickerman
Fireworks as the Wickerman blazes
Soon little more than the steel frame remains