Sunday 19th of August.

5 days and counting…

In truth I haven’t been able to get round to writing anything regularly or anything near, as it has suddenly become too damn busy.

The lists that must be made of names

                    And names

                            And names

                                    All the same





And for meals, Drystone passes (all cumbered with Wainwright Walls and herdwicks) Mainstage back passages to sit among the Glitterati of badly drawn boys and chalked menu upon a blackout board. A Camping Kenneth Williams limp cloth wristbands to get you in.


As always the Drystone Stage, first to go up. It’s changed again providing me with the most ridiculous statistic in the known universe. The Drystone Stage has had 50% more regenerations than Dr Who in the same amount of time.

This is actually the first time that a significant thought has occurred to me. The Drystone Stage has been in existence for as long as the new series of Dr Who, so…

…Has one affected the other?

It is no longer connected to the Pyramid. Which has now just become a “Green Room” for the artists, it’s drifted a long, long way from my original idea was. Which I’ll not repeat as it’s written elsewhere.

But The Stage will still in all things be THE VERY BEST STAGE

IN ALL OF ENGLAND! As I’ve often said before.

There will be traders next to it so you can get a brew and munchies and there’s just up from it. The SMOKE HOLE SPEAKEASY. This is for cover should the weather get grim, sunshine mix of world music and tribal tunes will play in a morning set upon Saturday and Sunday by Paul Thompsons’ Beat Roots.

The main thing is today I felt for the very first time since last year a sense of REAL EXCITEMENT. That certain buzz, which brings with it a frisson that only Solfest, gives.

Tom’s new dance tent has arrived, and what a sight it was seeing Tosh actually pushing a lorry with the Tele-Handler up the wet field when it got stuck.

Big bugger that tent is. You mark my words, you wait and see, you w…

…but I’m getting ahead of myself. Way to far ahead as it starts on Thursday and I’d decided to take a break from all the paperwork.

(Read this in a Phillip Marlowe Style, practise saying “SCHWEETHEART” like Bogey.)

What I needed to do was chill out; I was feeling guilty about having nothing written or to write for the blog. But how many times can you write.

“I’ve got shit loads to do, going spare and trying to get it all in balance making sure all acts are attended to with all problems dealt with! Before it gets boring, and the only interesting (a bit) bits are the bands problems and none of your damn business thank you very much.

You will never believe the stuff this year!!!

Any way I did what I had to do mundane stuff that really makes no story to tell. I went to Carlisle to see Gary and organise my sound and lights. Bit interesting, but I can’t make

“We sat down around a BIG TABLE and said things like microphone, radio link, bass trap and backline.”

Much better than that.

I gritted my teeth and excelled at making my excel sheet of guests and fees and meal tickets and said right Alan here is you treat.

I sat here on the pooter and recorded two “WIZARDMARRAS DRYSTONE RADIO SHOWS” which will probably be broadcast on the Test transmission day. It’s all cheese but with good tracks from Drystone Stage Acts Past and Present. I’ll probably adapt them a bit post Solfest as podcasts. I really enjoyed myself though, loads of fun. That gets us to Friday, only I somehow am stuck in Thursday so when I get a message from Alwyn that we were putting the Drystone Up I chortle

“Daft Alwyn’s muddled as we are putting up on Saturday and it’s not even Friday yet. But for half four I’m on my bike and off down to the site, and it dawns upon it is indeed Friday and we are putting up today because BLOODY HELL THE FESTIVAL WILL BE STARTING






When I get there it’s good to see JT, Tosh, Chris, and Alec and Massam too who had vanished last year. Jamie arrives too, who I was hoping to work with last year using his green diesel jenny for the stage. This year he comes to build, brought in by JT.

What a squad we have this year, in seven days we shall build for you a field of dreams

             An arena of diamond illusions in one week.

             As Sandmartins swoop across the grass, at first wet from the constant drip






Of relentless never-ending soul destroying dampening cooling soaking horrible wet wet wet wetwetwetwet



Last night was lovely after a wet and a grafting hard work grit toothed day.

We had Leah to stay with us, and it was great. You cannot imagine how much pleasure (remember in the middle of SOLFEST WEEK) changing a nappy and giving ones Grand Daughter a feed at Four in the morning is.

I am smitten

With Princess Leah

Slowly over two to three days the weather dries and Alec said a lovely thing as seven O’clock clouds cumbered overhead in an air that was softly dry and dark.

“It’s very nearly sunshine this!”

And it was, and later today we had the most wonderful most golden brassy XANTHIC (look it up, good word) sky. I have been so chilled painting the sign that our LOLLYPOP HIPPY will be using.

And I felt the buzz again






The Wizards Pot

An archive of the life and rantings of The Wizardmarra. The Best Storyteller In The World.

About Alan Whittaker

A storyteller like no other. Weaving traditional storytelling with madcap posing and stand up comedy riffing. Taking the listener from here to there and back again at break neck speed; with panache and a fine sense of the ridiculous.For more information about Alan, read his biography.

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