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« BACK | HOME » ABOUT » THE SPIRIT SPEAKS » BABYLON IN AVALON (PART 03)

BABYLON IN AVALON (PART 03)

posted 8 July 07 ___ ...Of course it all blows over in the end. Larry gets the train back to london, and after spending a freezing night alone and off his head in his car, John is reunited with his family. Me and Helen head back to the crew bar, have a drink and forget all about it. Nothing is real, Nothing to get hung about. Helen, considerably more cheerful after a whisky and coke, explains to me that the festival has had problems with It's Lisence, after a rash of complaints from curtain-twitching locals the previous year. This explains the heavy - handed stewards on the gate. It also turns out the festival made a loss the previous year, and they've over compensated this year on ticket sales; so the security, understaffed and overworked, are rather pissed off (no shit...).
 
Anyone who's really spent time at a festival knows that dark moment when the giddy feeing of liberation turns into queasy paranoia. You've lost your friends, your pass, and half your brain and suddenly the Carnival tuns into a refugee camp. You're in the middle of an apocolyptic nightmare, and there's bootboys with Alsations circling the perimeter. You are not hallucinating. These things usually start off as free parties; ramshackle,spontaneous happenings with little oily generators and wobbly stages. There's no need for security; there's only 200 people there, theres nothing worth nicking and anyway, you're all mates - it's self policing. But fast forward a few years, and there's money changing hands...Sharks are circling around the wounded hippy porpoise. Fast Forward a little further. You've got insecurity guards, Auchwitz-style watchtowers, gangsters in the campsite and the production office...It's Babylon in Avalon.

'What exactly are you trying to acheive?'

With  faceless corporate sponsors on one side and a load of amature Bransons on the other, Its no surprise that some, more imaginative people are starting up their own small,spontaneous, free and illegal parties in the countryside. apart from anything, they're a lot safer. You won't get charged £4 for a cold lentil burger, and you won't have to worry about an off-duty member of the Territorial Army nicking your drugs and booting you into a barley field at 3 O'clock in the morning. Of course you wont hear the Alabama 3 at any of these parties; they could never afford the guarantee...

On Tuesday morning  I manage to escape, with minimal damage. My white suit is now the colour of baby poo, and I've lost my sunglasses, but my phone, my sanity and crucially, my wages for the gig are intact. When I get home I look up www.familygathering.co.uk: 'Transformational event Experiences'. There's a little box on the left that says 'Mission Statement'. What kind of freaking hippy anarchists have a Mission Statement? One day these guys will be running a conglomerate of coffee shops. Their aims include 'Activating the Web of Light' and 'To Live Sustainably From Our Field of 'Work''. At Sixty quid a ticket I'm sure 'The Company' manages to live very sustainably, thank you. 

'When pondering our futures as event producers in the past, the dominant symbol that appeared to us over and over was the Chalice. It is about developing a structure that is not leaky, that is able to receive the Abundance of the Universe and is always overflowing with bounty. Om Shanti'

It might be overflowing with bounty, but this Golden Crock of Shanti seems to have sprung a couple of serious leaks. I have learnt an important spiritual lesson from this weekend. I have learnt the universal, transformational truth of that ancient mantra:
                                                                                                                                                                                         NEVER NEVER TRUST A HIPPY

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© Orlando Harrison 2007