Sunrise Festival and DJing in Bristol

On Friday night The White Rabbit made another appearance, performing in The Interstellar Circus Cabaret at Sunrise Festival. The festival was held very close to Bristol, just over the Severn Bridge near Chepstow, a pleasant half hour drive away. After a quick rehearsal of my act at home, Tali and I drove over early afternoon.

When we arrived, the site was already very muddy as it has been raining a lot lately. We had a car full of kit for the show and our bedding, but the security were not allowing any vehicles onto site and suggested we catch the shuttle bus in. We had way too much stuff for this idea to be viable, so after a bit of negotiation and several phone calls we were given a delivery pass to drop the kit into the venue. We set off for the site, only to be stopped by a steward and told we were not going to be allowed on regardless of the delivery pass. Off we went, back to the car park, made some more phone calls, and were given the all-clear by the festival organiser to be allowed on. We then ran into another circus artist friend, the one and only Kwabana Lindsay, who also needed to get onto site in his vehicle. Lindsay is a slack rope walker, and was also performing in the Interstellar cabaret.

It was suggested that we transfer our kit into Lindsay’s van and all go in together. We did this and set off once again for the site. Upon arrival at the gate, we were stopped once again by the same lady as before, telling us that she still couldn’t let us on. We called through to our coordinator again, and finally she let us go through to security who still wouldn’t allow us on unless they had confirmation from the festival organiser themselves. A few more phone calls later, and they finally got their confirmation and we were given the white flag to drive onto site.

Strangely enough, there was a gravel road all the way into where we needed to be, so we had no trouble whatsoever in getting the van in. A half hour drive to site followed by 2 hours trying to get in… that’s showbiz!

The cabaret was fantastic, and even though the festival was quite small, we had a really great crowd for the show and the acts were wicked. A highlight for me was a lovely young new-comer from New Zealand called Jeff, or Zeph as he likes to be called. He has a fantastic act using lots of small hula hoops to create geometric shapes around his body, executed with that lovely Antipodean charm rarely found elsewhere in the world. If you get a chance to catch his act, do yourself a favour. It is awesome!

We watched The Correspondents perform in Chai Wallahs after the cabaret followed by Chris Tofu DJ set. Jeff took to the stage again to accompany Chris, and again delighted the audience with his clever antics.

The following day we had to head back to Bristol, as I had a DJing gig lined up at The Attic bar. It was my first official gig as a DJ, and I had a really great time. Here is a poster for the event:

The night kicked off to a slow start, with only myself and the barmaid in the venue for the first hour and a half. I was asked to play three sets over the evening starting at 8:30pm before the first band, then again between the bands, and finally to finish off the night from 1am-2am. I actually really enjoyed playing that first set, it gave me time to practise and get a feel for it. As it was a Balkan Gypsy night, I played lots of music from this genre.

When Fromage en Feu were due to start the venue was still empty, so they did a little walk around the courtyard with their instruments to bring in a crowd. That seemed to work, and a few people followed them in. I have seen this band a few times before, and I really like them. By the end of their set, they had a nice crowd on the dance floor. I played some more tunes during the break between the bands, and then Tako Lako took to the stage. They play pyschedelic Balkan Gypsy music and come from Denmark. Crazy show!

When they finished, it was time for me to play again. This was the most fun set of the night for me, and a group of my friends had arrived by then as well. Everyone came inside for a dance, and I played a bit of a mash up set ranging from Gypsy Balkan to Drum ‘n Bass. It was a lot of fun, and the dance floor was packed right until the very end. So much fun, Bristol you rock!

Posted on 2nd June 2014