It was actually sunny today. Yes, yes, real sunny. The genuine article. Gold and warm and everything. And do you know what that means? It means that the miserable, horrible, freezing, grey, depressing, overbearing shackles of winter are finally thawing to make way for the now-traditional week and a half of spring and however many months of wildly unpredictable British summer… and that means festivals.
It means Sunrise Celebration.
Ooh, except it doesn’t… exactly. Although it does. It’s the same festival, but remixed. Re-painted, re-jigged, re-shimmied. It’s the same wondrous cornucopia of brilliant ideas, wacky surprises, fancy dress, stomping music, painstakingly hand-crafted art, mouthwatering food, nectar-sweet cider, smiling faces, wizardly antics and non-stop, soul-cleansing fun, just… a bit different. Like someone took your favourite Lego set, took it apart, added in a few special new bricks and then reassembled it into something bigger, better and more beautiful.
It’s Sunrise: Another World.
Our love of this particularly special festival is well-documented – see our reviews of the last three Sunrise Celebrations to get a taster of just what’s in store if you’ve never encountered its special breed of magic. But this year they’re flipping the script. This year, they are founding the Sunrise Micronation, based on the principles of sustainability and cooperation. As the manifesto says: “We believe that the human race has a bright future. We have evolved from plankton to become the most complex organism on this planet. Our potential is unlimited. Through responsible management of our resources and thoughtful development of our society we can create a world that works for all inhabitants of our planet. We have a responsibility to change the trajectory we are currently on. In the words of Ghandi we should ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’. We intend to be that change.”
And as well as being the most ethically aware, sustainable and caring festival in the UK, Sunrise is, in the words of a certain interdimensional wizard (who you might be lucky enough to bump into if you attend), “one massive party”. And what a party it is. This year’s line-up features… deep breath… Dub Pistols, The Beat, A Skillz, Krafty Kuts, The Freestylers, Eat Static, The Drop, Babyhead, Featurecast, Ranking Roger, Basement Freaks, Monk3ylogic, Freerange DJs, Hong Kong Ping Pong, Wbbl, Waggles and many, many more. There’ll be ska. There’ll be swing. There’ll be glitch-hop. There’ll be ghetto funk. There’ll be psy breaks, folk, poetry, lectures, inspirational talks, random ceilidhs, processions and parades. Each night, the covered 1500-capacity Main Stage will be hosted by a different band or artist, with specially curated line-ups bringing unique and ever-changing vibes. Grab a local ale or cider at the Sunrise Pub. Shake yer moneymaker in the Beyond The Stars Ghetto Funk Nightclub. The Sunrise Sounds Nightclub and Secret Cinema will be your purveyors of comedy, performance and spectacular late-night grooves. Strap on your multidimensional raving shoes and go for a psychedelic bop in the revamped Dance Temple.
What’s that? You want MORE? MORE THAN ALL THAT? You’re insatiable, you are. Greedy, some might say. But OK! ‘Cos there’ll be about fifty million more things than that, at a conservative estimate. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s the last word from Alex Leppingwell, one of the directors of the Micronation … and we’ll see you in May …
“Sunrise: Another World promises to be more inspirational, more innovative, more family-friendly, funkier, and more out of this world than ever before. We just know you’re going to love it! Come take an adventure in the Sunrise Micronation, enjoy fantastic music, roam our fields of play and ecological inspiration and learn simple ways of living in sustainable harmony that you can take home, before spreading the positive Sunrise vibes out into the wider world.”
More information and tickets are available at Sunrise’s website here.