The Wickerman legacy didn't finish when Nicolas Cage shot the final scene of the 2006 remake of the classic film. In the Dumfries and Galloway region of Scotland, a festival of the same name has been going for over 10 years and it has been celebrating the very best of up-and-coming and established Scottish acts, as well as a host of musicians from across the world.
This year's Wickerman Festival provided a pick n' mix line-up of acts consisting of the almighty Scissor Sisters, Newton Faulkner, our very own Duke Special, Cast, the self-proclaimed 'cowpunk' band Proghorn and the Inishowen Ceilidh Band, this isn't your average festival. A wide range of tastes are catered to and at the same time, with men in kilts Highland Flinging it about to no end, it is a great celebration of the Scottish Spirit which accumulated with the final act of the weekend, Texas, taking to the main stage. It may have been some time since you last thought of Sharleen Spiteri and co. but if you want to see the bare soul of a Scotsman, you need to witness them singing along to time-capsule hits like 'Summer Son' and 'Say What You Want'. Even though many of Texas' songs have remained as 'just another song' on a Now That's What I Call Music! compilation, the people of Scotland wear the pride of Texas as well as they wear a sporran (often mistaken for a purse - a mistake that can one can only afford to make once in their lives).
One thing that must be said about The Wickerman is that it is one of the most well-behaved and calm festivals going. It is a family-orientated festival through and through with bumper cars, hurdy-gurdies and outdoor laser tag games at the ready for whoever wants a break from the music. There is a steady balance of kids and adults at this festival which would make it ideal for parents who want to enjoy music but who can't find a babysitter for an entire weekend. The atmosphere is incredibly laid back and because there is a fair balance between the amount of kids and adults there, the festival has a particularly playful edge.
Set in the luscious farmland area of Dundrennan, where a number of scenes of 1973's The Wicker Man movie were filmed, its surroundings are worth the trip to Scotland alone. The Wickerman Festival can certainly be adorned with the title of the most family-friendly event of the summer but its greatest feat was the closing ceremony. Inspired by the Burning Man festival in Nevada, United States, the festival said its goodbye to the crowds with flair by setting off extravagant fireworks and setting fire to a 40ft man...made out of wicker. While Wickerman wouldn't be a hardened festival-goer's cup of tea, if you are looking to start your kids off in the festival circuit or if you like to take a more relaxed approach to festival hopping, this is a must.
Review by Louise Bruton