Last year Dark Mountain held the inaugural Uncivilisation Festival at Llangollen in Denbighshire on the last weekend of May. This year it will be held at the Sustainability Centre near Petersfield in Hampshire between 19th – 21st August which is completed powered by wind and set amongst 55 acres of woodland. I'm looking forward to admiring the eco building by woodsman Ben Law.
Uncivilisation will once more be a gathering of writers, thinkers, artists and musicians who face the realities of an age of global disruption and uncertainty. It will provide a space to talk about how we make sense of our lives, where we find meaning, and how we take practical steps to make the best of living through difficult times.
Speakers range from a scythe-wielding poet, to a former banker talking about the idea of a mortgage strike, and an ex-Wikileaks hacker who’s been rigging up improvised internet services in Afghanistan. There’ll be lessons in foraging and brewing, midnight theatre in the woods, a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Luddites, workshops on the future of the university and the publishing industry.
Writing and storytelling will take place during the daytime, alongside practical activities such as permaculture ways of managing land and food production, learning to scythe, woodland walks, wild food foraging and improvisation theatre workshops. Speakers include the incredibly inspiring Jay Griffiths (author of Wild and Pip Pip), journalist Nick Hunt, poet and ecologist Mario Petrucci. Andy Hamilton, co author of The Self-Sufficientish Bible will be teaching How to Make Booze (for almost free). I'm intrigued by Saturday's Collapsonomics! an open discussion about the practicalities of economic collapse.
In the evenings there will be music and entertainment centred around the 'bonfire circuit' and on Saturday there will be a unique late night theatre experience. Listen to music from alt folk songwriter Chris T-T, folksters Merry Hell, Marmaduke Dando, Huckleberry Mockingbird and Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.
Expect to meet people from all walks of life: last year Uncivilisation attendees included those who work in manufacturing, mothers, poets and mental health workers amongst many others. For a healthy dose of culture, politics and spirituality in one, Dark Mountain is surely the most interesting independent festival of the year. Tickets are just £60 for the whole weekend and can be bought from a link on the official Uncivilisation website.
Read our previous interview with festival organiser Dougald Hine, and check out last year's Uncivilisation listing too. Follow Dark Mountain on twitter for news and updates.