Traveller's Photo Diary #2 The Green Gathering 2017. A festival run entirely on renewable energy!!!
Last week I had the pleasure of spending 6 Days Crewing with a collective named Triban, at the green gathering Festival In Chepstow, right on the edge of the Welsh / English border. Green Gathering is a four day low impact festival entirely run on solar energy, set in an area of outstanding natural beauty, where every nook and corner is bursting with creativity. Several intimate solar stages showcase up and coming acts, legendary festival favourites, Dj's, poets, activists and spellbinding raconteurs. The site also provides space for magicians and mystics, off grid solutions and co-operatives, crafts, Permaculture, campaigner and healing areas. There is even a stone circle and a faerie glade. The whole festival is the perfect example of an eco friendly gathering, it was such a pleasure to be at a festival where the visitors didn't trash the place and leave litter everywhere, the people were so respectful of the land and that for me is a very important aspect to the event.
Triban is the reason for me being at this festival, I was part of a crew of Volunteers who set up and run the whole venue. Triban inhabits a beautiful bespoke white canvas marquee decorated with great attention to detail, spilling out into a garden with benches and campfire. A cafe-bar and stage for folk, funk and global grooves. in the photo above there is a lovely description of what Triban do and stand for.
Triban is run entirely on solar energy, that's all the sound system and all the stage lighting which is very energy hungry so being on solar only is an amazing achievement, it was really fun and interesting to be part of a team juggling the various battery pack systems, to make sure we never ran out of juice.
Directly opposite Triban is another venue called The Raconteurs' Delight hosting spoken word and cabaret acts by night; family friendly entertainment early evening; performance and art based workshops by day.
Around the corner is The floating lotus venue a haven of interconnecting geodesic domes hosting up-and-coming young artists, solo impresarios and politically conscious bands. With morning laughter yoga and pop up workshops in everything from Bhangra to belly dancing, plus aromatic teas, lovingly made cakes and real ale on tap.
The festival had allocated a whole section just for Permaculture, with this being a subject very close to my heart, I was very pleased to see this. In the Permaculture Zone gardeners, builders, chefs, artists and teachers pitch in to create a beautiful, productive, caring and informative space filled with tools for living sustainably. Hands-on experts demonstrate how to use resources wisely via talks and workshops
I will be making a separate post very soon About Permaculture, since this is a huge topic that I can't possibly include in this post without going on a huge tangent.
I really wished I was able to take more pictures but there was so much going on my attention was all over the place, over stimulation of the senses, just so much creativity everywhere I looked.
Further down the field I found the Buddha field Cafe with the fantastic magic hat sauna close by.
Then we arrive at the Fairy Glen set on the edge of a woodland, a truly magical and spectacular display of art and creativity. A maze surround a majestic Wise old Oak Tree and several amazing Nature sculptures further into the glen.
On the other side of the Glen I took an exit that leads right to the bottom of the central field, where I found a tipi circle with a central campfire.
Another section of the festival site was dedicated to Campaigns of all sorts, The Campaigns Field is the centre of politics and protest at the Gathering – bringing together activists and academics, and raising awareness around diverse social and environmental justice issues. Every day is jam packed with discussions and workshops. In the evenings there is a solar-powered Radical Wales DIY open mic stage.
At one point I spot in the corner of my eye a DIY wind turbine, so naturally I go to check it out. A basic but very effective mobile wind turbine was charging a battery and at the same time pumping water.
Now heading in the other direction I came a across the Craft Community, nestled between trees, offering festival goers the chance to learn traditional crafts. Blacksmithing, carpentry, wood and stone carving, pottery, basketry, weaving, leatherwork, drum making, felting and tool sharpening are just some of the crafts on offer in individual workshops, taught by experienced artisans.
There is really something for everybody and you could easily spend an entire day just doing workshops.
This one got me laughing, someone in the box is making 2 minutes sketches, Human powered photo booth, brilliant hahaha. Just around the side of this is another one of the venues, The 99% Bar a space for Dj's and special guest playing a whole range of eclectic music from reggae, dance, trance and disco beats. They also serve wood fired pizza, Caribbean patties, vegan ice cream and fresh fair-trade coffee.
Like I mentioned at the beginning, the part I loved the most was the cleanliness of the site and this is due in part thanks to a very well organised litter disposal system that was place in strategic spots all over the festival. But also the people attending the festival all being ecologically aware and conscious. It really pains me when I attend events that people just trash with litter, so I profoundly appreciated what was happening here.
This repurposed old fire engine is now a mobile solar farm with its old water tank filled to the brim with Batteries.
Something to mention also was the high quality of healthy food stands dotted across site from Falafels to Indian cuisine and yummy grilled cheese sandwiches, I couldn't turn a corner without seeing something I wanted to taste.
One of the amazing scenes at the festival was the Severn–Wye Bridge, that could be spotted in the distance after the camping field, connecting Wales to England.
Now we head back to the Triban solar stage where I spent most of my time at the festival Crewing. As crazy as this sounds with this post already being as long as it is, I really wished I had took more photos of the Amazing Triban crew, some of the most talented and energetic people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. But my role in the team was programming and operation of the stage lighting, which meant I was pre-occupied most of the time with the bands on stage and not necessarily thinking of taking pictures but I still managed to snap a few.
The Legendary Don Bradman Before going on stage
A snap shot of the lap top screen and the program I used to control the lights, I was starring at this screen for so long, that even when I went to bed I could still see it, with the light sequences going off in the background.
I got to see every band that played at Triban but subsequently missed everything happening in the rest of the festival.
I really love doing light shows and the DMX programming that goes with it, I really feel like I can enhance the musical experience with the right colour and effect. this was one of the first jobs I ever did when I was younger and still keep my had at it now and again. The down side of controlling the lights means I couldn't capture much of it either but I still managed a few snaps here and there. So to finish of here are some of my lighting handy work.
I also managed to capture some video's and I wanted to try out this new video hosting site that uses the Steemit block chain called Dtube so here are some short video's from the festival and mainly the Triban stage where I worked.
if you follow the video link it will take you to the Dtube upload where you can upvote the same way as on Steemit post , so please leave a vote if you like them. I'm very hopeful this could be a great resource to replace Youtube. Please let me know what you think of it.
Amazing sitar player with a bird of prey calmly sitting next to him
A look at the sound and lighting booth at the Triban solar stage
Sieze the day Folk band at the Triban solar stage
Thanks for reading this episode of Traveller's photo Diary. If you enjoyed it please feel free to vote, resteem and leave a comment. I would really love to hear what you think.
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