The Wickerman Festival is an annual music festival held near to Dundrennan in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. Dubbed 'Scotland's Alternative Music festival', Last year it was held on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st of July.
It began in 2002 when the festivals artistic director Sid Ambrose, whilst working with the Stewartry Music Initiative, hit upon the idea of a local counter-culture based family-friendly festival due to the surrounding area being inextricably linked with various locations used within the classic British horror film 'The Wicker Man' (1973) starring Christopher Lee and Edward Woodward. He took the idea to local farmer Jamie Gilroy, and by doing this, they ensured that the festival would eventually settle within a natural amphitheatre of 120 acres of prime Galloway grazing land at East Kirkcarswell Farm, Dundrennan.
Musically as well as creatively, the festival has been likened to a smaller version of Glastonbury with a widely eclectic mix of music to suit everyone. It has 8 stages and these include 2 main stages (Woodward & Summerisle) a world music and funk tent (Rowan), a reggae sound system, an acoustic village, a punk/ska/northern soul tent (Scooter), a new Scottish bands tent (Solus), several dance tents, as well as a children’s area, workshops, beer tent, crafts, a cinema, and much more.
Artists that played last summer include Fun Lovin' Criminals, The Proclaimers, Hayseed Dixie, The Orb, The Negatives, The Targets, Cider Spiders, Modus, Darkwater, The Call, The Beat, The Rezillos, The Peatbog Faeries, The Yardbirds, Eat Static, Jah Wobble, Neck, Uniting The Elements, I Am Kloot, Skaville UK, Popup, The Low Miffs, The Kazoo Funk Orchestra, Black Affair, Miss The Occupier, Only Joe Kane, Saint Jude's Infirmary, Miss King and the Cougars, John Langhan, Ardent John, Taiko Drummers, Andi Neate, Sally Campbell, Jam Squad!, Andy Lang & the Well, The Stompswampers, Sixpeopleaway, Copy Haho, Our Lunar Activities, How To Swim, Frightened Rabbit, Clean George IV, Dance Lazarus Dance!, and Y'all Is Fantasy Island.
XFM Scotland's Jim Gellatly on his first ever Wickerman (2007): 'The most family friendly festival I've been to, and a brilliant weekend. If you're ever tempted to take kids to Glastonbury, at least try out Wickerman first. A pretty successful jaunt all round, and I'm already looking forward to next year.'
2008 - artists that played Wickerman 2008 included K.T Tunstall, Gary Numan, Broken Records, The Foxes, Dub Pistols, The Cuban Brothers, Hugh Cornwell (ex-Stranglers frontman), Neville Staple, Dream Machine, Monkish, Attic Lights, The Hacienda Tour (featuring ex-New Order bassist Peter Hook, Bez, and DJ Graeme Park), X-Press2, Annie Nightingale and Headphone Disco.
In November 2007, Wickerman won the category of 'Best Grass Roots Festival' at the UK Festival Awards. The only other Scottish festival to win was the John Lennon Festival in Durness.
In previous festivals, artists have included:
The festival climaxes on Saturday at midnight with the burning of a giant 30ft Wickerman, built by local craftsmen Trevor Leat and Alex Rigg.
It has been nominated for 2 festival awards:
Best Cult Following 2005 & Best Grassroots Festival 2006
Its motto is:The Wickerman Festival - it's better than it needs to be!