Sunrise Festival write up
By Ed Mitchell 29th July 2010
Summer in the UK means festivals. To many people (and promoted in the mainstream media with big mainstream sponsors) this means rowdy rackety noisy big stages, bands, cider, big speakers, late nights and other excitements.
Now that’s all very well, but we’re watching festivals with a more ‘conscious’ edge with great interest. One of these cutting edge (if you’re thinking about peak oil, climate change and financial insecurity) festivals is Sunrise, and its deeper partner Sunrise Off-Grid.
Both of these gatherings have deep connections to the Transition movement (particularly TT Glastonbury) and are explorations into life beyond peak oil, community living and collaborative working. They have a manifesto which is based on the principles of the Transition Handbook.
Sunrise off-grid is coming up soon (19 – 22 August) and is going to be a stunning 4 day learning experience with workshops in almost everything you can think of to do with off grid living. As well as that, it has its own currency, and donates lots of money to managing natural forests. The festival itself has a Project Profile on this site, as does the SOL Currency project. We recommend you go if you can.
At Sunrise (3 – 6 June), there was a ‘Transition Tin Village’, where Transitioners held workshops, chai making lessons, film showings, oven making and pizza selling and more. It was splendid.
Some of the Transitioners participating in The Tin Village have written up their thoughts which follow:
Sunrise festival was the first festival I’ve been to in years having decided to go because some friends were setting up and organising the Tin Village space.
After arguing about the best way to make chai tea I found myself on the bill as the chai workshop person which kinda suited me as my green credentials for such an event are fairly crummy I was happy to have a role in the background and of course the opportunity to pitch in with any other activities that I could help out with.
So I mostly kept the chai fire going and made numerous trips to collect more cups water milk, wood and crush spices, and would say i performed the whole operation about reasonably inefficiently judging by the amount of walking I would do to make just one pot of the ambrosial indian beverage 😉
What it afforded me was the opportunity to sit and brew whilst watching all around the tin village workshops and activities open and close, if only if had a time lapse camera, there was such a great energy
about the place and it didn’t arrive there like that but grew minute by minute throughout the weekend as peoples ideas met with other peoples ideas so many new tin village workshops seemed to be taking off or over running as people stayed later to ask questions and discuss things further or link up and share contact details.
Everyone I spoke too seemed alive and tuned in to the energy in such a great way, a real nice diverse mix of people all with their own passions and depth and shine.. A lovely mix of Art, anarchy, environment, food ,wonderful gardens and lovely DIY pizzas…
ps can i just apologise for not making John his soya chai I owe you 1 !!!!!
The Transition Village had an amazing spot at the top of the festival site, looking over the wooded hills around Alfreds Tower. The space was friendly and welcoming, and most of the crew there had a part in it’s creation.
Many thanks to Dan and Kath for their hard work and vision- and all others who helped along the way. From my arrival on Tuesday knowing no-one, I felt completely welcomed and included in everything…The talks and workshops held in the space must have inspired hundreds of people over the course of the festival in many different ways… from using wild herbal remedies, making chai and building an earth oven, through to having a deeper understanding of the living landscape around us- there was something for everyone!
6 days of blissful weather, in the company of truly inspiring folk was a treat I’m not going to forget in a long time…
Wicked and bad – what a great time we had. Thanks for the pics shame we didn’t get a whole team/group pic – one for the next tin village!
The tin village was a live example of the transition initiative and it was down to the collective connectivity that made it such a success. We all shared our skills, passions and knowledge and it was this that made the tin village so special, which reflects the ethos of the transition movement.
I learnt how valuable helping one another is (I learnt how to do plumbing in a field and making pizza in a mud oven!) and how hierarchy doesn’t work! I reunited with past tin villagers and made inspirational new friends. I experienced the success of allowing people to have a go at new skills like strawbale building and in co-ordinating ad-hoc events with people I had never met.
Anything is possible when you work together with a shared passion for a better world in a sunny field with keen people eager to improve our community for a positive shared vision of the future. And it is this amazing energy that draws people in. Thank you again tin villagers and all who helped create such a magical space! See you at the next one. Best eco wishes, Cara (off of Transition Langport)!
A transition community for a moment in time
We built, we created a welcoming home
With gardens, a wood store and our own wind turbine.
Sunrise, chai tea,
Sharing ideas about community
About permaculture, campaigning, mycorrhiza, and bees,
And how, without money, we can truly be free.
Sunrise, well fed
Make-your-own earth oven pizza and bread!
Hundreds of people organically fed
And watered with elderflower fresh from the hedge.
Though the weekend is over, lets not forget
The fun that we had and the people we met
And lets see where the tin village brings us together next.
Transition sunrise for me gave me hope and clarity that, even in a sunny festival field you can still find engaged and dynamic people ready and wanting to come up with solutions and ideas on how to create resilient and sustainable communities.
I loved the space that was created, it was a hive of activity and I feel very blessed to of been part of such a creative community.
I look forward to taking the ideas and opinions i’ve gathered to the Council of Europe and showcasing how there are already many citizens ready to step up and help create a Europe of social and shared responsibility.