This time a week ago Saturday night was in the ascendance. Donna Maciocia, bolstered by the Horndog Brass band, The Banana Sessions, Stanley Odd and Admiral Fallow came together in a run of brilliance on the main stage, Woodenbox and Lord Rochester in the saloon and Mike Kearney and the Horndogs funking all over the Backwoods. Now only the bunting remains, defiant of pack up and breakdown, Monty is back in charge and calm once again rests over Inshriach.
That was just a small slice of the amazing that took place last weekend.
We owe many thank yous; Limelights Events once again handled the lights, staging and sound so smoothly and professionally you wouldn't have known they were there. The Heritage Arts guys, Tim and Martin who brought up the lawn tent (and killed a couple of spare cockerels) were absolute stars, we had No Fuss events with the Saddlespan, the fabulous and generous Highland Tipis, the ever beautiful Red Kite Yurts and Henry Fosbrooke for the catering tent. The National Park once again stepped up and helped us out and the Highland Council made it all possible. Big Glens boys for keeping the peace. Thistly Cross, Williams brothers and Cairngorm Breweries got us drunk and Highland Spring made us better. A big hand to Bob and Dave for catering the hell out of it, Elma, ladies moustache champion of 2011, for tea and cake and insisting she paid for all her ingredients, Woodburns pizza, Roger from Auldern antiques for the vintage clothes, Mike from G2 for the flying machines, Full on John for the rafts, Benedict for the gate, Chas and Sandy for the toys on the lawn, Forkbeard Fantasy, Bluster and Leverage and the British Film Institute for the movies, Owen Pilgrim for the stories, Freya and the gang for massage, Alice for trapeze, The Too Much fun club for art and Larkin about for theatrics, Sophie for conjuring up two thirds of a mile of bunting and of course the ever present crew of Harry, Kyle and the uber talented and quietly confident Tired, Tom and Captain Bob for getting up here and screwing it all together. That the build effectively took 5 days is testament to the genius we had on hand.
Where would we have been without Gregory the Absinthe bartender? Without Abraham Lincoln or the marauding Manda?
Massive praise is in order for Ross and Polly Cameron. They tirelessly whupped this festival into shape and order in the face of green wormwood temptation. If any of you need a holiday, in a cottage, in Nethy Bridge, you will find their perpetual hospitality. Gordon Reilly, I take my hat off, your line up comprised threads of Scotlands finest, woven on a musical loom into a blanket of joy, again, get down to the Old Bridge Inn in Aviemore to catch Gordy day to day. Aidan, Kris, Martin - Lau collectively - Sunday too was a triumph, beautiful and lyrical and instrumental and to have you jamming through till Monday afternoon (again) with our own Master of Ceremonies, Charlie McKerron, was a post festival delight. Thanks to all the members of all the 75 bands who played, collaborated, partied and collectively produced something so special.
A big hand for Lucy, the matriarch of Inshriach, for being just mad enough to let this all happen in her garden (again), for shutting up Bronto Skylift mid set and for keeping us on the straight and narrow path of temperance throughout. Thanks too to Rhiannon, Phyllis, Demelza, Aowyn, the Kiwi quad boys, Dave the Doo, Craig, wee Gordy, Lianne and all of the 60 odd amazing volunteers and the many thousands of frisky face follicles who made this all possible.
In an enormous oversight I have never linked any mention of Rufus White to any of his other work, so here is some... We didn't simply kidnap him from the 19th century. He lives in East London with Molly and a lot of animals and designs, draws and makes amazing things. Their house is as remarkable as they are. The website, artwork, signage, shop, newspapers, doilies, huge pants, moustache outfits, silversmithery, jam covers, flat caps, brollies, adverts, animations and objects inconceivable to any minds other than their own were all their work.
They ran it up the flagpole and you saluted it so the biggest thank you goes out to all of you for wholeheartedly embracing the idea. From all over the country you came and you were hat doffing, penny farthing riding, pioneering, bustle rustlingly fabulous ladies and gentlemen the lot of you.
Something awoke in these hills last weekend and as we speak our crank team of paleontologists, spiritualists and discoverers are investigating further what it may be. Watch this space, I daresay this wont be the last you hear of historical happenings in these parts.
Thank you very much once again.
PS. The Insider facebook page is gathering some lovely pictures and tales from the weekend, please tag your pictures @The Insider Festival to share them with us.