This paper discusses the beginnings of the Wickerman Festival as well as its musical and cinematic influences. Furthermore, this paper analyses the strategy undertaken by the organizers and proponents of this event to promote the event to its intended market.
Depicted as Scotland's alternative music, dance and arts festival ("Cultural Profiles"), the Wickerman Festival started in 2001 by founder Sid Ambrose. As Ambrose narrated, he was approached by a group of teenagers to come up with a one-off music event that would serve as a showcase for local bands (Devine 2005). Ambrose found a venue for the promising concept in the village of Dundrennan, near Kirkcudbright, a few miles from the Isle of Whitorn where the cult horror classic "The Wicker Man" was filmed in 1972 (Johnstone 2004).
In this regard, the festival theme stems from the classic horror movie and tends to attract the movie's following (Johnstone 2004). However, the organizers have found a more profound meaning to celebrating the Wickerman Festival which is derived from the traditional gatherings of northern tribes in ancient times ("The Wickerman Festival" 2005).
The Wickerman Festival is said to be primarily influenced by the cult horror classic with the same name. ...
The Celt gathering occurred prior to the planting season when people prepared the ground for the planting of crops. This ritual was done by burning the wickerman, an effigy built from twigs, debris, corn husks, dried plant and other flammable organic components which is supported by wooden frames. After the elaborate burning ritual, everyone gathered up the potash produced, which would be utilized as fertilizer, and spread the matter on the fields ("The Wicker Man"). However, daunting myths have been associated with the wickerman ritual, which is further fuelled by the horror film.
"The Wicker Man" featured Christopher Lee and was written by Anthony Shaffer. Albeit it has been described as a "campy, low budget, B-grade horror film, the film has become one of the most sought-after horror classic and created numerous followings ("The Wicker Man").
Aside from the burning of the wickerman highlighted in the film, the Wickerman Festival serves to commemorate the same Celtic tradition in terms of the new friendships formed and myriad ideas exchanged during these ancient gatherings. This musical, dance and art salvo attempts to bring back the sense of adventure involved in the celebrating the summer growing season ("The Wickerman Festival" 2005).
As isolated northern tribes journeyed to the designated place of gathering, the host tribe ensured that shelter, food and entertainment are sufficiently provided to encourage guests to interact. In the same way, current host tribe, Rerrick Events is tasked to guarantee that the crowd from all over the world experience fun and enjoyment. ("The Wickerman Festival" 2005)
2005 Wickerman Festival
Now on its fifth run, the two-day takes place on a 120-acre site in Galloway on the 22nd and 23rd