Somewhere between Lincoln and Newark, if you wander long enough in to the darkness, maybe, just maybe you will find yourself at one of the most curious places around, the Lost Village.
From the minds of Jaymo and Andy George comes an experience to become so lost that you may end up finding more than you bargained for. The festival “Lost Village” debuted this year between 22nd to 24th May and amongst the other attractions such as the mouth watering Patty&Bun, Grandmaster Flash and Rokit Vintage you may have stumbled across the village witchdoctor performing all kinds of weird and wonderful magic. Who was this elusive witchdoctor hidden from the beaten path in a ring of eerily etched wooden stumps? It was me, a magician that has previously steered clear of working at festivals.
I won’t bore you with the details of how I came to take on the role of the Lost Village witchdoctor but I will tell you right now, it was one of the most interesting experiences of my career thus far. I arrived on the Friday and received the village tour before anything else. Walking around before any of the areas had been touched by eager festival goers gave me a really good idea of what I would be able to do performance wise and while putting on my best method acting shoes I continued to enjoy the Friday welcome party where none other than the legendary Grandmaster Flash was the headline act. Flash didn’t dissappoint and gave one of the best dj sets I’ve ever witnessed. To be able to enjoy some of it from back stage was something that I won’t forget.
Eventually retiring for the evening I was awoken twice early Saturday morning to mexican waves from the main camping area! Being the first festival I’ve ever attened this kind of festival community culture was new to me and I found it amazing. After just 12 hours an entire camp of 5,000 strangers were organising a mexican wave in the early hours of the morning, where else does that happen?
Saturday began, the face paints were on and I was prepared for my first day as the witchdoctor. My role at the festival wasn’t publicised and it was quite funny to see peoples reactions to me sat menasingly inviting people over to see magic. Some people just walked past uttering comments like “no thanks mate, we don’t want any of that but enjoy yourself” while others were a little more upfront in asking if I was on something. One group actually asked if I was part of the festival or if I was a drunked having a rest. The braver villagers were rewarded with an array of “mind blowing” magic. lukehill1994 on Twitter said I was “so so good 10/10” while dawnelou on Instagram said “You were amazing! One of the highlights of our weekend”.
Saturday ended after entertaining (and freaking out) hundreds of villagers. What a huge success it was, with my only concern being that Sunday couldn’t possibly top it. Sunday morning was an early start with one of the security guards in the tent next to mine getting a royal bollocking from his supervisor, who was certainly not a happy bunny. It was an interesting wake up call but definitely started Sunday with a bang. Sunday was much of the same for me, breaking mental capacities of villagers brave enough to take a pew. Despite being in the popular show Downton Abbey I am not an actor but I did my best to stay in character throughout the weekend, deepening the experience for the lost villagers. At one point, with a group of 10 sat with me the man to my left says “So you’re really going for it then?” and for the first time that day I couldn’t help but crack a smile, replying with “I’m certainly trying”.
There is so much more I could say about Lost Village but what I reccommend is that you pick up tickets for 2016. Who knows, maybe the witchdoctor will return.
Special mentions go to Andy George and Andy Ellis for taking good care of me. Thank you to Ben and Joel’s mum for baking delicious cake. A big thank you to the two generous chaps who bought me a drink while I was performing non-stop. Thank you to the guy pitched next to me who made me and my friends laugh with the welcome “Hey neighbourino’s” (Simpsons reference). Finally I’d like to say thank you to all of the amazing lost villagers who all gave good vibes and were, without exception amazing to perform for.