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Formatted at 1920 X 1024 res or higher -.Created May 2007. Updated June 2021.
"Got sick from the water, shat in a hedge, had my gear stolen but saw Hawkwind when the lightman (inspired) turned the strobe out towards the rain-a gazzillion-illion-illion points of rainy light frozen in space all around. Never before and never again (probably) "
Treworgey Tree Fayre.
July 28-30th 1989
Gone To Earth, The Seers, Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, The Ullulators, R.D.F, M.D.N.A ,Culture Shock,The Dark Side ,The Hypnotics, Loop.
Voice, Indecision , The Janitors, Gaye Bikers On Acid , No Alternative, Watershed Blues, Javelin Story, Rhythm-ites, Misty In Roots, Here and Now ,Croab Rua, Paul Metsers and Leslie Davis.
Florence and the Bears ,The Last Gang, Metal Groovers, Giant International , Dynamite Daylight, Beat Directors,Climax Blues Band, Nick Turners All Stars,The Trojans.
Unscheduled- possibly playing Wango Rileys stage
Hawkwind , Ozric Tentacles and others -DJ Jas. Blue Aeroplanes are on flyer but not on the program list
Program stuff -thanks to Marpete !
|Dick Short Photo Collection||David Stooke Photo Collection||Oz Hardwick Photo Collection|
|Treworgey Photogallery||Treworgey continued -program , recording information , recollections ,more photos and external links||Magic mushroom broadcast|
Recordings and Recollections.
Only a couple of known recordings have surfaced from Treworgey and they are the most obvious candidates- Ozric Tentacles and Hawkwind. We haven't been able to find any recordings made of the scheduled acts. It would be interesting to know just how many of these actually played , or whether they were paid or not . Hawkwind ended up playing on both the official and unofficial stage. Apparently power failed on the travellers stage and permission was obtained for the Hawks to go on in front of the main audience, although we have also seen a flyer that has Hawkwind on the bill, no doubt the line-up of official acts was ' flexible '.
A venerable travellers bus lurks at the campsite in the days after the Fayre was over © David Stooke
Have only vague memories of Treworgy, but definately one of the best festivals, could hear Hawkwind playing as I fell asleep in bed, they seemed to play all night, every night. As not much was set up when we arrived we parked our RL's, Q4's, FG, Bristol Albion etc in a field, next to, what turned out to be, the travellers stage.
The Bristol was Maff & Louise's, it's the one pictured after the festival with the hole in the front from when it broke a crank (above ) .
The crustys could be a pain, but the story was that they saved the farmer from being robbed by the special festival security specialists he hired in from Wales, every night they tried to fight their way into the farmhouse to grab the takings and the traveller security kept them out. Saw Dave the Beer, or Phill the Beer getting whacked on the head during a skirmish, eventually they were paid off and kicked off site, but the final round was played out at Pilton/Glasto some years later, with a big riot when the same security crew had to barricade themselves into their compound, the following morning the Police swept through the site on mass looking for the bodies of missing security crew, they never found any, either they just legged it home or the security bigged it up to give the travellers a bad name, anyway bit of an own goal in the end as the fence went higher, security was beefed up and Pilton went up market.
The travellers held Treworgy together as it was so badly organised it would never have got off the ground otherwise, the travellers pulled the farmer out of the shit and built most of the festival.At first he crustys were paid in brew, but this had to stop as it caused man power shortages when they failed to turn up for a few days.
There was at least one crusty, brew related, fatality (kidney failure) and a child drowning in the irrigation lagoon, was told s/he was with parents who ignored danger signs, but a few days later a crusty delivered a baby on site, I met both mother and male midwife afterwards, he may have washed his hands before, but probably not after.
There were many strange minor accidents and injuries, such as the crusty on a trials bike who broke his pelvis after hitting a Cornish hedge (made of stones and earth) on a foggy morning and went arse over tip, landing on his back in the lane right in front of a moving bus.
© Dick Short
The bogs were a failure as for some reason Kevin the farmer decided to have flushing loo's, but the water supply was not adequate and they got used a few times before they could be flushed, by which time they were blocked. So several large deep shit pits were dug; a friend on a mountain bike lost control going down the track through the potato field and crashed, tangled up in his bike, into a fairly full one, he was only half way through screaming 'Fucking Hell' when another bike and rider landed next to him.
For some reason everyone was eating a lot of potatoes at Treworgy.
Later the water supply totally failed, so large black plastic agricultural containers were used to ferry several tons of water about on a tractor & trailer, problem was these had been used on the farm and were sterilised with caustic soda by crustys who failed to flush it out properly. Caustic soda turns fats into soaps and even in a weak solution it was doing just that to peoples stomach and contents, even when boiled and this is what I believe was responsible for the stories of typhoid and dysentry.
The most amazing image was of hundreds (possibly less) of crustys basking in the sun among the rocks of an old abandoned granite quarry on Bodmin Moor, some drying off after swimming in the quarry pool, never seen a photo of this, but there were plenty taken.
In the corner of the travellers field was a tent and all the dogs pissed on it as it was next to a gap in the hedge where everyone cut through to the moor to dig dump pits, at the end of the festival the owner neatly folded the tent up, packed it in his rucksack and tried to hitch home with it, I would have burnt the thing on the spot it smelt so bad.
The crustys looked worse than they really were as they tried to blag their way through life using a lot of mouth and front, it was a great festival, highlights being Hawkwind, Poison Girls and possibly Culture Shock, Here & Now and Gaye Bikers on Acid, but not sure if I saw them or not. We were on site several weeks and that is all I can remember, so must have had a good time. Incidentally looked up the name Treworgey in a Cornish book of place names, it means 'House of the Cannibal' or 'House of the Man Dog', what the hell was going on before civilisation got there.
Treworgey Tree Fayre was the greatest ever. Completely disorganised, blazing hot, and the best lineup of bands ever. There was a fence but only near the gate. I had tickets for me and the misses and they were the first the security had seen and they had to go and get their supervisor to give us our arm bands.
The Bogs were the worst I've ever seen, a single block of 4 portaloos for the whole site and a queue a mile long for them.
There was that bus that tried to turn around on the approach road and got stuck and was still there on Monday morning when we left. Glad we went on motorbike.....
The travelers field had the original Pyramid stage set up and there were 2 other stages, one of which was a stage built into a lorry upon which Hawkwind played after Osricks... The Levelers, Pop Will Eat Itself, Dumpies Rusty Nuts and loads of others. Wish festies were still like that
Just been reading the Treworgey Tree Fayre page on your site. We went down there from what was known as mushroom hill, near Crowthorne. I ended up on 'security', as did a lot of travellers after the trouble with the Bristol lot. I remember the first night we took over they came down to the main gate looking for trouble. Someone (can't remember who) was parked up nearby in a fire engine and he drove it between us & them. They were then hit with a barrage of bottles, rocks & whatever else came to hand...didn't see them again after that! There was trouble at the end when a lot of people didn't get paid - I was lucky, I got my money and left pretty sharpish...the place was chaos.
Good fun though.
I was there,,it was amazing..excellent white lightning(acid)..friend sold his car for 4oz..best time ever.....heepsy..
This isn't too helpful as I can't confirm it 100%, but I was at Treeworgy and the pool (pond?) incident caused a festival-wide stir. The reaction was very real, and I saw no reason to doubt it had happened.
Good site- The Treworgy photos are a strange blast from the past.
I planned to go down there from Bath via motorcycle. The bike got written off the day before and my mates all headed off leaving me all on my lonesome. The Friday night found me in a pub in Bath, bored as fuck- when a total stranger walked into the pub and said he was driving down to Treworgy and did anybody want a lift ?
I took him up on the offer and we arrived at the site in the early hours of the morning. Coming over the hill and seeing the festival below it seemed we had entered something from the Old Testament. I thanked the geezer for a lift and never saw him again. Then after gorging on cider and mushrooms I spent the night staggering around having a blast (probably), as the sun was coming up I miraculously bumped into a couple of my mates and then- like so many other accounts here I only have fragments.
Chaos UK blowing up the PA was very, very funny.
I sort of remember seeing, but not hearing Gaye Bykers On Acid.
The ecstasy was very, very strong.
The 'Brew Crew' were utter pricks- Put them in trendy clothes and the behavior was undistinguishable from that of your average city centre Lager assholes.
We all complained about the dust, but secretly loved it as we thought we looked like we were in a Spagetti Western. (c'mon- admit it)
Made the most vital festival discovery- Speed = No Food= No toilet . Simple.
For all these years since, I've always considered we were seeing some kind of 'Last Stand' at that festival- certainly there was nothing like it again, and its from reading the other pieces on this site that I see I'm not alone in this. I'm very glad I was there, particularly when you look at the Celebrity Concentration Camp that is a modern Glastonbury.
If you were there...give yourself a pat on the back.
Great site, Great Festival, 17 years old, I loved every minute of it. It did rain during Hawkwind and the lasers created an amazing grid effect. The rest was wonderful.Thanks everyone.
We traveled from Castle Cary in Somerset for this festival. The thing I remember most about it apart from the music and chaos was the dust. It seemed as if the dry weather had turned the whole site into a dust bowl. Oh yeah, and my friend's dog died on the day we got home after becoming ill on site (R.I.P. Phohat). Other than that it was triffic. Hawkwind, nick turner.
I also remember hearing stories about the festival organiser having bin bags, or a bin bag full of cash stolen. Don't know how true this was but it was but thinking back I'd hardly arch an eyebrow if it were. You just don't get that frisson of danger at todays' festivals. Don't wanna sound like an old crone but it's "elf n sayfty gawn mahd innit."
Wangos main stage ©Matty
Just read through some of the comments and stories about Treworgy.
I was one of the first on site and started out setting up the 'Pleasure Dome' but after a fallout with the bloke who was running it (over a £60 generator) I moved up to the travellers field and took heaps of firewood (remember all those mounds of wood turning up) and built a stall to sell candles, baccy, fags, chocolate, beer etc etc....
Oh and I mistakenly sold those fruitella or some sweets like it... the fuckin kids ate them by the pack at 10p a hit and then got wired, went blagging "giz 10p mista" and hit me for more... and more... and more. I realised in time and took the damn things off the stall but I apologise to any parent that suffered their kids that few days....
Oh and if the geezer who kept coming at night and pocketing chocolate bars is reading this.... I saw you and gave you 20p's instead of £1 coins for change so we are quits I reckon.... lol
The dark haired girl who came every day for dark chocolate and would wait while the car got back from Bookers.... sorry mate I overcharged you but never saw you again... no hard feelings...
Once the top stage went up all the vehicles formed a triangle which I happened to be at the end of so my little oil lamp (which I still have) was the first light you saw when you left the stage area to head back down to the main site.
Trade was good and I bought my trusty yellow FG550 there from Jed. It was a chassis cab and I blagged heaps of scaffold boards from the stages and lights and other stuff from vehicles being scrapped then put a rail sleeper across the back and set the lights in it. Sadly that truck got written off two years later by a kid in a GTi Peugeot who smashed my back axle off while we were going fruit picking near Ledbury.
I was parked up with Pete and Maria (Resugeon Common) and sold my stall to two young girls after the festy who went on to make a fat wedge themselves.
I don't recall half the things I have read from the other writers. I haven't read every account but from my perspective it was a classic anarchic response to the oppression of the Thatcherite era. By 1989 there were more of us hitting the road and after the crap at Glasto and the loss of Stonehenge there was a streak of rebellion that made for the best bit of my life.
True there was some crazy shit. Black Luke being a gangsta and terrorising people. That fucking loony Frenchman who turned out not to be French but drove everyone at the farmhouse insane for days until he got beat up for refusing to speak English.
Sure water was hassle but then I had butts and had dug a crapper in the hedge so for those who were sussed it didn't really matter.
I don't even recall that much opposition from the locals. The vets were really nice. Even the tool hire shop was fairly cool if not a bit wary after a few things went missing. Trago was great for tat from their skips.
There was a story of a kid dying from brew and pills but I didn't know them and never heard the facts. I don't remember any other major incidents. Up until the actual festival it was a really cool village feel. I came and went from site and left my tat out with nothing ever going missing. Everyone was happy and friendly even if they were a bit stressed at times. The festival office (shed) down by the farm was a cool place to hang out.
All I remember are hot blissful days.
Once the police started directing traffic over the weekend and the days after it got a bit heavy and I stayed on site mostly unless I went to Bookers in Plymouth to get provisions. I did go to Launceston to sign on which was a random experience........ nuff said...!!
I caused a stir in the town and on site cos I had a putrid yellow coloured Morris Marina Estate which had "BIO HAZARD... HEPATITIS RISK" tape all down the sides like go faster stripes. I had tatted loads of it from the old hospital near Gloucester the year before.
I got a bit of grief for it but most people saw the joke.
The funniest was in Liskeard when a police woman came marching up to the car all officious and after a bust no doubt. She read the tape and stepped back three paces and was much more polite.
I sold the car to some kid for £90 which was crazy but he offered it, I was only looking for an eighth....
I wish I still had photos but they got lunched over the years. I still have my programme. Shame actually we burned heaps of the things, I had a box full when I left. I think Jed had several boxes and may still have.
All in all I had a wicked time there, made a nice little wedge then moved up to the wilds of North Devon before heading to Bath for the birth of my son.
Everyone I was there with has similar memories of a wild but excellent party and possibly one of the last before the Tory crack down and the final death knell at Castlemorton when the law got really heavy.
As part of UK history it was a time when people still had spirit to stand up and fight back against the bullshit in a peaceful way, albeit it crazy and anarchic. I miss those days when there was hope of a community of like minded people finding a slice of peace in the mad world.
Nowadays I have a little bit of land I live on in Devon and rarely see or hear from any one. I am glad I was part of the last few years of the Free Festivals. I was lucky to spend time with beautiful people in beautiful places doing what free people should do.... have Fun...!!!!!
Fix it Phil
I was in a band called SPL in the eighties and we played Treworgey main stage under the name 'The Official Receiver' plus our friends Florance and the Bears also...... A friend of mine also has pictures of the festival which I will get her to send you.......
Don't forget 2000 DS played all night till dawn the second night.
There were also tree Fayre tee shirts , unfortunately mine disintegrated years ago but I bet there are a few kicking around somewhere
ps we slept in the equipment van next to the main stage until the night of the riot when we vacated to a tent saying 'fuck the gear,they can have that shit!'
I'm not sure what I can add to all the reviews -but great reading -helped to fill in a few blanks.
This was my first ever festival and the first time I'd ever dropped acid. Which was cool apart from the swinging boats which really scared me. I came with some friends from Lymington and Soton, some who may have never recovered :). We dropped together while watching Misty in Roots from under a makeshift canopy because it was drizzling - occasionally sending someone out on dougnut runs. I remember eating a lot of dougnuts that night and getting excited everytime the lazer swung over our heads.
There was definitely some security on the Saturday as we only had four tickets for about 8 of us, so we stretched the armbands and went in and out a few times. By the next day there were no checks. There were certainly none of the checks for drugs that my son tells me of today as all could be found openly on sale within. Does anyone remember the girls wandering around in maids' costumes with trays of hash fudge - wicked stuff (the costumes maybe my imagination)?
I also remember buying 5 litres of scrumpy from the side of the road in the very slow queue before the festival -lethal stuff and we could have started the van with it - the taste of cider still reminds me of it. We had these slow burning flares that we bought there -never seen them since though - probably a fire risk.
Luckily we parked up by the wooded (wc) area and the guys we came with brought axes for firewood and shovels for digging holes. My friend and I were lucky enough to use the on-site loos once before they gave up the ghost though.
7-29-89 Treworgey Tree Fayre. Audience 100 mins
So far we haven't been able to find any other set lists for Ozrics at this festival.
Still from Treworgey Tree Fayre video
A single camera video shoot of one of Hawkwind's performances at the festival was released commercially , read a review here , its ruined by silly visuals superimposed on top of the film of the band .
Bemand was playing with Hawkwind as second guitarist at the Treworgey
Tree Fayre in 1989.
"The Treworgey Festival in Cornwall was the only one with the Captain & I both on guitar. It was a difficult one for me - a roadie smacked my forehead accidently with a metal case causing a copious wound to my eyebrow & my contact lenses had been in far too long & the UV light refracted in them, all but obscuring my vision as the daylight faded!!! Not only that, but I had no baby sitters for my two youngish kids, who ended up sleeping in the rolled up stage tarp hanging down. Against all odds, it was pretty good set though I think"
Auto Crow Show : Commercial DVD features : Live at Treworgey Tree Fair in '89 with musical performances from 2OOO DS and Screech Rock, forming the acrobatic fire-juggling Auto Crow Show. Also including Walk-about documentary footage and various shinannigans from the last of the real festivals at the beginning of tekno.
Despite all the lousy organisation, almost all the comments we found were positive about this festival, I suppose you had to be either a Tory MP or a local to view the goings on with a jaundiced eye.
Noddy Guevara and friend © Treworgey 1989
We'd just got home from crewing and clearing up at Glasto when the call went out for helpers at Treworgey Tree Fayre.
They'd planned for 4 or 5 thousand and forty odd thousand had turned up and they were swamped.
My wheels were knackered so we hired a car and legged it down there.
When we arrived there was a police cordon around the outside, we learned later that some of the security had turned on what was left of the organisers at the farmhouse and were laying siege to it.
We were told to wait on the road outside till they, the police, knew what was going on.
One of the crew medics on her way back in spotted my missus and we got a police escort onto the site with her.
We were ushered into the main stage field and we got to work helping out.
A bit of fence watching was our first task; by the water tank/pond where a child had drowned. :(
The tank HAD been fenced but the child had got through.
Then some bucketing/fund raising for diesel to keep the main stage gennies going.
That required a bit of street theatre as no-one wanted to believe there was a need for more money.
Friends of ours were in the farm house we learned later.
They were barricaded in under siege while bin bags of money was trying to be sorted/counted and protected.
The farmer had been whisked away off site by this time for his own safety/sanity.
the chaos had quietened down into gentle anarchy the vibe of the remaining
fest was friendly enough.
Music wise, all I can remember for sure was Nik Turner's All Stars singing a running commentary to the siege going on behind them.
Most of the crowd didn't believe a word of course and thought it was a great laugh.
casualties were the travellers dogs. There were two or more canine diseases
ripping through them and quite a few died.
All in all not a festival you could forget easily.
We had a fairly good, if hectic, time but others didn't fare so well at all.
We couldn't stay for the clean up 'cos of the hire car.
We did what we could while we were there.
We were only emergency crew after all.
I don't know if this adds anything you hadn't already heard before but that's the potted version of our Treworgey Tree Fayre
Koz & Pip
Photo © Marpete
I saw the Here and Now Band and Misty in Roots. The Here and Now Band were great, until I realised that everyone around me (all travellers) were shouting and screaming in a very angry way. Well, I think they were. a dreadlocked girl next to me was smashing her fists against the fencing and freaking out. They seemed pissed off at the band. Looking back on it though, I'd dropped acid and might just have imagined the whole thing. Funny, that's just occurred to me :-) Did that really happen?
outstanding memory is of trying to get to sleep in the back of a cramped
transit. I was looking out of the window with very stoned eyes as dawn
was coming on and a green laser was sweeping erratically about the sky
whilst Salt 'n' Pepa's 'Push It' was blasting out over the fields. I still
can't hear that song without immediately going back in time.
Anyway, a great weekend, though we were a bit babes in the wood at a major traveller festival.
Treworgey Tree Fayre will go down in festival history as the most disorganised, anarchic, scarey, exciting and absolutely brilliant festival ever.
We were all from Cornwall originally and made our way down to Treworgey shortly after the end of Glastonbury festival. We came with news of the buzz that was going around the Glastonbollocks Traveller site. Everyone and their dogs were planning to converge on Treworgey.
We spoke to organiser/landowner Kevin and he seemed to be under the impression that the festival would attract up to 5-6 thousand people. I think he was going by estmated ticket sales. ''Think again Kevin, it's more likely to be 10 times that amount'' we told him. We managed to blag some crew work and were among the first people to park up our assorted vehicles in one of the surrounding fields. We were given a bit of cash for our labours but were mostly paid in Cider. We dug ditches for toilet blocks that never materialised, put up fences, more to keep dogs away from sheep than to keep people out, built stages, put up tents etc etc. During the festival I did some stage work roadying for the likes of Gaye Bykers On Acid, Hawkwind, Misty In Roots etc. I also contributed a couple of pieces of artwork to the Festival Programme.
As the festival weekend approached, it became apparent to the organisers that this would become a free for all. A few tickets had been sold but it was a drop in the ocean compared to the amount of people that already had and were due to turn up. I don't know why the security firm were brought in. I remember the confrontation over the stolen hash. I think it would have got a lot nastier but as I remember it there were rumours of guns so that may of held things back a bit.
There was deffo two deaths that I heard about. Someone burnt in their vehicle/caravan and someone was run over due to sleeping under a truck. Whether this is true or not I don't know or can't remember.
The festival itself, including build up to and chill out afterwards was ace. Everyone I've spoken to since, who was there, say that it was their best ever festival experience.
I also remember one of the artists falling into a shitpit. I think it was someone from The Poison Girls. Happy daze.
was another festival In Cornwall on the old abandoned airfield at Davidstow
a couple of years later. Although this was a great festival, it wasn't
a patch on Treworgey.
One of the campsites © Steve - visit his site
( panorama fix by Reverend Barker )
I was at treworgy eh, long time ago so some stories will be a bit sketchy, I reckon scouse did die at this event- he either died at glasto or liskaerd, but I remember him at glastonbury. I met a traveller 12 months later , he had jus come out of hospital (billy), got dragged under a pick up for 50 yards totally mangled up his legs!!! we got work on the gates when we first arrived , part of the deal with the travellers, lots of banter , we all got thrown off the gates when the farmer invested in a security firm who eventually ripped him off, may of been hells angels, I remember it being a really twisted festi, lots of disease (animals/people), there was an edge all the way thro that feeling of madness , phil b lost the plot here, the man who eventually chopped someones head off prior to glastonbury (fed the brains to ppl on site in butleigh long drove) a myth on the scene in 90's !!! Misty in Roots did a storming set I remember, if I remember owt else I will email you , I hope some of this helps, be safe, take care and blessed be,
Just thought I'd try to clear up the Scouse "did he/didn't he die at Treworgey festy confusion" .
I'm right then yes, unfortunately he did die down in Cornwall.
He was found by his best mate, the matey who he was traveling with at the time, Kenny.
what I can remember, they were living in a blue F.G (which incidentally,
bore a chocolate "Hobnob" as a tax disc!). The morning after
another busy night on the piss, Kenny got up out his bed, went over to
Scouse to wake him with a morning can of brew, only to find that he'd
died in the night. I think I recall Kenny saying he was blue lipped and
cold when he tried to wake him, so it's possible he died soon after he
Now for the real speculation.....The site "gobslip/rumour mill, had him necking a load of Valium/Tammazies on top of the days boozing, and this is what killed him. This is possibly true (though I don't know for sure), cos he did have a fondness for downers as well as the booze, as did a lot of us at the time. Another tale had him glugging meth as well as the pills but, like I say, I don't know for certain what killed him, and does it really matter?
somewhat more unlikely scenario has it that Scouse took off his "Lucky
Sock"! (An old sock he wore, claiming never to remove it, in the
belief that it magically bestowed upon him great luck, the power to charm
the ladies, and immunity from harm!) In divesting himself of the sock
he lost it's mystical protective powers, and was unfortunately to die
as a result....... Hey, you never know!
Anyway amidst the speculation and sock based silliness, lets not forget Scouse himself.
to say it I know, but he was genuinely one of lifes better people, and
really very well liked by a lot of folk.
Although he enjoyed a beer or ten, and was labeled as "Brew crew", he was never a real trouble maker, a bit naughty maybe, without a doubt loud, boisterous and unrestrained, but he was good natured and generous to a fault. A pleasure to have known. He certainly didn't deserve his fate.
somewhere on a hillside in Cornwall, a four pack of Special Brew is buried
in his honour. A fitting gesture.
Finally, if anyone knows where Kenny is (Herefordshire maybe?), he is the person who, should anyone wish (and if he wants to tell), can say for certain what happened to Scouse.
My friends and I went to Treworgy, in small camper vans, with tickets, and had a great time.
Yes, we did acid, which was good in those days and were stoned most of the time.
I remember the campsite plumbing was laid on the ground with compression connectors.
Some bright sparks decided to undo the connectors near them to save queuing at the standpipes.
The whole system failed and for days there was little or no running water.
That and the sun, which was baking, caused everything there to be covered in fine dust,
thus giving the impression that it had been there for months !
. . .my formative years
First I'd like to say, what a marvellous and fascinating site, congratulations on it.
Secondly, I can add just a few hazy reflections of the Treworgey Tree fayre. Myself and friends went down from Buckinghamshire, ranging from experienced biker/hardnut types in their 30s to freshfaced teenage punk/alternative kids like myself.
The only band I can remember are Citizen Fish, Dick's band after Culture Shock. They played the stage in the Traveller Field. Aside from that, musically I remember hearing very odd, dislocated acid house all over the place.
Some very, very dodgy seeming people. A guy who threatened to set my brother's tent on fire if he didn't move his car. He didn't look like he was joking. Police walked around in pairs and got stuff thrown at them - they didn't bother trying to arrest anyone that I saw.
It was intriguing but disconcerting to see the same hostility from a 'counterculture' as I was familiar with from the 'straight' world, but that's people for you. I suppose we did look like fluffy well-off middle-class kids to some of these people. The travellers I knew were friendly if a bit nutty but there were some real psychos here and I had not encountered the like.
Having said that, a good time was had and the vibe stayed just the right side of madness. I'm not sure how things would have been if it had rained though!
we arrived there a few days before and got a job helping set stuff up - which meant free entry - we didnt have much cash but didnt need any as we had a real stroke of luck. we were hanging around the entrance waiting for someone to tell us what to do when some guy who was working on the gate came running past with loads of entry wristbands - too many for him to carry and not realising he dropped about 20 or 30 of them which me and my mate quickly gathered up... festival entry wristbands = cash! - we split them up and i went off to sell mine about 1/2 mile away from the entrance and my mate decided to offload his right next to the security guards ( to be fair he was a bit off his face ) - which ended up in the wristbands being confiscated and him being beaten up !
i sold all mine and probably for the first time ever at a festival had more cash than i knew what to do with - i remember hawkwind and on the last day sitting at the top of the hill at dawn tripping out of my head with some mad travelling band playing - could have been the ozrics i dont know - and looking down on the site which was covered in fog with tent tops and flags peeking out like islands from the fog - it seemed like some mystical place of arthurian legend at that moment in time. didnt last for ever though as i ended up thinking i had strychnine poisoning...
found your site – nice one. Thought I’d put in my two penneth.
We ( mixture of Crusty, Psychobilly types) drove up from London having picked up a hitcher on the way. Got in on Saturday Morning – its was chaos. Parked up in an adjacent field, forgot about the tent and went down to join in the throng. This was my first festival and even though I was a tad green at the time, I have never seen so many people so bolloxed in a field anywhere.
was this red dust kicked up that got into everything, so within minutes
you looked like you’d been there for weeks. Got my first pair of
para boots ( £3!!) and whilst trying them on, got my most fav festy
memory ever – watch the Hari Krishnas doing their thing around the
main field, with a few brew heads, armed with bright orange scrumpy dancing
after them – grand.
Ended up sleeping in Welfare, in rows ( like where they line up dead bodies after major disasters), with people OD’ing being rushed passed us all night. This happened both nights.
Saw a few bands - Bykers ( used to have a bootleg on tape of that – unsure where it is now), Frantic Flinstones, Demented are go, Luna Chicks, Hawkwind ( thought they were still tuning up, then realised that they were half way through their set), Misty in Roots, Chaos UK ( blew up the PA) – but it was really dark at night, no lighting apart from stages. Lost everyone on the first night for a few hours –not my best move.
bogs, no water. Dogs everywhere. Did hear rumours of deaths – one
was the bloke being run over, the other was a kid drowning and the ambulance
couldn’t get down the lanes in time. People were supposedly shitting,
pissing up-stream in the river and then others drawing their water form
it lower down – hence all the typhoid etc rumours. We ate at the
Krishna place – lentils, booze and no bogs make interesting festival
partners and spent a while following the trail of bogroll & turds
along a hedgerow until it was safe to squat.
There was a real feeling of anarchy about the whole place – not a “right on trash the system” constructive type, more of a “ anything can and will happen here”. Yes it was scary, yes it was fun. The place was an absolute shit-hole by the time we got there – no idea what it was like a couple of weeks later. I’ve been on several sites since, both at festivals and travellers sites, from the Idyllic Foxhill, to the heroin plagued Beechome Cliff – none were as bad as I remember Treworgey to be.
Would I go back? – yep absolutely, but I’d sleep in my van this time & take a spade
Just like to add my 'membrances to the crop.
Firstly (& most excitingly for me), the pic you have labelled 'treworgey-crowd' (the still from the vid) features me & my mates in the front row (honest! heh) That's Darcy on the left (with the crappy fringe), Parky in the middle looking well worried, & me the poseur on the right. Actually, we'd all necked some 'white lightning' blotters & were peaking prolly JUST when that shot was taken (during the Ozrics & Hawkwind sets on the Wango Riley). We'd pitched our tent right in front of the Wango - perfect! I remember Parky appearing just as it started raining, with a sleeping bag wrapped around himself to keep dry. "Great idea, Parks" I said, through the visuals. Not so great, I realised later, was that he'd used MINE & it was now drenched! Luckily, I didn't need it - sleep was NOT on the agenda that weekend. One of the best of my life!
both of the above played a blinder, & Loop were cool. Citizen Fish
did the best I've ever seen them - as good as any gig during their Culture
Shock/Subhumans days... I can't remember much else of the music, but what
Fond, FOND (if hazy) memories.
Cheers & Love,
Skully (Wessex Posse) =]
PS. As for the bogs, nobody used 'em. everybody was clambering across this stream to dump. I remember vividly, cos I was severely traumatised by it. Whilst still tripping, i had to take a crap (sorry, but it _is_ relevent, heh ) - NOT A GOOD IDEA! As I burrowed & scurried around the bushes & trees looking for a covert spot, the place was rampant with peeps engaged in their own business. Aside from that it was also pretty much of a minefield. someone must have remembered to bring bogroll, cos it was _everywhere_. Enough of that now. (phew!)
Just been looking at the page in this festival, a bit scary at times, but overall a good time had by all who went. There was a Scouse that died there, can't remember his real name maybe some else can. but he died as he would have wanted,with the only family that he ever had. He died sat crossed legged in a bender, with a joint in one hand, and Can of Brew in the just another casualty of an uncaring system. but he still lives on in our memory. Good picture of the Social bus, any idea of the whereabouts of Gary, Rob or Pierce,or any of the brew crew. Good site keep up the good work bob b
You’ve got quite a few of my flickr pics on your site (Marpete - Treworgy) and they look great, thanks. I remember a lot of suspicious looks whenever I pulled the camera out, but it was my first festival and it was important to get some photos. Glad I did because not too many others captured it.
always wondered about the following:
I was eversoslightlyoffmyhead on a microdot and right up front for Here and Now. I was having a great time (though the band looked like action men, onstage.) I suddenly realised that there was a lot of anger and screaming going on around me, and one girl seemed to be clutching the fence and shaking it vigorously, like she wanted to get at them and do damage. I turned fully around and there were lots of travellers shouting at the band (and beyond that a few thousand people stretching off into infinity - or so it seemedJ) I’ve always been curious to know whether any of that happened. Was there a reason people might be very pissed off with the band, or was it a case of my going off on one?
no idea whether you might be able to answer this question. I just don’t
fancy the next (hopefully) fifty years pondering whether any of that was
real or not, lol. If not, no probs.
It’s a really great site, by the way J
Just found your excellent website courtesy of my son who found it first. Well done for providing such an important archive.
thought I'd offer this comment about Treworgey Tree Fayre which doesn't
add anything new to what you already say, but may be of use to you:The
water supply was definitely contaminated. People that I camped with, including
my pregnant girlfriend, got ill from drinking it. I poured some into a
glass after I heard the rumour that it was contaminated and could plainly
see lots of particles floating around in it!
The weather was very hot and the centre of the site turned into a dustbowl. Everything situated in that part of the site and everybody who lingered down there, was covered in a thick coating of dust and vehicles driving through the site just churned up more great clouds of it.
weekend really was a bit of an endurance test and I remember the atmosphere
over the whole weekend being distinctly 'edgy'.
Best regards and thanks for creating this site.
Just found your site after trying to track down Pete Loveday and Big Bang comics, just love the site wot a trip down old memories! Treeworgey was my reason for emailing, and thought I'd send my bit to add to the legend. I remember turning up with some mates, Di,Chris and Ros I think and a few other reprobates from Slough and Exeter. Anyway we pulled out the tents and pitched up next to another friend and her band who were playing that weekend. As we dumped the tents out of the bags someone appeared out of the back of the nearest bus with a tray of hash brownies, and that just about summed up the entire weekend. I'm still not sure if we ever got the tent up properly.
Treworgey is still one of my all time best/memorable festys. Yes it was hot and I dont think I ever found a bog, but there were plenty of spades to borrow and bog roll. I mainly remember the dust and the buses and great music. My first proper festy 'cos Reading dont count, so by the time I hit another I had joined the travelling ranks with my very own FG. So Treworgey was where it all started for me, the coolest festival ever, even if I did go home with dysentry as a souvenir! Years later I found out my latest squeeze had been there too helping out with the organisation and looking after the money, locked in the farmhouse trying to keep hold of it with the help of some other travs, but hey thats her story so I wont queer her pitch wherever she is now. Hope youre doing well girl if you ever read this. Anyway keep up the good work -
Alan the Kite (as I was then).
I just found your site and really enjoyed reading about this festy. I've told so many people about it over the years. Weirdly, and this is a sign of how badly people were out of it. I thought there were two fayres run at Treworgey on subsequent years. Maybe not...
My recollections are personal - we were a bunch of young hippies, used to Glasto and Henge from South London crusty-ville. I was with my g/f and her friend - we had two tents and had to camp in a potato field - sleeping inbetween the not inconsiderable rows! We had one safety pin, used for a broken sandle during the day and to keep a tent up at night. NO water was my main recollection. And motorbikes going round fields with that old festy cry you hear no more - speed.acid, hash... Friends had a blind dog, which got lost and was found by a tent with people who had bottled water. They thought the dog had been given acid as it was bumbling along, banging into things and re-directing itself. Security was heavy. My main remembrance of music, was Misty in Roots playing with a green laser. Everytime the laser come as a complete sheet down onto the heads of the crowd I fell over. The lead singer took aff his Rasta hat and shook his enormous locks at one point. I fell over...
Other than that I don't remember much. I can't even remember how I got there or how I got home. It was hot, thirsty, anarchic and along with a memorable 90's Glasto (the year the travellers had a pitch battle with the POlice) my favourite festival ever....
I've just found your site and have to say a big "Thank You" for bringing some unreliable memories back to me.
I drove down from Cardiff to meet friends in Plymouth and others from Bristol and we went down to Liskeard in convoy. The first thing I remember on arrival was that there were no toilets on site, apart from one disabled bog. As one of our crew was very disabled, we managed to get the key. Everyone else was legging it into the woods for a shit, not all with shovels! The story was that the people providing the long-drops thought that it was some kind of agricultural show and turned their trucks around when they realised that it wasn't.
I don't remember any heavy vibes except for the security Nazis setting their dogs on people trying to jump the fences. I also don't remember much about the bands as, like everybody else it seems, I was off my tits all weekend. I do recall a strange incident on the Saturday night. While trying to get cosy with a lovely little lady from Bristol, fortified by cider and strong acid, we were sitting on a hill near a gyroscope where spaced-out people were strapped in and put through 720 degrees at high speed. Down below, a rave was going on (one of the earliest?) when the gyroscope came loose from its moorings and this poor guy went rolling down the hill, scattering the Cheesy Quavers.
On the Sunday afternoon I was suffering and went to look for somewhere quiet. I found a small marquee near the main gate where about 3 people were waiting for a band to start. I curled up near the back and was gradually brought back to life by this great band. The crowd grew to about 6 by the end but that didn't seem to bother The Levellers!
I kept the front page of the Monday edition of the local Plymouth newspaper for many years but can't find it now. The banner headline read simply "SHAMBLES".
Thanks again for the memories
Wangos main stage surrounded byb attendees......this actually looks pretty bucolic :-) ©Matty
great site; good work! So I was browsing through and couldn't resist adding
my own vague souvenirs.......
.....Fresh out of school (forever!!) and off to my first ever festival, head full of dreams of Woodstock and my older brothers tales of Reading Rock and Stonehenge.....
Arrive, meet the neighbours "when did you guys arrive, yesterday?" "No, nine weeks ago"....
An exciting hum in the air, the feeling to be part of something big, even at the beginning (by the way, I think we were about the only ones that actually had tickets)....
Then big brother gives me my first insight into the world of psychedelia: "here, take this", and we're off for a rollercoaster white-lightning weekend! Giants and dwarves with huge eyes and mad grins swarming (everything kinda "swarmed " with the white lightning)everywhere through the dustclouds,ozric-wind-mites-shock-on acid, live on stage (apperently I saw many bands,on both (?) stages).
marked memories (those which I'm utterly convinced actually happened);
Going for a crap on acid, miles away from everyone (not easy!), finally finding a good spot,then lifting my head to see a herd of cows in a circle around me.I was a little ill at ease!!
taste of traveller humour: sign on a greasy spoon saying "fuck off
Looking down at my feet in the middle of the site and seeing a mudstained copy of the Sunday Sport.The headline was "double decker bus found on the moon"( I swear it's true!!!)
.....and all this with the classic "Civilisation Street" going through my head permanently (and sometimes on stage, on the car stereo.....everywhere!). What a blinding festival! It completely changed my life!!
By the way, I often bump into Traveller Dave ; he squats often nearby in the south of France; he's still in his Albion!
Cheers, feel free to edit my ramblings if they're worthy of being shown!
remember Treworgy quite well, I think when you are young (as I'd just
turned 16) things go into your head and stay there. So I remember been
too out of it to understand what security was and not understanding why
this person had grabbed a hold of my hand and was trying to put some kind
of wrist band on it (something to do with white lightning... and no NOT
the cider variety). I remember the white transit van I traveled there
in with my mates picking up hitch hikers and passing painted up buses
towing caravans, then drinking all my cans of beer while in the traffic
queue to get in which took about four hours, there was an army lorry in
front of us with some very happy and noisy people sitting on the top,
and the police had a big white tent up in a field of their own which they
pulled over random vans into to search with police in white paper suits
and with rubber gloves on.
I remember not realising exactly how many people were there as the site seemed to be forming over fields all over the place and just kept on expanding. Then I had to find a phone and ring my mum to let her know where I was and when I was coming back and not to worry, I was with my friends and everything was cool. Someone went in search of you know what and within about half an hour came back with all orders filled, then came the thirty minutes of trying to put a tent up while slowly forgetting what a tent was until the concept of poles and canvas turned into a massive joke and we all began to just roll about on the floor, then came the wrist band experience as we went down into the main field, thankfully I had really good mates babysitting me and all was well, I travelled out of my head , realised all the world was one and eventually came back to earth while been walked up one of the narrow lanes among lots of other people with my mate holding my hand so I wouldn't get lost.
I did see Hawkwind play. There was some woman with a pheasant feather in her hat which kept hitting me in the face, and the fire breathers were incredible and the mad lasers drawing patterns on the clouds and trees. I never made it to travellers field but hear it was just as chaotic up there, was a shame about the contaminated water, and the infected land, the person who died but what people said at the time was he probably preferred being there than in hospital as he was among friends and the baby dying was tragic. So as life is never perfect but the people made the festival what it was how often do we get that chance today? Will we ever have that chance again?
I did miss Here and Now and I did get chased by the big white goat with horns! I bought a fimo necklace that I still have today and I have my memories, within six months I'd left school and was living in a bender. Was a bumpy ride to get their mentally and physically but eventually I sussed it out and was very sad when it all went wrong for some of us, but I'm really glad the internet has given me the chance to find people again, and it is sad so many of us are in houses but it's good we have survived to carry on telling the stories , so what happened is not forgotten. Although such a big deal was made of it by the papers and goverment of the time it is like we have been written out of history now as so many people no longer even know about the peace convoy or where 'new' travellers originated from, or even that ......
PS: Given what happened to the water, I'm glad I followed the advice of the traveller’s I'd met the year before, to always bring your own!
Treworgy was wicked:) remember seeing CultureShock play in the "proper" festi,then later ,bless em they played on the "free"stage which by this point had a huge dust bowl thing going on.I bumped into a mate from my home town who was just coming up on acid and it was his first experience of the full on free festi havin it madness,CultureShock were skanking up a (dust)storm,the inevitable 30dog pack was tearing around,i asked him to hold my son n started fire breathing i turned round n the acid was obviously getting the better of him as he just looked at me all wild eyed n said "this is ****ing crazy,its like MadMax!" lol, good times,remember Misty in Roots playing a set that sent shivers up my spine,awsome and a strange duo called Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine:)
was the first festival I went to. I didn't realise until 5 years later
that i was walking into history in the making. In 1995, a clubbing friend
at the time told me that was where the rave scene started.
We got there on the thursday or friday night (i forget which) and joined a massive jam of cars trying to get in. Music was playing, i could see lights over the field in the distance, it was so exciting! we were close. The traffic wasnt moving so ended up spending the first night in the lane, bummer, but we were close.
got in though on the morning and camped up, took a walk around and found
the arena entrance....there were high banks and fences all over, but it
wasn't hard for people to scale the banks, and lots of people eager to
help them break the fence. Our field bordered another field, and was split
by a lane, which had a farmhouse at the end. Along the track, there were
abandoned chicken coups, me and my friend decided this would be our private
pissing place, but by the next day, everyone had the same idea and the
place was full of shit. The guy who owned the house went mental!
I remember feeling amazed at how friendly everyone was, no matter what group you belonged to....dance, beer boys, weekend warriors, travellers......it was one big friendly party.
We, went into Lisguard in the day, got drunk, bought beer. We went back to the site and headed for the arena. The site was so big.....people were driving along the lanes to get to other fields, and some bloke called us to jump on the back of his van and have a lift. Amazing! Was fun hanging on, felt really free. Couldn't possibly think of being offered, let alone, actually haging onto the back of someones van for a lift in Birmingham. I felt free and unrestricted. Even the coppers who were patrolling the lanes were laid back, i remember talking to one and asking how he found policing this kind of thing, he just smiled and carried on directing the traffic. Amazing! Even the police were chilled. I was thinking WTF? I love this place.
At the arena entrance, there was a massive board with loads of notes from people looking for friends, arranging meeting places and times. We hadn't bought tickets, but the bloke on the gate had a spare wrist band and was charging a fiver a time for band swapping with one of his cronies. Nice.
The arena, well, i don't remember seeing bands or who i listened to, i remember the girls toilets being flooded and tiptoeing through water and piss, but i was amazed at the amount of stalls selling different world foods, clothes and other stuff. That place blew me away, i was in heaven. Spent all night looking at the stalls (and not a Radio 1 Promo stall in site....effin bliss!!)
i loved most of all was all the activity outside the arena, it was just
as entertaining as inside. The memory i love the most is seeing a camp,
with a van cooking food, a fire and bales of hay around the fire as chairs.
There was an old dude, with a little kid, sitting on the hay talking,
enjoying the night, even though hundreds of people were walking past.
It was a place people felt comfortable in, a place for all people, with
no security telling them to move on. ( i have been to Reading a few times,
the last time, a band set up in a field outside the arena and they got
kicked off, cos they entertained people for free! and after 89-90 they
stopped the travelers)
I have more to tell, but this mail is getting long.
To finish though, every festival i went to after this one, i expected them to be the same......but i think the freedom of that festival, ended with that festival. Times changed too much, too much restriction, rules and lack of trust towards festival goers. The Criminal Justice Bill was passed and radio 1 took over.
I wish i could go back and take my time, experience all the history that was being made those few days, but still....
I'm glad i experienced the Tree Fayre in the small way i did.
Just finished looking at the Fairs and festivals site, it brings back some wonderful, if fairly hazy, memories. If festivals were still like that I would still go. I went to Treworgey with four friends on motorbikes, I had only just bought my Z650 and it was my 1st big bike so it was quite an adventure playing with the Friday afternoon trafic on the M5 at 90-100mph. We went to see the Macc Lads (Exeter maybe, and another story) on the Friday night and arrived at Treworgey on Saturday morning.
All the memories of this weekend are very hazy due to the intake of various substances both legal and illegal but the over riding memories are of the hot sun and the red dust , this was to be my downfall later on. I know I had a blinder of a time but couldnt tell what bands, if any, that I saw or even if we paid to get in. I remember wading a stream and trogging through waist high nettles so I think we didn't, just parking the bikes in the travellers field. One incident I remember very clearly is standing at the entrance to a field watching a car trying to get out past a parked VW camper. He tried a three point turn, then a five point turn, then a seven getting more and more frustrated (and looking it). Suddenly his face changed to complete calm, it was almost serene, he put his car into gear and rammed the camper, two more goes and he was out and gone down the road.
We met a group of teachers who had a big fire so we joined them and as we didn't have tents slept around the fire, so glad it didn't rain. Set off early on Monday morning to get home for work at 2.00pm. Remember the dust being my downfall ? well just past Weston on the M5 I got pulled by the law. Busted and taken back to Weston police station (for a caution??????) what a waste of everyones time. They had been told to stop and search everyone covered in ........RED DUST.
has always been the craziest festival that has ever been, and my experiences
were no different.
I was hanging around with some mates from London during that time, and one guy who was a good friend of mine was into the festival scene and he always used to go on about his mate Joey from the Ozrics, and I had some good friends in a band called Harold Juna that were also playing there. It was very quickly decided that missing it was not an option, so we hastily got our acts semi-together to make it down there.
I had an ancient transit van, but it was really in no fit state and entirely illegal. We were running late, it was Friday evening and we were going to do a café. So we loaded the van up with a large number of beer cans and various other useful things from the local cash and carry and made our way on a 250-mile journey. To remedy the illegal nature of my van I had someone who offered to drive who actually had a licence, and he had this bright idea of changing the date of the tax disk to make it in date!
Now this was good in theory but we had got about a hundred miles and the boys in blue decided to take a look at what we were doing. Our brave driver promptly got arrested, and so we were starting to panic. Fortunately we had a friend with us, who I can honestly say was one of the most fascinating people I have ever met, and he offered to drive the rest of the way. He was Bulgarian and he was the leader of one of the main underground dissident political groups that led to the break up of the Soviet Union, and he had taken a holiday in Britain just as the revolution was in full swing. He said quite calmly "don’t vorry about zee British police, zey are nothing compared to zee KGB!" Right we thought, that plus a Bulgarian driving licence from an Eastern Bloc country written in Double Dutch should be able to take care of the plod, and so we headed onwards.
We arrived at some unearthly hour, just as it was getting light, and we were directed into this completely empty field and just about managed to set up a bender before collapsing, as it was now daytime again. As we awoke the horses field was totally choc-a-bloc with people, and our café was in a prime position by the entrance. We had no tickets or anything, but we did have a huge stack of beer. We traded this up for all sorts of things, so we finally had a café selling food, except I don’t think the woman who sold us the mushroom cakes obtained them from any supermarket.
The rest of the festival still remains a bit of a blur, but I think we managed to get in by swapping arm bands, and there was this crazy gate called Checkpoint Charlie complete with makeshift Soviet insignia for added effect. Everything seemed to have a sort of duel meaning, and no one seemed in the slightest way normal. You would see these odd things going on all the time, like a line of people walking past one goes "hash", the next, "acid", then "speed" and a hippy at the back "programmes". Hmm, yes it was about right, the programme was like a new kind of drug. Then out of the blue, like we could have never expected, our driver suddenly appeared. Now that was pure genius, he had made it, in the face of hostility and government-imposed laws. But I have this to say to the Tory government, it was our Bulgarian revolutionary that did more for what they purported to believe in than anything they managed to do. The irony was quite remarkable.
Baron von Lotsov
We received this negative post from a guy who was at the festival and who blames the whole debacle on the travellers ........
have today had a look at your site concerning the Treworgey tree Fayre
held in 89
I am surprised at the claims made by the supporters of the New age Travellers who attended
Surely all that these scroungers achieved was to ensure the festival never happened again
Your Mr Rosenburg applauded them by saying "it just shows what Travellers can do"
As far as I am concerned they are a breed of people who firmly believe that the world not only owes them a living, but it owes them a free party as well.
I happen to know the organisor of the event and he suffered severe financial loss as a result of the festival. I was there and heard a lot of people say "I have been going to festivals for years and I never pay for admission"....Is this not the reason why the festival never took place again..!!
Travelers are not festival supporters they are festival destroyers.
The fact that Treworgey never happened again is proof of this.
Furthermore... festivals need large spaces of land in order to take place. This would essentially need to be private land owned by farmers..
When other farmers see the financial loss suffered by the oranisers of the Treworgey Tree fayre...how likely is it that they will want to stage a similar event.
The damage done to these events by the scum who believe they have the right to free entry everywhere they go has had a devistating effect on the festival scene.
If they had paid for the modest fee asked by the organiser, then that finance would have ensured the festival would have continued.
So the next time a farmer has a festy...pay for the tickets...because you are not paying for that festival...you are paying to help ensure the next one.
travellers on the whole were a disgrace...letting there dogs run free
and killing 60 plus sheep...And to be invited on to a farmers land and
then tell him they will stay as long as they please is a disgrace.
I would be interrested in hearing any comments.
I bet you don't post this letter on your site.
Well this gentleman may have some valid points regarding not paying . In our emails discussing this we found that he could not understand that the comments in italics and green text are written by our contributors , not by those who edit the site. He ended up accusing us of stealing tickets and contributing to the destruction of the festival , despite us informing him that we were not even in the UK in 1989, then he followed with the usual " you are a scrounger and a cad" foaming at the mouth crap , at this stage we gave up trying to have a rational conversation and blocked him !
So we regretfully concluded that the poor soul has little brainpower and is incapable of following a line of thought. Nevertheless, despite his slurs on our character , we have added his post to the site and we welcome constructive comments , not just slagging him off. The site is here for all viewpoints and no doubt , getting in without paying did not help the organisers to cover their costs .We at the Archive happen to believe that it was mostly poor planning and organisation that led to the financial loss, just as happened at other festivals where security was lax and people could get in easily. If you allow folks to get in easilly without paying , a percentage of people will do it, especially if they have no money for tickets in the first place. Even the tory MP doesn't blame the travellers entirely, as he states on page one , there were a thousand travellers and 39,000 other attendees, some of these folks bear responsibility for either attending without paying or getting too off their faces to function. Anyone who doesn't get that fact into their head probably has rocks residing within instead of the good old grey matter .
Just read your review of the 89 festival. I was 21 that year, not a traveller but a complete head as were most of my mates then. It was the same year I saw Steve Marriot play before he died, I also went to Glastonbury that year and before in 87.
Plenty of us went to Treworgey and paid for the tickets. It was such a mash up I cant remember too much but I do remember it did rain overnight contrary to reports. A mate of mine slept on a mattress open air for most of the weekend and he was soaked on one of the mornings. Everyone was pushing the consumption to the max - I can remember eating a Nectarine which I bought on site and was utterly convinced at the time that the consumption had saved my life.......... probably not but it seemed quite real. I do remember seeing Hawkwind playing from the ridge in front of the stage with fire breathing and all sorts going on around me. We retired to Dartmoor for a week afterwards to recover. In reflection, as with most festivals I wish I had been more focused on the music and not how many stimulants I could get down my neck, but hey I guess that's what you do when you're 21. It was an awesome festival as I remember and very pleased to see not completely lost in time and space.
for the site - I was beginning to think it was all a dream. Personal recollections:
got a lift with Mick with enough money for either a pouch of 'baccy or
a square meal. Snuck in (Mick had a ticket - I'd happily send the money
to the organisers now, just didn't really think about it at the time).
The 'baccy won out over the food, but somehow it got me through three days.
Glad to see everybody else has hazy memories: I vaguely remember bumping into a friend, and waking up on a hillside three days later with "fuck" written across my forehead in red marker pen and only one boot. I stumbled around until I came to a field with a single car in the middle of it. I ambled towards it, opened the door and it was Mick, who I hadn't seen since we'd split up before the gate three days earlier, but who seemed to be expecting me.
Went to plenty of other festivals in the years that followed, initially expecting, and then yearning for, a similar experience, but never found anything quite like Treworgey. Thanks to everyone who was there.
Storm clouds a gathering © Dick Short
I remember picking up a leaflet for Treworgey at Glastonbury that year and persuading my then boyfriend to go with me. We set off hitching from the North of England and did very well indeed getting almost to the site in one day. Sleeping in a hedge we then hitched another lift to nearer the site and I think then got a lift in with some other festival goers. I remember having boyfriend's dad's expensive tent loaned to us and we pitched it on some very stony ground where there were Brew Crew on the gate in shades of khaki clothes that had originally been white though you wouldn't have known it. I felt intimidated but boyfriend who had mental health problems was more paranoid than me who just thought "what would they want to bother with me for ?" I think actually it was a good survival mechanism for that festival for me!
There was a dug out trench shit pit in the next field to where we camped. I do remember the vast quantities of shit and bog roll lurking about. There were the overflowing loos and something called the pleasure dome I think with maybe sauna and washing facilities which I would have liked to to use but didn't.
think we boiled all the water we drank and bought some bottled or maybe
another friend who had come had brought water in his vehicle.
I had a conversation with some Hari Krsna's from Glasgow I think who were washing giant cooking pots with the tap water near a farmyard area.
I remember being very pleased to get a lift home with a friend and his partner and child and not have to hitch. Buying goatsmilk in plastic bags on that last morning because they were sealed and unlikely to be tummy ache causing and persuading boyfriend and the mate giving us the lift that raw goatsmilk was a good plan for potentially iffy tummies.
Other memories include some fantastic food stalls and a natural shoe stall. Also in one of the camping fields that was a predominantly vehicle space I remember spotting a little bus with Homeopathy painted on it. I do wonder if this was Marcus Christo in that van, the guy who began the Travelling Homeopaths Collective who attend many festivals now. There was the check point Charlie place and people who had wristbands that they had made themselves and I remember being laughed at for being supposedly stupid enough to have bought a wristband/ticket. Also a double decker bus and buying home made bread from it.
Going and listening to bands I found jarring and hard on my brain late at night or maybe it just seemed late to me. I will never again pretend to like something for the sake of acceptance or being supposedly cool! I was young and impressionable to put it simply. Too much cannabis for me, I never really did any other drugs being scared or into self preservation , who knows!!
I don't think I ever realised how dangerous or toxic the festival was. I walked about quite a lot on my own and with my paranoid boyfriend and we found no trouble whatsoever though did hear of stuff.
Previously my festival experiences had been Knebworth, Nostell Priory, Donnington and Reading. Having been a Hawkwind fan since 1973 I thought that this little festival might be a good induction for my 12 week old daughter.Well it was certainly an experience. The queue to get in was held up
by police in white forensic suits- I hoped that having a baby in the car with all the associated paraphenalia would avoid a search. This was also my first real encounter with travellers and their colourful vehicles.
I paid at the gate and my entrance fee was stuffed into a shirt top pocket-but at last we were in after a 6 hour drive. The first problem we encountered was dust and trying to sterilise baby bottles. There were some sights that I doubt we will ever see repeated- drug dealers riding around on motorbikes shouting out their wares- a woman carring a human skull, walking around shouting "skulls for sale"! and shite everywhere. Toilets made Glastonbury portaloos look posh and hedgerows were soon employed.
to the tent a bit early one night and couldn't sleep because I heard an
amazing hypnotic sound- I rushed out early the next morning
to find out who it was and found a bloke selling C90's of yesterdays bands. It was LOOP-a band I continued to follow later. I still have a bootleg of Hawkwind on C90 from Treworgy and am now searching the attic for the LOOP one.
night I was awakened by another noise and went to investigate and found
a bloke dancing outside his Ford Escort having his own "Rave"
complete with strobe lighting -yes ACID HOUSE had arrived.
Hawkwind took to the stage it started to drizzle with rain so I wrapped
my daughter in a bin bag I'm sure I have the photo somewhere.
The next year I phoned the farm to see if there would be a 1990 event- "absolutely not" and the phone went down. Despite the shite and
conditions it was probably the most memorable event I have attended in 37 years of supporting live music.
I remember a bit about Treworgey - I've forgotten far more, of course ;) I very foolishly agreed to hire a van to take a load of mates down from Bristol; I think we had about ten people in total, including Bath/Bristol band Smile On The Void, plus a couple of dogs. Of course we loaded up with quite a lot of booze and so on before leaving too. I was pretty paranoid whilst driving down, I remember, particularly when everyone swarmed out of the back of the van at Brent Knoll services.
We stopped off just inside Cornwall to drop the dogs off for the weekend with the parents of one of our contingent, then journeyed on to the festie itself. We rolled up at the entrance - I think it was a separate artists' entrance, although it may have been the main gate and we were just asking to go in the artists' field - anyway, we were claiming to be Zygote, another Bath band. So the security hippie (this is way before the angels took over) is standing next to me, trying to figure out how to use his walkie-talkie: "Er, hello, control; hello, control???"... "Yeah, control, it's the gate here; we've got this van here, they say they're Saygoat from Bath"... "Er, hello??"... "Where are you??"... "I'm at the gate."... "Er, so am I!" The two buffoons were then so befuddled by the fact they'd been talking to each other on walkie-talkies literally across the bonnet of the van, that they let us all in.
I remember watching Hawkwind up in the top field, completely off my head on flapjacks, have vague recollections of Loop but few others; Smile on the Void ended up playing an unofficial tent stage further up the site from where we camped, and we saw a few bands there. I recall being totally dehydrated at times, aware of the health issues from having to borrow a spade and find a spot in the woods, and only drinking stuff whose provenance I could be pretty sure of! I certainly wished we'd bought a pack of orange juice cartons or something from the supermarket along with all the tinnies.
decided to lay off the alcohol and substances from Sunday afternoon and
somehow managed to round everyone up so we could leave in the early hours
of the Monday. I don't recall any real problems getting off site, but
the artists area had somehow remained fairly sedate throughout the chaos
of the weekend. I do remember it being one of those days when, every couple
of hours, you think, "If I'm this wasted now, how wasted was I two
hours ago? And if I was that wasted then, how wasted was I two hours before
that?!", and so on. At least one of these moments of reflection came
as I was on top of the van, back outside La Cantina in Redland, seeing
to the last of the red dust before returning the van to the hire company.
Hello! I have been looking for info of this Festival forever! I was the singer of 'The Janitors' and played there,I believe,(God. They say if you were in the 60's you don't remember anything. I can't believe it's come to that with me and the 80's) we played on the first day though it could've been the Sat. Morning. Anyway we played just before The Gaye Bykers On Acid and I joined them on stage for the last song also.
To anyone watching I fell off the stage at the end of my set and also flipped around like a hyper bunny at the start and kept shooting a toy gun with sound into the mike.(Special Effects! Noooo...It was drugs kids!)
Anyway,someone there filmed our entire show AND the Bykers and I was wondering if you know of anyone who did this and if you could contact him for me please. I think it's the same two guys who filmed Hawkwinds' set but I could be wrong (I'd be interested in that one,also.)
Man what memories that weekend was,it truly was chaotic with all those rumours/facts circulating about of deaths and sinister security. I even had lost my ticket or wasn't issued one and had to sneak in,thru the woods, to the backstage so I could perform on the main stage. Most people don't believe me when I tell them.
let me know of any info and I'd be even interested of any film footage
of the event whether it's us or not,let me know what the price or damage
is,etc. Much appreciated and thanks for the memories!
Ex singer of 'The Janitors'
Hi there, I've just been reading about Treworgy Tree Festival on your site. I was there for a few days and after having a good time initially it all went very dark and evil and had what's commonly known as a bad trip - extreme acid abuse following days of amphetamine abuse. I saw Hawkwind on the main stage and think there was a thunder storm. At the time I was convinced the thunder storm and rain was a hallucination caused by subliminal messgaes in the music !! Four years later I was told it really did rain. I still don't know whether it really rained or not during Hawkwind - can anyone help me out with this info.
great to read about it on the site and realise it wasn't just me that
found it 'full on' . I managed to leave the site and do a reverse charge
call to my folks in Plymouth who came and rescued me from the chaos. Thought
I'd lost my mind for good but after a few days rest I recovered - those
were the days !?
Thanks for a great site, I'm looking forward to reading about other festies that I went to in the 80's.
All the best, Mel xxx.
Its great reading all the comments on this site. I came down from Scotland on my own to Glastonbury. This was my first festival ever and i can tell you, it blew my brains and any conception of life which i held away, big time! I stayed on to litter pick or should i say, drug pick and they were heady days indeed.I met some amazing travellers and people, and took some amazing acid!
I remember leaving glasto on foot and ended up at Treworgy! Care free days indeed my friends!
I remember it being very hot and dusty, very earthy and i can remember walking down to catch Hawkwind tripping off ma nut. It was pretty wild for me coming all the way down from a little village on the east coast of Scotland i can tell you! I also remember there being a rather large white dome, i think there was meant to be showers in there, if my memory serves me correct.
i eventually got home, i told anybody who would listen about my first
summer down south, however they just didn't get it! You had to be there!
I returned to Glasto several times and i've been to Scotlands T in the park, however all these over priced, security laden, and commercial festivals are not the same. I look back to the summer of '89 with fond memories and i'm glad i experienced Treworgy in all its glory.
Thanks for putting the site up, and its a pleasure looking through the photos,
definitely there but i remember practically nothing about it. that was
normal for me wherever i went because i took a lot of drugs.
very funny reading some of the stories above though.I borrowed a caravan to go to treworgy and it was the first time i'd ever towed one so when we parked up, i unhooked it at the top of the hill and came very close to killing whoever was at the bottom of it. we heard the rumours of people dying and rampant diseases but it was all standard stuff . never took much notice of stories like that really.
as far as the complaining email goes, i agree with him. the travellers were a pain in the arse most of the time and had no respect for anything.
i spent a lot of time on sites all over the country over many years the first travellers i knew in the late 70's and early 80's were a bit more
intelligent and sussed in general but later on the squatters moved out of the city and into vehicles and chaos took over.
i was always against the dogs killing and worrying sheep or travellers getting obnoxious with country people as i'd grown up in the country.
the free parties and festies were fantastic but it's really not that difficult to have a good time without being a total wanker and abusing everyone around you.
a few ragged memories of this festival, I was mainly wrecked the whole
time I was there. The cider situation was that if you left your gallon
tub outside your tent, it wouldn't be there in the morning. Crusties were
nicking dregs and refilling a container then selling it as genuine Cornish
Scrumpy. So we kept ours in there for the second night. However, one of
our containers was for pissing in, so when it was nearly full we left
that out instead. Dread to think who paid a fiver for that!
Generally I don't have good memories of this festival, security were arseholes, quite happy to take a tenner of us and turn their backs while we vaulted the fence, only to reakise we'd need to do the same thing again each time we wanted to go back to our tent. We found a Just Juice container and made our own orange wristbands, worked a treat.
Remember water being a problem, couldn't find any anywhere when I woke about 4 one morning, had to knock on a convoy bus that had a big container outside and ask for some. They let me sit and drink as much as I could hold.
Can't remember much else, even the music.
thanks for the great site.
i was partly responsible for the house music sound system that turned up at treworgey.
i dj under the name rhythm doctor (since 1976). at that time i was living in east london & working with the 'runtings crew' (the first one using that name 88-91). fabian was the guvnor' behind it. he ran a car repair shop in leytonstone - but his main income was derived from illegal raves around east london at which i dj'd. the other dj's in runtings crew were connie & babyface (rip).
i personally hired the sound system from britannia row in islington (ex pink floyd pa providers?) & me & fitzroy drove it down to cornwall. fitzroy gained tabloid notoriety later as vanessa feltz's 'bad boy' partner :-)
most i don't remember much from the festival, not because i was trashed
(i smoked a bit of weed but nowt else) just that it was a long time &
a thousand raves ago!
so what do i remember.....?
heavy security (that's how we got in, the 'underworld' connections gained from similar set up at glastonbury)
setting up the sound - hoping i hadn't got any wires crossed
our big fat pa pumping bass
house music & more house music!
hairy travellers & their dogs
sprawling camp site
trying to sleep for a few hours with my dj equipment, amp racks & fabians 2 rotweilers
the open plan shower area
the amazing massage that revived me after no sleep for 2 days
when packing up the sound, fitzroy spraying a monitor speaker with deodorant (?)
being arrested on mass when leaving the site early morning
the police tents set up in a field
sound system & van being seized
driving back to london with fabian wondering how i was going to explain this to britannia row
finding out that illegal substances were hidden in the monitor speaker
realising i could be in big trouble if said substances were found
2 weeks of worry waiting for the old bill to release our van & sound
finally getting the the van back to find the police had trashed many speakers
utter relief when they had obviously not found the stash hidden in the monitor (the deodorant trick must have thrown the dogs off the scent)
paying back over many weeks to britannia row the damge done by the malicious old bill.
a great weekend!
the comments by others all sound very familiar, the dust, the lack of
water, the chaos, the lack of paying to get in....
But it was a tremendous festival, I saw Hawkwind, Ozrics, Nik Turner, Loop,lots of acid house, lots of dub (altho somehow I didn't even know Misty In Roots played until I read this site, and I love Misty). We ended up camping next to the Jah Works crew, who had a sound system in their truck and a huge fire at night. They were lodged between Wango Riley's and the main stage and they were great guys.
Friend of mine was working at a Tequila bar (I think) and he would pass by every now and then with cocktail goodies, which was ace. Fond memories of great music, and a great time on no money (like just about everyone else there I think).
yeah i was there, with the band jaroma. we played, finally, at about 3am on some stage somewhere. we never got paid (obv) but supplemented our income by selling bacon sarnies in the daytime and tequilla slammers at night !
i was with my 11 year old daughter, who was 'visiting' for the weekend and when i got her back to her mothers house she was so dirty that i left her at the gate and ran away. she loved it and is now a pro musician !
it was truly WILD. i heard music there that i had never heard before and will always remember it !!!
Jaroma at Victor Dragos 1990
up, great site, great photos and great memories. Makes up for not having
many coherent ones of our own...
We were seasoned professional festival goers aged 19 at the time. We had been to Glastonbury that year (joined CND, worked for 20mins on one of the gates and got free tickets) and so thought we knew all there was to know about festivals...which was about as much as a rocking horse knows about brain surgery. We were not easily shocked having come down from the throbbing metropolis that is Exeter. We had trained hard for the 12 months previous, drinking as only late teens can until the wee small hours on a regular basis, necking as much of the main mind altering chemicals of the day when the opportunity arose and we felt ready for a week's festival. With us we brought a case of Crucial Brew, enough hash to hurt if you dropped it on your foot and three tins of beans (way too much food as it turned out, could have brought more beer).
We actually thought it was going to be a fairly lame, small and comfy affair having seen the promotional stuff in record shops like Henderson's in Exeter (legendary place, Dave Henderson,where are you now??). On arriving on the Thursday evening we were faced with the slightly damp set of fields with their sprinkling of traveller (at the top naturally) and other vehicles/tents just starting to fill up and thought that it would probably be an 'OK' few days. Then someone came back with a handful of white lightnings after which the next five days became a bit like a flicker book...lit up with fireworks.
That night, walking down to the bottom of one of the lanes in the (absolute pitch) dark we see a glimmer of light coming towards us which rapidly grows into the front end of a Bristol heading up the hill. So we start walking slowly back up the hill, bus follows us, we speed up, bus speeds up. We start to get a bit panicky (nothing like pitch black and psychedelics to add a certain drama to a situation) and look for a way out sideways like animals trapped in a box but the bus fills the lane from side to side and isn't going backwards so the only way is up. What it must have looked like to anyone watching was three wide-eyed-skinny-white-boys come sprinting out of the top of the lane closely pursued by a cloud of dust, then a Bristol bus with a bearded lunatic leaning out of the side saying, "Thanks lads! Didn't think we'd make it!". We thought we were lucky to be alive! If you are that bearded lunatic, your face is still burned onto my memory like a logo for Treworgey.
Walking on through the top sections of the fields past traveller vans as a barking pair of fangs comes rushing at you out of the empty darkness then stops short with a clink of chain. Three collective sighs of relief. As the dog then comes rushing out for the final 6 feet of chain that it didn't use on the first lunge. Clean underwear anyone?
Standing by the hot knife queue: 50p a blim and a choice of brands with a guy sitting on the roof of the van strumming a guitar and keeping watch for the cops (didn't see a PC all the time we were there) and a car goes barreling down the hill with about ten people in and on it past us. Fifteen minutes later (the queue was long for the hot knives that day - or maybe we went back for seconds/thirds/fourths) the same car comes back up the hill carrying even more people minus its roof. No-one bats an eyelid. It was starting to feel like Mad Max meets Apocalypse Now. Charlie wasn't just at the wire, he was in your sleeping bag.
On the first walk in to the main site through the gates, two mates were tripping so much that they managed to get their tickets swapped for wristbands which were then promptly stolen all in the space of about 3 metres. Six portaloos for the entire site stood like an altar in the main field with a huge queue outside each. A day later, no queue and so leaping up the stairs to have a quick slash with a big grin for being so lucky only to be faced by a literal pile of shit brimming over the top of the seat. The last person in must have been bloody brave. From then on, it was turd-dodging in the ditches. Into the main field with music coming from all sides like the Ozric Tentacles playing in a tent in front of about ten people. So we sat down and made it fourteen. Staring at each other and marvelling at the swirling mixture of music, people and darkness around us. No festival I've ever been to smelt or sounded like that Treworgey which I'm both sad and glad about.
Mate buys a hash pipe that was longer than his tent, so he has to sit in mine and fill it with almost an entire sixteenth of red seal which it then takes four brave souls almost an hour to consume. Then back out to the festival again, more white lightnings, more sights and sounds, like a girl dancing energetically around a fire to music that we'd never heard before and simply not stopping. We watched for hours and wondered what could possibly be making her so enthusiastic about dancing so much. A year later, we and the rest of our group of friends knew exactly what that powered that girl round that fire. Was rave really born at Treworgey? Maybe we watched it happen.
More trips to the Acid Cafe run by Dee and Phil as I remember. More swirling and stumbling. Mate number two decides that it's all too much and shuts himself in the boot of his car with Hendrix at top volume on the car stereo. We give him about an hour before decanting him for a walk around the sights and some fresh air, which was in fairly short supply. Guy with dutch accent offers us acid, "California Sun - very strong, £2.50". My mates pass up the offer as he looked quite dodgy but at £2.50 I was feeling experimental so I handed it over. And got what looked like the corner of a peach coloured fag packet. "Very Strong" was an understatement. It would be 24 hours before I could tell the time again, by which time it was Loop on the main stage. I'd fallen asleep on the small hill in front of the main stage and one of my very caring mates, rather than just give me a prod when the band came on decided that a gentle stimulation with Amyl Nitrite would be the best option to wake me up. In leaning over to waft the bottle under my nose, he slipped and emptied a quarter of the bottle over my face. Woke me up alright.
Monday morning was like the aftermath of a bombing raid, only with toilet
roll and turds rather than incendiaries. We had begun to look decidedly
haunted, grubby and tripping for four days straight does things to a person.
Time to join the thin trickle of refugees out of the site with a distinct
feeling that we had survived something and been present at something which
was unique, a one-off and as it happened, we'd never get close to again.
Until the following Glastonbury when we spent five days straight in the
traveller rave tent, but that's another story.
I've got kids of my own now and I just hope that when they go off to whatever sanitised-plastic-imitation of an event passes for festivals these days, if it's even half as intense as Treworgey was, I never find out about it and they enjoy it as much as I and my mates did. Great site, hope to see more pictures soon!
Fresh faced student with a newly discovered penchant for hash and a good need to get some acid and truly chill.
Having split up from a girl who I thought I loved, I went with a mate and a girl I had hopes on. We shared a tent, her ex turned up and we dropped some bus fresh tabs before putting up the tent. Some guys with a beetle kindly shone the headless to aid us getting the tent up, but by then we were a lost cause. Spent the night huddled round a fire smoking and watching the dawn.
without sleep we stumbled to the arena, spent the next 3 days in a blur
of hash, music, hash, acid, hash, music, weirdness, hash......
Met my ex at some point, got more stoned. Thee hypnotics, carter usm, hawking, a laser, some tequilla, dancing, glow in the dark plantlife, hash, sunshine.
My mum was not happy when my shell got home. It was great.
was there doing a whole thing there with a bunch of pals with swingboats,
cafe and whatnot. Yes it was utter chaos, and pretty scary, edgy and strangely
fun. Yes, probably the worst lavatories ever, virtually non-existant?
- and I seem to remember a mini Hepatitus epidemic? Am sure we had vaccinations
before coming down cos a friend who was on site already had warned us!
When we turned up he was yellow. Also vaguely remember the bizarre security
arrangements: it was like a big fence that didn't really work but weren't
there dogs involved? and rumours abound that the dogs had been fed LSD?
Probably not true, but part of the travelling community myth. I'd given
birth 4 weeks earlier and had been on the road doing festivals (interspersed
by visits to hospital) since 3 days after the birth so that era is sharp
in my memory. I worked out that my son (who is now 21) had been doing
an average of 7 miles per hour since birth.
Also was an exceptionally hot summer, which must have contributed to the hep thing, and the madness! After the actual festi bit had finished, must have been on Monday cos I would have been working during the actual thing, a pal and me went to the shower dome. A dome tent with open showers, bubble machine, carpets, cushions, flowers and fruit in bowls and all that. Was lovely and all women and babies, proper yogurt knitters and the like, except for one bloke wearing a bit of cloth who kept trying to give us bifta's but was quite obviously a bit of a perv!
Communication about festivals like that wasn't as easy as it would be now, so how did we know about it? word of mouth? That funny old mag 'festival eye'? Imagine it now with the aid of facebook. It would be over-run, or more likely run over by some kind of corporate entity.
I've got some photos too. could upload them to the site if you like? some of my bus (hex44 was the number plate, supervega), some of the rougham gang I was part of, some of some of the tibetans, some of some drunk randoms!
oh, and i bought my wedding dress there too. A very beautiful 1940's dove grey panne velvet number. £17. Bargain!
Cant believe this site, amazin' guy's
My boyfriend (Johnny Mager, sadly deceased) and I were about the first to arrive, having found flyers at Glasto and legged it down early in our old transit. We were initially on the top looking down on the would be site. By the time we moved, we moved to the bottom most field, abit out of the way. This turned out to be a sound move because a load of barrel tops turned up wanting to share, as we were rapidly becoming the only place with any grass. As a result nobody else was allowed on, and we didn't have the dust bowl everyone else had.
By the time the festival started it all felt like a bit of an intrusion, if short lived as we'd been there 2 1/2 weeks. Didn't see any bands, too off my face, but remember watching the lasers for what felt like an eternity! Remember all the hoo harr about the stollen hash, and the kick off with so called security, as my boyfriend and others were given white treworgey t-shirts (they REALLY stood out) and became the new security!
That night Steve's dog Frog saved him from a flying glass bottle by jumping up and catching it! Next day he was bought steak....and this from a veggie! Festie ended and we stayed for about another 3 weeks, if memory serves me right. Eventually kicked off and moved on to Hereford trading estate, which was fucking awfull, followed by some old railway tracks outside Hereford where we picked sprouts for 2 weeks. I then got Hep off Irish Helen and ended up converlessing in an old farm house at God r graig.
was the best summer of my life I recon, learnt my things inc how to make
a good bender, and clean a wok with news paper , handy as we had no water...Don't
remember eating anything though the entire time we were there! Made and
sold friendship braclets to sustain drug habit. Supplimented by trips
to bloody Launston to sign on!
My Family and I were at Treworgy festival - it is quite a memory. We were fortunate as with 2 small kids I came with 2X5 gallon containers of water. Preferring to drive it in rather than carry it up the site. Ha, getting some to carry would have been the challenge. We were parked up opposite Wangos stage and the amount of dust depended on how good Wangos band was doing. The better the band the more folk danced the more we chocked.
With the kids there people would sidle up like drug dealers and say to my partner Hey Lady take your kids up to the house they have water if you have kids.
I felt there was quite a bit of hubris with the Travellers field ,many had a feeling of being apart from the punters, there were manifestations of inverted snobbery In the green desert tent .Some guy did a rant on how superior the real people were to their credit they trashed his comments as soon as he finished. There was also a lot more stealing down there.
The toilet situation was bad and the woods were full of shit even though folk were offering to loan out shovels. Many refrains of ‘If you go down to the woods today your sure of a good surprise’ Bands, well much as I love to watch bands I rarely know who I am watching but many were enjoyed, we too noticed strife by the main stage.
There were plain clothed cops in the crowd . I was sitting by someone’s fire about to pull out and light up when the guy next to me started to converse with his mate regarding the location of folk with a spliff or a stash nearby, (Slides spliff back in sock and moves on) though I didn’t see them do anything ,looking at them they looked like cops with a couple of random hippy dress accessories.
There were random acts of stupidity, a large crowd moving through a gate including many kids and a woman on a horse. Some idiot decides its a good idea to slap the horses arse and shout giddiup the horse bolted of course but the rider regained control quickly I was impressed by how many remonstrated with the idiot a good example of self policing better if it hadn’t happened though.
We had food but I will always remember Botulism cafe, Rats cafe and others, a wonderful nightmare for the health and Safety crew who didn’t even exist then.
For all its faults and the attitude of many, I can understand the Travellers being wary of the ordinary folk there - they were getting harassment and it was easy to see why they had a small group siege mentality. Drawing strength from each other at their gathering and it was mainly their gathering. I know plenty who quit the traveller scene as they didn’t like the separation from ordinary OK people they suffered.
well I loved the scene and dipped in a real part time hippy wannabe- often
I like nothing better than to be surrounded by edgy but benevolent chaos
and it was one of my best and most memorable experiences of that - I only
wish such stuff was still possible. The free party scene my kids were
into must have been similar.
a Trip, the festival and the run down memory lane thru this excellent
3 Kiwis, ubiquitous VW van, squatting for a year in London & running cafes and parties, head to the hills. The map shows we were put next to the Freaky field when we arrived late at night, only 20 odd vehicles before the gate was shut in a small field surrounded by the woods backing the stage - Lucky break or wot. Guy turns up selling acid, so it supplemented our stashes (plenty of food, water & recreationals, bog rolls & a spade)
The most memorable was Misty in Roots, green laser show thru the drizzle and off the low clouds - a total trip out, followed sometime like 2am by a NZ singer/songwriter on guitar only.
I believe it was the Gay Bykers, mid morning on a small stage, totally incoherent, falling off the stage, people spewing, super brew everywhere and we coming on up and trying to think breakfast.
The tent in the corner of the Freaky field - nonstop Acid House type music with someone on a guitar solo marathon - on and off for 2 - 3 days.
Now, years later I cycled around Ireland and coming off the Cliffs of Mohar, found a pub, and at the local chip shop, a couple hitching north. Talking revealed he sold us the acid!
His tale was festival travelling on foot, no money, so he bought a pack of spuds for food, gets there to find a potato field, got in thru a hole in the fence, came out and some people asked how much to get in, so he collected a tenner from each, found someone selling sheets of acid and entrepreneured his way thru the rest of summer.
It was as everyone else has described, near pure anarchy, it'll never happen again. Who brings 2 x 8cyl engines to a festival? The dust bowl for 2 days till the rain then walking the traveller field and all those sofas and people covered in dust mud - priceless, had some of them even moved.
Big Question, does anyone know of a similar site to reminisce over the Amsterdam festival in late August '89 in which most of the same travellers & I went? Treworgey was probably the last travellers festival in the UK & Amsterdam was the first of the UK invasion thru Europe.
Big thanks to all involved in this site
In a moment of lockdown I found myself recalling a free festival I went to back in the day. Couldn’t recall the name for a while until Treworgey popped into my head. Spent the next hour or so reading all the Treworgey stories on this site. Quite nostalgic to read all about it and recall those days generally. I’m actually glad to see so many recall good times and had a great festival at Treworgey. My story is not quite in the same vein as others but I may as well add my pennyworth. Just to add some background I lived in Devon and from 1977 had been to Hood & Elephant Fayres into the early 80s, went to Glasto in 86 so I had some festivals under my belt.
No idea how I heard about Treworgey but I do know I bought a ticket in advance – yes that’s right I PAID FOR A TICKET. Tried to round up others to come along but no takers. So, I loaded the car and set off Saturday midday on my todd. I should add I had no particular affinity with travellers, knew little about them other than what was portrayed on the news. My car had a MOT, was taxed, insured and I bought my ticket and petrol with wages I had paid tax on. Drove down to Cornwall, getting closer to festival site, I seem to recall roadside signs 'Treworgey Festival 5 miles', then 'Treworgey Festival ½ mile'. 3 pm Saturday, half a mile on at a junction to a small lane were half the D&C police force and a ROAD CLOSED-DIVERSION sign plus a sign for the festival off the junction. I dutifully followed the diversion thinking I was being diverted to an alternative entrance. Ten minutes on, no sign of anything until I spotted another Treworgey sign - in my rear view mirror! Turned around and headed back to the D&C blocked junction, arrived there and sat in the road indicating to turn in. A cop shouted 'Where do you think you’re going' I held up my ticket and said 'I’ve bought a ticket for the festival so I’m going to the festival'.
Obviously I had no idea of the earlier events with security, deaths etc. Anyway, the cop waved me in and moved the sign. I remember entering this narrow and deep lane and fairly quickly was running the gauntlet with what I later discovered were Brew Crew. They stood both sides of the lane and some on top of the thick hedge, they all wanted a quid for the car park, a quid for the tent. Some were ‘guarding’ a gap in the hedge and for a quid you could sneak into the festival. Well, sort of except the gap just led into another field and not the festival. I just ignored them and drove on trying not to run over any feet. In fact Brew Crew was not a term I heard until some years later but more on that later.
I’ve tried to look at modern maps etc. and can’t quite orient myself with the D&C junction, lane or where I ended up but it opened out and the festival sprawled up towards my left with a stage visible (Wango Riley’s?), perhaps I was near the farmhouse? Anyway, throngs of crusties everywhere and more signs to say CAR PARK FULL, CAMPSITE FULL and there was nowhere to actually drive any further, at which point I was thinking 'have I made a bad choice here, shall I turn around and leave'?
However, at that point a JCB appeared, the driver jumped out spoke to someone and I overheard that he was going to have to open an overflow field. Could this have been the landowner? A gate was opened and the JCB drove in closely followed by me. Quite odd really reading the other stories as I was now setting up my tent in a field with no one else in it apart from the JCB which was digging a shit trench. Wasn’t long before Brew Crew started patrolling the field and every couple of minutes I was asked for a quid for the car, tent, water, entrance etc. I just replied that I had already paid which seemed to throw them off.
Wasn’t long before more tents were going up and a very nice middle class hippy type girl pitched next to me, she was also on her own and attracted attention from Brew Crew who were starting to swarm on her pitch and demanding a quid for everything. She was looking a bit concerned so I went over offered help with the tent and told the Brew Crew we had already paid which surprisingly seemed to be enough for them to leave.
The shit trench dug by the JCB was fairly quickly being used, the immodest types simply climbed the spoil heap in full view, squatted down and shat, turds rolling down the spoil.
Obtained coffee from somewhere and had a few smokes with her, I had brought food and water. I have no recollection of showing my ticket to anyone on site or having a wrist band, perhaps I did, who knows? I recall wandering around the festival with her that afternoon and evening but no specific memories. I do remember feeling very uneasy and on guard all the time, watching over my shoulder and having concerns for the car and tent. I have to take my hat off to those who were doing the serious acid/mushrooms there, with the what I’d call a very heavy and dark overall vibe going on doing acid would be the last thing on my mind. I was 28 then and had pretty much done with everything except hash & coke, psychedelics were in the past and definitely not on my menu and no way there! Although some of that was to change two years later in Plymouth Zenas, Warehouse & Academy.
I do recall what others have mentioned about Hawkwind playing Saturday night with the green lasers catching the raindrops and looking crazy and that’s without acid. Me and the hippy girl watched Hawkwind, there was some tripped out Brew Crew lying on the ground next to us, babbling away to himself, gurning away and writhing around on the ground. The hippy girl suddenly yelped and jumped back as the Brew Crew had flopped his dick out and started pissing like a fire hose going everywhere including his gurning face. I later realised she yelped because he had pissed all over her skirt up to her waist and arm.
We returned to the tents and she changed the dress and invited me in for a smoke. This is the one part I kick myself for to this day. Taking it in turns to roll a joint we smoked several, for some reason (being a polite and respectful type) and having concerns about my tent being robbed I decided to call it quits and return to my tent. I went to give her a kiss on the cheek and say goodnight only she seemed a bit keener and laid back and grabbed my jacket pulling me down. What a dickhead, I just kissed her other cheek and said I had to go which I did and was fast asleep in minutes. Sorry girl, don’t know what I was thinking.
Got breakfast and coffee with her in the morning but recall little else, but found myself later on my own getting coffee and sitting in what looks like the main stage field around Sunday midday. The arena area front of stage was pretty deserted, a few milling about and some like me sitting on the grass including a young couple laid on the grass not far from me.
THE BAD BIT.
I became aware of a white ish Transit van crawling about the arena area. No details but I’m sure it was either missing its doors or back doors or roof and backdoors making it look like a large pick up. Bear in mind there was loads of space and few people but the van crawled about at walking pace up and down, side to side, turn back up and repeat the process. It then crawled downhill no more than 30m from me and was headed for the young couple laid down, could easily have gone around them but no, drove up to them and stopped. There was some shouting, the young lad told them to go around at which point a Brew Crew jumped out of the back holding something and put a gun (something like a Browning 9mm auto) to the lad’s head and told him to fuck off which they both did quite quickly. I doubt that couple will be having a nostalgic moment and looking up the festival 32 years later. Anyway, the transit continued its crawl about and I saw others suddenly scatter from its path, gun or not I don’t know. I kind of thought that as they were obviously just cruising up and down to find people sitting on the grass to intimidate and threaten with a gun and I was sitting there it was only a matter of time before I was targeted. The van turned at the bottom and started a slow crawl upwards in my general direction so I upped and left them to it.
Went back to the tent and told hippy girl what I’d seen and that I was off. Both of us took the tents down and parted company. Don’t even recall her name or where she was from but my memory of her is stronger than the gun incident so that’s something.
So, left the site and drove home, no evidence of a road block as some said perhaps that was later. Kind of got home and put the whole thing behind me, don’t recall telling anyone about the Treworgey Festival I’d just got back from. As a bonus I didn’t get ill, arrested, robbed, runover, shot or leave my brain cells there. Wondered for a few days what I’d actually witnessed and tried in vain to draw parallels to Hood Fair, Riverford circa 1977-9 but there just weren’t any.
Would I still go if I could turn the clock back? With hindsight and the assurance I’d live to tell the tale I’d have to say yes, I’d do it again with a different plan and not the leave hippy girl’s tent!
There is a comment on here by BOB who had nothing good to say about the festival. I think a lot of what he said is not far off the mark. Treworgey may well have been the final nail in the coffin for such events. Ok, it spiralled out of control and had no organisation therefore no one is to blame but can you imagine the state of later festivals if that kind of anarchy was nurtured. Although IMO the powers that be/were had little to worry about, had that kind of anarchy expanded I think it would have been self-extinguishing. Reading about the dead sheep in a stream and people shitting upstream and others drinking the same water eventually the anarchist population would thin out with many Darwin Awards given out. There is something to be said that elements of that culture were the original entitled generation where everything should be free, although if it was I suspect they’d still ask for a quid for everything.
Just to expand a little on a connected subject regarding the distinction of Travellers and Brew Crew. I had a friend who became a NA traveller possibly around the time of Treworgey. He had a bus and made wood carvings which were sold at festivals and markets. Amongst the travellers there were altruistic off the grid types and then the more anarchic types. Below them in the pecking order were the Brew Crew, I was informed by my friend that these Brew Crew were little more than the foot soldiers following the travellers about and who caused untold damage on the travellers as well as any others they swarmed over. My understanding is that the Brew Crew were more or less comprised of no hopers, people mostly wanted for crimes, escaped custody, jumped bail or were generally on the run and therefore had nothing to lose.
There was a festival planned possibly in Somerset circa 89-91. Travellers and buses etc. started to arrive but the population of Brew Crew was massively outnumbering the travellers even before the festival started. Most of the travellers saw trouble on the horizon and started to leave while throngs of Brew Crew were flooding in. To cut a long story short, the Brew Crew went beyond anarchy and turned feral, by the evening were openly robbing and trashing other travellers’ buses. A stage was set up and a band showed up only to have all the gear robbed and the band chased off site. The evening’s performance was attempted by feral Brew Crew who basically trashed the equipment and eventually the stage only occasionally stopping to rob another arriving vehicle. Not sure why the friend stayed as long as he did but he was eventually being overrun by Brew Crew and he managed to literally get the bus going and drive out with Brew Crew hanging off the sides and on the roof. So, don’t lump travellers and Brew Crew together, quite different folk. I’ve watched documentaries about travellers circa 89-94 ish, and see it all as part of our social history. Bad shit happened at the Bean Field (they weren’t police). Travellers giving Mike Eavis grief at Glasto wanting money because 'it’s our festival, we made it what it is'. Er, no not quite, although is this not the modern day Glasto Shangri-La scene of matured travellers and frequented by royalty? As for Brew Crew, I don’t care what happened to them, any make it through the millennium?
Apologies for the long story but I suspect your server can take it.
Tim, still in Devon.
Had no idea this event had become legend. Came across your site during a casual search. I was with a small group of like minded freaks from Kent and we travelled down in two VW vans. We had heard about this event from the flyers being handed around at Glastonbury, saw the acts thought this looks interesting. We were all on the dole and the ticket price was affordable.
Anyway, we got there and set up tents near the Free Field. This was on the Friday, I think and already there were rumours about dead sheep in the water supply. Other than that none of us heard about any other bad happenings. Although we were off our faces all the time so I don't believe much reality would have sunk in anyway.
As for the music, I remember the Saturday night at the travelling stage with Ozric Tentacles, Magic Mushroom Band and Hawkwind (possibly with Simon House on violin and Hugh Lloyd Langton on guitar) and being on microdot acid. Thee Hypnotics and Loop being very loud and awesome. Culture Shock being very tight.
I thought at the time and still do Treworgy was way better than Glastonbury however, despite the comment about this fest being the origin of rave culture forget that there was a rave tent at Glastonbury.
Organisation and program extracts
Noddy G and friends chill out at Treworgey
The Archive is as usual interested in this topic as regards to it being an aspect of social history of the counterculture , traveller and rock festival scene of the 60s to the late 80s and does not condone or encourage the consumption of any substances ,illegal or legal which may have led to mental or physical incapacitation by those who consume them .