Festival Column: The Big Tent
The ongoing enviromental crisis is no laughing matter. I mean this literally; try Googling 'environment jokes' by way of coming up with filler for an article introduction and the best you'll do come up with is an image of Al Gore's private jet; which probably explains the dearth of standup (boom boom) at this year's Big Tent, Scotland's Environmental Festival – back after a one year hiatus. This 'festival of stewardship' (I dinnae really ken) began life in 2006 at Falkland House, Fife, as a counter to the high-powered yet ultimately futile bluster of world leaders in Gleneagles, 2005 and has since become one of the most enlightening yet entertaining festivals on the calendar.
Yes, there are some serious issues to be dealt with, with a series of talks on biodiversity, sustainable transport and the future of farming all being held under the general theme of 'Think Global, Act Local.' There are also craft fairs and some hands on activites, including the opportunity to build your own den as part of the 'festival of huts'.
Then there's the music, and as rambunctious and lively a line-up as will adorn any festival this year. All locally sourced and organically produced, the party is headlined by The Proclaimers and Salsa Celtica. The invigorating ensemble that is The Treacherous Orchestra, Karine Polwart and Woodenbox also feature prominently on a running order which proves that whilst tackling the serious issues of the environment isn't funny, it can be fun. [Paul Mitchell]