Knockengorroch's The Hairth, 2006
A true antidote to the mammoth summer festivals with their extortionate ticket prices and pick n' mix indie-pop line-ups, Knockengorroch is amazing; the diversity of the world music acts being the highlight.
It's much more than just a music festival though, with a variety of workshops, the Te-Pooka fire display, all the stalls and a genuine sense of community which is difficult to describe. It sounds clichéd but I really did end up around a fire on the Sunday night at about 4am singing Beatles songs with a group of what were, about two hours beforehand, complete strangers. The free and easy feeling was reinforced by every aspect of the festival; the laid-back attendants content to ensure everyone had a great time instead of imposing authority, the dancing that accompanied nearly every performance, the camping area where it felt strange not to go and join groups around fires.
In terms of the music each act I saw brought something different; The Pendulums with their off-the-wall folk songs, Saturday night headliners Apache Indian & The Reggae Revolution for their chilled party beats, or Loonaloop and the handstand skills of their lead singer. It was just that sort of festival and the setting only adds to the ambience, situated in a peaceful and picturesque pine plantation. Don't think about it, next time it's on, just go. [Xavier Toby]