When we found out there was no Glastonbury 2018 we decided to take the Unfairground on tour. Having presented some of the sideshows in the Palace of Wonder (the late night spot at Fuji Rock) in 2012, when Glastonbury last rested the land, It seemed only natural to take the whole motley crew off to Naeba for 2018’s 20th anniversary of Fuji rock !
For our Japanese trip we recruited Unfairground favourites Ben Eine and Inkie on painting duties as well as Local legend Masagon and Myself. We packed Sam Haggerty’s sculptures into a shipping container or two and sent them off to Japan in May.
Pryratrix Circus Joined us to help entertain the crowds, with Born on road, Jagz Kooner and Jack from Children of acid providing the tunes for the weekend. In all a Uncrew of 50 headed off for the mountains of Naeba, taking a slice of site life to fields of Fuji rock.
Ben Eine mixes it up
Masagon went Dotty
And Dotty went freehand.
With the hottest weather on record, the Unfairground crew melted across the old Orange court. Thankfully The Typhoon that hit us Saturday night didn’t cause too much damage. We’d like to Thank Naeba and Yuzawa councils for inviting us, Smash go round for making it all happen and Bryan burton lewis for being so special. Thanks to all who came, threw some shapes and tagged us in those million photos that got taken! Thanks Guys it was real!
Ahhh, Glastonbury, It’;s a double edged sword. An obstacle course through a chaotic fairground. Due to the Cannes lions gig appearing in the middle of my usual build, work started early in June, dragging the sideshows out, fixing trailers, building 28 foot mouths the usual thing for a uncrew carnie . Each year we ask a new artist to paint the hoardings in the unfairground. I’ve know Inkie for many years and thought his style would give a post victorian edge to our twisted fairground setting.
This year i brought a new sideshow, Small fortunes, Dystopian futures that favour the unfair! Cross there palms in silver and delve into the future from our resident fortune tellers the Queens of the Underworld and Ted’s Walker. We had queues of the curious leaving satified if not perplexed.
We had a cracking year, with the misery of the previous years festival forgotten. No one can remember a hotter build, a fuller or friendlier festival. We had a Cracker!
Usual thanks to all the Uncrew! The folly family, our incredible production staff, everyone on the bars back stage and back! Jagz kooner, Bez, Scouse and fatty for the battle bus stage. OIf course for Sam Haggerty making it all happen in the first place and all those who came, watched the freak shows, danced and drank the night away or those that lost their shirts on the sideshows.
It was a cracking year, always a little Unfair but a bloody good laugh
Didn’t really know too much about this festival before i was asked to decorate a sea front house for this advertising award brouhaha. Cannes, the perpetual summer luxury conference center location, hosts the major media bands for the Cannes Lions Awards. The beachfront is turned into a media playground with bands, brands and sands. There is not a dry throat in the house.
June is always Glastonbury and the unfairground and leaving site, from a ratty trailer to a rosé fuelled piss up on a beach was quite bloody culture shock..paint in the sun all week.then fly back to return on the Friday of the festival, back to the unfairground family of freaks, but more of that later…
It was a funny week, a dream like break from the shouty field on worthy farm. I met a lot of people, thanks to Rita ora, Halle berry and Hannah Bronfman for being such good sports and showing me how a selfie works.
Hidden Civil War is a month long programme of activity in Newcastle upon Tyne, commissioned by The NewBridge Project. Throughout October 2016 activists and artists contribute to a series of events that expose, collate and present evidence of a Hidden Civil War in Britain today.
Just back from Newcastle painting for the Hidden Civil War show . Had a cracking few days painting the ‘Union banner for the dispossessed’ both in the gallery and on the front of Cobalt studios in Ouseburn. The event happens across the city, with friends and family from the Unfairground dropping sculptures here and there, Jimmy Caulty with his riot in a container, protest jukeboxes and showings of the Battle of the bean field. The show is at Newbridge project gallery and well worth a visit. i even got a chance to do some urban exploring in the tunnels under Ouseburn and drop off a few kids.
Cobalt studios in Ouseburn was the location for my public mural in Newcastle. Surrounded by an ever increasing development of student accommodation Cobalt is fighting for it’s right to be arty. The wall faces the office of the developers and hopefully sends the right message. Gentrification happens because of places like Cobalt and it’s a ignorant developer that ignores the reason why people are drawn in the area in the first palce.
The gallery show is in the centre of town at the Newbridge Project gallery. A cracking space with a great team behind it. The space will host a series of works made for the hidden civil war dialogue. Pop in pick up a newspaper, watch a movie or put on a protest song on the jukebox…show opens on the 30th of September. The program and paper are available here
Of course there was some time for some late night fun!
I have to say, this year the Unfairground looked the best it ever has! The new Battle bus stage, with 2 1980’s london single decker buses being dragged from the field by cherubs and skeleton horses, really was one of the most dramatic stage settings in the whole of the Naughty corner. Ben Eine’s huge text warned Incurable, Imperfect, Send help! Giles walkers robot’s sold drugs on the path through using the legendary voice of Mac, while auto begger jackpot machines by myself and George Tomlinson declared the punters winners and thanked them for their 50p’s. So many new elements this year that made the unfair experience complete!
We were already in mourning onsite with the loss of one of our true heroes Uncool Dave earlier in the year, to top it all we lost a true friend during the build, Josh Knotty a talented and integral member of the unfairground crew. R.I.P Josh, Dave. Gone but not forgotten.
Dave’s the one you don’t recognise.
George Tomlinson and I built two auto beggers, the principle being that some pinball tat that we got of pinball geoff got us thinking of coin slot fun for the unfairground. We came up with one armed bandits that did nothing but illuminate in lights the fact you were a winner or thanked you for your coins… pointless and unfair i think you will agree.
I will have to thank Ben and ivana who smashed out some topical words and pulled all the stuff together, cheers guys!
and of course Micheal Evis and Bez for making it all happen
Marrakech was a blast. a real change of cultures, a lesson in patience and a change of pace. It started weirdly with Louis Theroux and his family on our easy jet flight from Gatwick (the unfinished airport). He was to reappear daily while we were painting, just to weird us out. Marrakech is an assault on the senses, the bustle of the souks the smells of spice and moped fumes, the call of shop keepers “come look Ali Babba”. It’s a crazy whirl of getting lost continually, trying to find the walls.
When first asked to participate in MB6 street art festival i was very aware i was going to paint in a culture not my own. My usual subjects were not going to work in an islamic country. Islam resists to the representation of living beings both man and animals this ultimately stems from the belief that the creation of living forms is unique to God. So my western stuff like trash, toys and rude kids were out. Marrakech is often called the rose city for its colour, everything is painted a reddish brown, coupled with the fact that Morocco is a major producer of rose oil with a unique fragrance meant that i had found something local i could focus on. The cabbage rose that grows there is not a looker, (its called the cabbage rose for a reason) so i picked a prettier version to paint.
The scaffolding was scary but the locals made me welcome, being asked to eat with the local masons and given countless cups of Moroccan whiskey (mint tea) from the berber barrow boys who carry goods in and out of the souks.
We were housed in a couple of cool riads across the city with the sun beating down on us painting during the day it was a cool place to hang out at night. As the week went on the Marrakech Biennale started with a series of parties, where tiny snacks and large amounts of alcohol often equalled drunk artists, a bloody good laugh was had by all. A massive thanks to Ahmed our local fixer and practical guy and of course his assistant Hassan. Big thanks to both Gladys and Elena who helped the wheels stay on the cart, and of course to Vestalia and Terrence who organised the whole affair.
In Marrakech this week painting for the Biennale with MB6, amazing place, really another world. Its early days and i’ve just started painting, going to be a weird Dotmasters piece and i have had to find something non figurative to fit with the local culture. More info as it happens
The print pre release and launch event went well. Thanks to everyone who came to the Seven Dials spotlight festival and bought a print. We are over half way through the edition now with the Fluro pink edition sold out. If you still haven’t got a print you can buy it from Imitate Modern Gallery online here.
So another year another sideshow! This years new creation is Site Beef! The worlds first meat based 1st person shoot me up! Steak prizes too! This years creation is a collaberative affair between some old faces from behind the scenes, Dotmaster, Webbo and multi media from Italia the one and only Erwin & Carlo. The sideshow is based on an old Rice trailer refitted and beefed up! So if your in the Unfairground at Glastonbury festival this year then pop on over to win exclusive limited edition dotmaster steak prizes!
Amazing punch ups by the one and only Dr zadok!
Well it’s been a busy, blurry week. Finally there is little to do other than travel home tired and a bit broken. A truly amazing week with a really nice bunch of people. This years Nuart had an amazing bunch of volunteers who helped us all paint walls, drive cars, find lost phones and generally provide the momentum that created the show. They are too numerous to mention, but i will try (if i’ve forgotten you, nudge me and i’ll add your name). Thank you Vegar, Andreas, Erik, Annette, Joanna ,Crystal, GT, Ove, Mirian, Gjoa, Graham, Chris, Emma, Nina, Trym, Liz, Ruth Adele, Epiphany and Thomas. The production team rocked and occasionally rolled. While we lick our self inflicted wounds and pick over the photos here’s a few of the ones i found this morning. There will be a steady stream over the coming weeks. Can’t wait to see the backstage shots that Kay Donnelly caught (it got very messy). Photographs below by Erik Furuland Photographs below by Ian CoxNuart was visited by the Cultural Minister for the Norwegian Government, just as you think you’re getting some sort of recognition, they have a bloody election and oust the buggers…oh well bet we will be favourites with the new right wing government….Not!
Well, thats it for another year, can’t wait to show you the silly side of the festival…coming soon!