Good old Amino Clang came up with the goods again, here’s his report on the 1993 edition of the Happy Daze festy:
Happy Daze Free Festival in a Swamp
Well, here we are – Happy Daze Free Festival number three!
I have no idea where the site for this festi was, but I later heard that it was officially “The Wettest Place in Wales”. I didn’t know that when we all set off with smiles on our faces, but hindsight is a wonderful thing! I swear that everything I am about to say is true and I have witnesses if you think I am making it up or if you think it is just the drugs talking.
I think there were three cars of us who came to this festi, and when we got near the site there was a full police roadblock set up with flood light and hundreds of police. At least they had the common decency to come down the line of cars and let us know that we were welcome to go onto the site if we wanted to, but that we would all be searched before we were allowed past the blockade. We thanked the nice copper, and then there was a mad scrabble to hide/eat drugs before we got searched. Out of the three cars of us (15 people I guess) only ONE person was not asked to take off his shoes and socks… the ONE person who had 6 trips and a quarter of dope in his shoe! The night was all a bit like that – bad luck that there was a roadblock, good luck that we didn’t get arrested!
We made it up onto the site – did I already mention that it was officially The Wettest Place in Wales? It was essentially a swamp with sideways rain (that fine rain that soaks you through!) full of traveller vehicles and pissed off looking raver types. The closest there was to a sound system was a couple of speakers rigged up next to a bus that was playing tapes all night (apparently they only got onto the site because the speakers were being used as seats in the bus at the time of the search).
My mates started tripping and I was given a dud pill that never really worked, but the night went by mainly with me looking after another friend (who had come independently) who had been in a tent (she wasn’t sure where it was and we never found it again) swapping tequila for trips. She was staggering about the site trying to be a tequila girl (you know the sort – shot glasses in an ammo belt, cowboy hat on, shouting “Tequila! Rrrrrrrrraaaaa!”), but never actually selling a single shot because she was so tripped out wobbling about in a swamp in the rain.
The next day we all found ourselves in a tent being talked at by a crazed traveller type who kept taking more speed and talking some more. The only thing I remember clearly about the conversations that were had in that tent was that there was a rumour spreading that the police were spying on the travellers using one of those satellite dish type listening devices. No sooner had this rumour reached us than we heard a couple of crusties walk past the tent shouting very clearly “MUMBLE, MUMBLE, MUMBLE… HEROIN.” To which his counterpart replied “MUMBLE, MUMBLE… THREE THOUSAND POUNDS!”
Ah, how we laughed!
Eventually I persuaded our new speedy friend that she would like to go and find me some acid. She came back a little while later with two Strawberries (not the small red fruit!) which me and another friend immediately ate (neither of us were tripping yet and all of our other friends had been on one all night). No sooner had we started to come up than the driver decided that he was straight enough to get us out of this hell-hole, so we helped him pull down the tent in the wind and the sideways rain (did I already mention that this was officially The Wettest Place in Wales?) and the psychedelic traces coming off everything and eventually we made it into the car.
We had stashed the last of the drugs, packed everything up and were ready to go. The only problem was the couple of trippers on the back seat pissing themselves laughing because they were coming up while everybody else was coming down.
The Pit of Eternal Laughter is a place you sometimes visit when you are tripping and once you are there it is incredibly difficult to get out again. This is not that bad as all you do is laugh, but it does become quite painful eventually. It is a happy and psychedelic place where everything is funny, especially the fact that you are laughing so very much. Whenever you see the gates out of the Pit, and catch your breath just long enough to avoid passing out, you remember what was so funny and off you go again, tumbling into the warm colours of the pit as it tickles you and pulls you deeper and deeper into it’s belly. I could go on, but I reckon you probably get the picture.
Anyway, back at the “rave” we were desperately trying to pull ourselves together enough to make it through the police blockade without drawing any attention to ourselves. When we had calmed down a little (still giggling, but a lot better now) we set off down the hill towards the police.
As we approached the blockade, I wasn’t sure if I believed what I was seeing (it has been confirmed by lots of other people who also made it onto that soggy hillside though) – all of the police were wearing dayglow Mickey Mouse sunglasses (under real glasses if necessary, but EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM!). They flagged us down (me and my tripping buddy trying so hard to keep out of the Pit) and the windows got wound down.
“Good morning!” said the police officer in charge. “Did you all have a nice time last night then?”
“Yes thanks!” we replied in a state of total confusion.
“We were just wondering if it is anybodies birthday this weekend?” asked the copper.
It just so happened that one of the crew had been celebrating his birthday so he owned up to it. The entire collection of police at the blockade proceeded to sing Happy Birthday to our friend and then they sent us on our way with a jolly “See you next year then!” from the copper in charge.
We barely made it around the corner before the whole car was firmly entrenched in The Pit. The driver had to pull over he was laughing so hard. Nobody really believed what we had just witnessed, but as I have said – everybody saw it and the rest of our mates who came in different cars all confirmed the dayglow sunglasses and the eerie happiness of the police blockade. There was a suspicion that they were all tripping too (you can tell another tripper when you are tripping), but there is no real evidence to support this wild accusation except the looks on the police’s faces and the distant glint in their eyes.
Ah, Happy Daze!
Again, if anyone can help with exact(ish) location that would be great 🙂