Forest Fayre was meant to be a pay festival. It was mostly organized by Sid Rawle, one of the prominent figures in the Stonehenge Free festival which the precursor of the modern festival industry. That is you were meant to pay, but the free festival ethos that dominated events in those days meant that we just got in a truck, and somehow just got allowed in.

The big draw for us was Circus Warp, one of the rigs who made the Castlemorton free festival what it was, and Lazy House, another legendary free party crew from Devon, although the Fayre was somehow connected to more the hippie end of the scale via involvement from the Rainbow Circle in its organization, or disorganization, if you read the rabid press clippings about it from the time.

There was a lot of politics back then between old school hippie types and newer school people who were into raving, and the entire cultural phenomenon was the subject of hysterical treatment by the media designed to whip up public fear, suspicion and resentment.

“New age travellers’ whoever they might be, were referred to in the press and by politicians as “scum”, “vermin” and “subhuman with no rights” for instance, which is so not politically correct by todays standards. But then again there were good reasons for authority wanting to vilify the culture in the public mind.

But that was then, and this is now, and the grand culture that came out of those times is now a massive industry success story in the face of recession; relicensed back to the public and bought into by hundreds of thousands of people every weekend of the summer.

Whatever the Forest Fayre was, it was exceptionally muddy and a lot of fun.