Hear Ye, Hear ye – we’re ringing in the second SydArthur Festival. Eleven years ago, in 2006, two psychedelic giants left this earth just 28 days apart. A full lunar month: how poetic. Such poetry in their deaths obliges us to come together under the moon to celebrate, nay cerebrate, for the entire time between Syd Barrett’s waxing and Arthur Lee’s Waning. Moreover, this second SydArthur Festival fortuitously coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, thereby giving us the grand opportunity to honour that aspirational and righteous countercultural moment.
The Summer of Love was a time of radical personal liberation, a seeking of higher consciousness through psychedelics and a wholesale rejection of The Establishment. Perhaps the intended end-game of those primary protagonists of The Summer of Love could – in light of their lofty hopes and dreams – be seen in hindsight to have failed, or even been thwarted by government agencies. But nevertheless what remains and what is forever remembered is the extraordinary soundtrack to that Doorway time. It was a Golden Age where music reigned supreme, the ultimate sonic manifestation of the manifesto. And of course Syd and Arthur themselves were key participants in this time, both of whom flourished and produced their respective masterpieces. Accordingly, we have selected 28 songs from 1967 to help us cerebrate each day of this year’s SydArthur Festival.
By dint of having died just one lunar month apart, Syd and Arthur have given us the rich opportunity to make a carnival time of this serendipitous cosmic accident. Accident? Do the heroes of western culture move in any less mysterious manner than the gods of ancient times? Let’s take advantage of their overt poetry, of their celestial dance, and avail ourselves of the chance to build the first truly psychic and near-religious rock’n’roll festival. For this is – in the psychedelic spirit of its two major players – a mind-manifesting festival. No pricey tickets, no camping like sardines in some infernal swamp. For those of you who choose to engage in these proceedings, you may do so from your own homes, your favourite areas, but most specifically from within your own minds.
Between the pillars of Arthur and Syd lies a rich fertile land inhabited by a multitude of psychedelic events and of artists, authors and practitioners whose births and deaths fall within this 28-day period. These too are venerated.
Let us put our minds together, deeply consider these people and events, and in doing so harness the energy of their seismic actions. Overall, during this moon tour let us consciously raise our Collective Consciousness.