Anna remembers her first experience of meeting The Hurly Burly Festival Cafe.
‘We were at Wilderness Festival in early August of 2015 and I had heard there would be some amazing canvas structures on site! Once we had finished our build creating audience refuge for the Wilderness stage, I took the children off for a wander round. It was a feast for canvassy eyes with beautiful work spanning all disciplines including tensile, traditional and clashes of both from LPM Bohemia and The Travelling Folk Barn.
Over in the main arena was The Hurly Burly. She is a striking re-worked traditional marquee, roof set directly to ground with a dormer entrance and stacks of shape. It was the drape of the fabric which caught my eye and made the ancient mariner genes in the middle of me stir. Modern fabrics are fantastic don’t get me wrong – we are working in an age of incredible fabric innovation. But oh how lovely and rare it is to see vintage cotton canvas billowing in light winds. I was utterly transfixed.’
Paul and The Hurly Burly marquee (complete with cafe bus) go to festivals, weddings and other events throughout the summer and so the canvas has worn over time. Its origin, history and size makes it a difficult canvas to keep at its best in a British climate. The larger roof panels when wet are tricky and heavy to handle.
The Way Out West has been working with Paul to look at a complete replacement of the canopy on the horizon for 2017 that retains the character of the original. Sometimes no matter how much history there is in a canopy, it’s time for it to retire and witness the birth of another. In the meantime we need to gently coax this atmospheric old timer through another season.
It is brilliant for us to work on this gorgeous cover and make it possible for more special events and experiences to happen in this magical space. It surely has some stories to tell and working on its folds and drapes this year will help us to understand how to recreate it for a new generation.
Contact This Way Out West if you have an old faithful canvas that needs some loving care.