Mucky Weekender 2023

It’s about to get very mucky!

Mucky Weekender 2023

It’s around lunchtime by the time I have finally sorted my shit out, and thrown all the stuff in the boot, and pointed the car towards a field near Winchester. It’s going to take about 3.5 hours to get there, so my mate and I stick on some tunes and settle in for the duration, looking forward to what’s forecast to be a scorcher of a weekend. A heat wave in mid-September, who’d a ‘thought it!

I’d been to the very first Mucky Weekender, a few years back and had an absolute blast, so was stoked to be heading back to the wonderful world of Barry Ashworth’s creation aptly called the ‘Mucky Weekender’.

With a relatively tiny population of around 5,000 inhabitants Mucky Weekender is a wee pup in the festival calendar. But don’t be put off by it’s diminutive size, Barry’s black book is crammed full of industry movers and shakers. His band ‘The Dub Pistols’ are renowned for killer collaborations and as Barry once put it “Mucky Weekender” is the ultimate Pistols gig of the year, where we bring everyone together and put on the biggest set we can.

The line up doesn’t stop there, with the likes of Goldie, General Levy, Stereo MC’s, The Selector, Krafty Cuts, Prince Fatty, Ragga Twins and Don Letts. Mucky Weekender is a musical smorgasbord of Beats and basslines.

By this point in the mid-afternoon, we were absolutely buzzing to pull up on site. Getting in the gates was a breeze, the security were present, but not over-bearing. With our weekends stash intact, we wondered over to the campsite like teenagers who had managed to sneak a bottle of vodka out of our parents drinks cabinet without getting busted.

There was no time to fuck about, we threw our tents up (not a job you want to try and do in the middle of the night) chucked our bags in and promptly headed into the field.

You know you’re in for a messy one when the first person you bump into is Mr Maraca himself, Bez from the Happy Mondays. This really set the tone for the weekend as it turned out!

It was hot, I mean really fucking hot so we were piling away beers in the vain hope of hydration. Can Friday afternoons get much better than this? Chilling in a field with a bunch of like-minded souls all up for a sesh.

As evening drew in, the sun finally fucked off and provided some much-needed relief from the heat of the afternoon. As it cooled, the energy in the crowd started to build, as did the beats pounding out of the sound systems. Talking of sound systems, there were five of them over four stages and one rowdy bar! There’s a big top tent housing the mainstage, another large marquee housing the Crazy Diamonds Stage, The U.S.S. Seanie T, and The Shack (a suitably ramshackle stage tucked away beneath some trees).

As the evening went on, my recollection of events become hazier and hazier until the cold light of morning arrived and I retraced my steps through the images on my camera! I discover many performances I’ve no recollection of, but somehow managed to take a sharp picture of, thank fuck for modern camera tech! I may not have full clarity on the events of the night before, but we had a blast, that’s for sure.

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By this point the sun was starting heat up again, we were in for a long hot day again. There’s a bit of a theme of this weekend. I may have got a little too into the Mucky Weekender mood and neglected my duties of being there in a professional capacity. Who am I kidding, I was there to have a good time and get fucked up, and that’s exactly what I did.

As I poured my mate and I a slurp of my home-made coconut oil infused fun juice into a shot of expresso coffee, thinking it would perk us up for the afternoon ahead and help us shake of the haze of the night before. In hindsight the carelessly dosed slurp was potentially where it all went wrong. Little did I know it would be the end of the world as we knew it for a good few hours.

Within the hour we had become official members of the lost-it posse, and reality had slipped out of our grasp and splodged onto the floor leaving a big mess in its place. I lost track of my mate for an unspecified amount of time, and discovered him loitering around near the first aid tent where he had found solace, in case he needed someone to pat him on the head and reassure him that it would be all ok.

In between long drawn breaths and the feeling of the ground trying to suck me into a Stranger Things style upside down, I gained the occasional glimpse of reality shining through the fog, which gave me some hope that I wasn’t not destined for a life wearing a tin foil hat quite yet. To be fair, that would have suited the space theme of the weekend quite well!

We finally managed to shake off our self-inflicted disabilities, and could now progress from basic movement to more advanced manoeuvres like dancing! Thank fuck for that, there was a lot of the night left to get into, and we needed to make up for lost time.

So what can I tell you about the Mucky Weekender, well as it turns out the tentacles poking out of the side of a spaceship were actually there and I have photographic evidence of the spaceman I bumped into.

What I do know is I met some really cool people, danced my tits off to some banging tunes, marvelled at some awesome live performances and genuinely had one of the best weekends of 2023.

Thanks Barry for having us, we had a blast, a proper mucky weekend! See you next time. Anyone for coffee?

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The Mucky Weekender lineup for 2024 is up, and it’s going to be a cracker again. Keep an eye out for our upcoming festival guide for more information.

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