The Wickerman Festival is in crisis following the resignation of one of its core organisers.
The annual event, which takes place near Dundrennan in Dumfries and Galloway, has become one of Scotland’s best-loved music festivals during its 12 years. However, Chay Woodman, who programmes the Solus Tent, has quit, following the registration of the name of the stage which he organised as intellectual property without his knowledge.
Woodman later relented and tried to withdraw his resignation with the 10th anniversary of Solus due in 2015, but the board refused to accept this. Many acts have spoken up, including Frightened Rabbit, whose lead singer Scott Hutchinson said that the Solus tent set the band “on a path that would end up taking us to festivals across the globe.”
With many of the bands passing through the Solus’ ranks now having moved onto greater things, there is a sense that the festival could struggle to re-book these acts for the main Summerisle arena, while upcoming acts are much less likely to view the Solus Tent’s replacement as a “must-play” stage.
Woodman’s departure is not the first bombshell to hit the Wickerman, with founder Sid Ambrose resigning three years ago due to “irreconcilable differences”. Ambrose is now involved at the Willowman and Eden festivals, while Chay Woodman has said that he will continue to work on music in the local area as well as elsewhere in Scotland, having already successfully launched the inaugural Electric Fields event.
(The Herald has covered the Solus story with more quotes form the major players).