The Ambient Picnic a is a free festival that takes place in Guildford every year. The location could not be better sited, down by the river on the edge of Guildford.
The best way to get to it, is from the station walk up river and the cross over into the back of the festival from the river.
A few years ago was the best festival so far. It had slowly, slowly built up, then missed a year due to the stingy Guildford council refusing the funding. It lost its momentum, and is slowly slowly picking its self up again.
This was was probably the best yet.
It runs from midday until 9pm.
I cycled along the tow path and got there around 3pm. It was packed. I was surprised to see so many people.
The downside was the number of stalls selling junk food. For a festival with an environmental theme they should have no place. The good side is that good food is available too.
The Hog's Back Brewery manages the beer tent, and did do so last year. But why is a brewery that brews its own fine ales, selling crap like Fosters?
The best stall by far, was Seedy Sunday.
We have a problem. We are losing genetic biodiversity. EU seed licensing is so expensive, that only a few seed varieties are now commercially viable. We are in danger of losing many tens of thousands of varieties. It is illegal to sell unlicensed seeds. Yet another example of the conspiracy between the EU and Big Business to the detriment of smaller businesses and the environment. This situation is going to get much worse when the only commercial market is the supermarkets.
But there is way around this. Give the seeds away, lend them through seed libraries, swap them with your friends.
A close joint second was a Palestine Solidarity stall and animal rights stall. At the latter a woman was haranguing the stall for attacking Liar Blair and telling them he was a nice man and that neo-Labour respected animal rights! Well there must be at least one fool left in the country. She did not take too kindly to being told Blair had has head so far up the arse of Big Business that he could not see daylight.
SchNEWS are usually present, and last year had a big army tent, but they do have that book to produce.
Apart from SchNEWS, also missing was theatre, music workshops and political discussion and debate. Maybe next year?
Magic mushrooms were doing a roaring trade.
It was a hot day. Luckily the sky clouded over else it would have been unbearable.
The festival spreads by word of mouth. It is good to see so many people of all ages out to have a good time. Especially if we compare it with the drunken violence that spoils so many of our towns every weekend.