Beautifully bonkers Cloudspotting festival shines light on all things diverse

Campers gather for Cloudspotting
Campers gather for Cloudspotting
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ICHI, from Nagoya in Japan, journeyed 6,000 miles across three time zones to be at Cloudspotting – and the electronic fusion master wobbled off stage on a pair of towering stilts.

The monk-like artist from the land of the rising sun takes the notion of a one-man band to extreme limits, creating his own strange world of insane and irresistible beats.

The Burning Hell from Canada - playing on Baby Grand stage

The Burning Hell from Canada - playing on Baby Grand stage

His quirky handmade noise implements: Kalilaphone, Balloon-pipes, Hatbox pedal-drum, a pair of percussion shoes, a hat-trick hat and a Tapumpet cooked up a melting pot of sonic sound.

All apparently inspired by a heady mix of punk, reggae, dub, scratchy 78 records and comedian and singer Henri Salvador.

And in the needle cushioned lanes of the In the Pines stage, Ichi’s diverse show produced one of the festival highlights.

It was all beautifully bonkers of course and it was that kind of weekend at Cloudspotting, where the music was as diverse as the people were friendly and welcoming as the sunshine that bathed the tree tops of Gisburn Forest in a warm glow.

Art performers entertain the crowds

Art performers entertain the crowds

“Ichi blew everybody away with his performance,” said Cloudspotting co-founder Matt Evans.

“We had a feedback tree where people could leave messages about their festival experience.

“One read: ‘Cloudspotting allows me to be totally who I am. It is my highlight of the year. Thank-you.’

“That’s lovely, and to hear that makes all the hard work worthwhile, the massive undertaking of assembling artists from all over the world and an open-minded audience who come to enjoy it makes you want to do it again.”

Ichi performing on In The Pines stage

Ichi performing on In The Pines stage

It was Cloudspotting’s ninth year and the early spirit of the first gathering in the beer garden of the Aspinall Arms, Mitton, has been nurtured by the love and dedication of Matt and his team.

Indeed, what better place to spend the summer solstice as guests were encouraged to head off to little-known places to discover everything from a sword swinging robot with a love of trance music to yoga in the yurt.

And the border-busting music programme would not have looked out of place in a quiet corner of this weekend’s Glastonbury.

Burning Hell from Canada, Jeffrey Lewis and Les Bolts from America, Isaac Birituro and the Rail Abandon featuring Moussa Dembele (Ghana) turned up the heat even further.

Matt added: “One of the reasons we started Cloudspotting was to create a platform for artists who go a bit under the radar, and I think we’ve got the recipe right.

“I also want to thank our partners and supporters – it’s been a difficult year with a lack of funding support.

“However, individual donations and considerable help from the Grand, Clitheroe, the Forestry Commission and our loyal volunteers made it possible.”