Wickerman Festival founder steps down

From a spark to a flame, 10 years on, Robin Hardy, director of the original Wickerman film, Sid Ambrose and Jamie Gilroy festival directors, cut the celebratory cake to mark this milestone in the history of the Wickerman. GG 0807040 11
From a spark to a flame, 10 years on, Robin Hardy, director of the original Wickerman film, Sid Ambrose and Jamie Gilroy festival directors, cut the celebratory cake to mark this milestone in the history of the Wickerman. GG 0807040 11

THE founder of The Wickerman Festival, Sid Ambrose, has stepped away from his involvement with the now world-famous event.

After 11 years with the organisation and having watched the festival grow to unprecedented heights, Sid has decided the time has come to take his knowledge to a different festival and will now be head of media and marketing for The Willowman Festival, based in North Yorkshire.

Sid, who is based in Newton Stewart, said: “The Wickerman experience has been a real rock and roll rollercoaster for me - parties in Nairobi, filming in New York, VIP invites and meeting the great and the good within the music industry has given me a great insight into the entertainment business.

“However, I’ve felt for some time that my skills lie in developing the brands of fledgling events. The real challenge for me is identifying and promoting the unique selling points of any new venture.

“I therefore decided that l would be better employed at a more traditional style of music festival which has not yet reached its full potential.”

Sid started The Wickerman Festival, based near Dundrennan, Kirkcudbright, in 2001 whilst working with The Stewartry Music Initiative. Despite obstacles such as the foot and mouth epidemic, the festival grew to become one of the ‘Big Three’ on the Scottish festival circuit.

The annual July celebration of music and the arts attracts around 15000 people and is only eclipsed in size by T in the Park and Rockness.

In contrast, The Willowman Festival does not yet attract those numbers but takes place over the summer solstice in a very scenic part of Yorkshire over four days.

Sid was also keen to point out that his move to the more intimately-scaled Willowman would still have benefits to local families and festival goers.

He explained: “For years, we have attracted people from the north of England and given them a short ‘staycation’ in Galloway with the Wickerman being the focal point of their holiday. I am delighted to be able to reverse the situation and offer local people a holiday in the heart of Yorkshire with an affordable four-day festival.”

Ex Wickerman musical director, Steve Williams, is now the owner of The Willowman festival. He said: “We are delighted to offer Sid a position in our organisation. I have known him for a number of years and have always valued his integrity and creative ideas. He will be a welcome addition to the team.”

Sid offered thanks for the huge amount of support which allowed the Wickerman to flourish he wanted special mention made to the local press for unstinting support, the local population for being loyal attendees and the police and emergency services for creating a safe environment. Lastly he wanted to thank his wife Caroline for her role as PR Officer and giving local and national press a really warm welcome at previous Wickerman festivals.

The WillowmanFestival takes place on the 21st to the 24th June and earlybird adult tickets are priced at £50

Visit http://www.willowmanfestival.co.uk/ for more information.