DrumTrek Days 16/17

Having already pitched my tent prior to the Sheffield circle, I was able to land well at Stainsby Festival and hook up again with my partner in crime Nessa, who brought the contents for the space I had erected. Teamwork 😉


This was always going to be a significant stop on the Trek and oh my, wasn’t it just!

This wonderful wee festival will be the recipient of half of the DrumTrek funds raised and if I ever needed any confirmation of why, ( and I didn’t ) this weekend showed me all over again in spades.

This was vintage Stainsby.

Fine weather, music to soothe the soul and shake the dust off your boots ( Personal faves for me were Dick Gaughan, Carrie Tree, The Padres and Robin Williamson), fine ales ( if you wished to partake ;)), scrumptious food and most important of all for me The Community.

All the crew…all of them, are volunteers. It gives the festival a particular vibe for me. One of being held, in a very caring and loving way.

It’s very real. Not airy fairy. People care. A lot.

It is without a shadow of  doubt, one of my very favourite places to be here on Planet Earth, of a weekend in July and of course one of the most wonderful settings for a community to gather and drum, as we have done this past 15 years, in the same sacred space, The Willow Circle.

This year was no exception and we had large numbers and sunshine to boot. Only the Saturday is recorded due to minor technical difficulties ( which I believe are now resolved, fingers crossed) but it gives a very lovely picture of what we are about in this fabulous place.

A huge thanks to Ben Daglish for his heartfelt introduction and words about DrumTrek.

You are such a beautiful soul and a constant source of inspiration to me.

The clapping sequence you see is a great example of what we call ‘work with what they give you’ in Drum Circle parlance. This group of four lovely peeps were standing on the outside of the circle immersed in their 4 way clapping song. I ushered them in and sculpted out a quarter circle for each and allowed the group in that area to pick up inspiration for a clapping rhythm from their new ‘in the moment facilitators’

Each quarter  was then layered in to give you what you see above. Thanks to the Four Amigos for sharing their Spirit.


Both circles are lunchtime slots and once we are finished the main stage takes off and the music on site begins in earnest, as does the drinking 😉

Not for this drum circle facilitator this year. A dry Festival and more the merry for it. I watched bands, films, listened to talks, caught up with old friends and made new ones.

On the Saturday evening Ness and myself joined the welfare team and helped support the festival team for a wee session from 10pm-2.30am, Thanks to Howard and Jamie for showing us the ropes and providing such great company and for Tig( or is that Twig?) and Zig for having us onboard.



Sunday was another wonderful day with a really vibrant drum circle.

Post circle, I was asked if I would be part of a scratch band to cover for a late omission from the Festival line up.

The other 3 band members were to be Chris Ellis, Ben Daglish and Dave Sturt.

This was a proper OMG moment for me.



Chris has written songs from a deep soulful place that have always had a profound effect on me when listening to them. To play with him was just a dream come true.

Ben is one of the most inspiring musicians and performers I have ever witnessed and it was equally amazing to be on the same stage as him again. ( I sat in with Tomorrows Ancestor last Year)

Dave Sturt is a new friend, a really lovely guy and an awesome Bass Guitarist who also happens to play with Tomorrows Ancestor ( we met last year on stage)  and  Gong…Yep…Gong. Nuff Said. Respect.

I don’t know if it was filmed but I would love to watch that gig.

I had the most fun.


Thank You guys for asking me to sit in. I am still grinning.

Paul Happy

It felt like a fitting and wholly appropriate end to a magical weekend, although there was still time for the closing ceremony and The Farmer’s Song and of course a superb set from The Lost Padres before Ness and myself headed for a Travelodge to shower and sleep the sleep of the contented and rest before my next leg.

Here I sit on the morning after the Festival and I have shed tears of joy writing this blog and watching the videos.

Stainsby is always Magical but this year…this year something has opened up in me…a softness…a sense of belonging…a deeper connection to my tribe…at this Festival and beyond…I am so very very grateful  for this life I have.

I honestly could list every single crew member here in Thanks but you all know who you are and how much I love being with you.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. xxx

Blessed Be.

Mileage today: 60

Cumulative: 2111



4 thoughts on “DrumTrek Days 16/17

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  1. Paul,

    I went to both the Stainsby circles and as someone who usually plays drum kit alone it was an amazing experience to play with such a big group of people, facilitated by someone as passionate and dedicated as you.
    You’re a credit to drumming and a credit to humanity. Thank you for doing the circles at Stainsby each year, they really are amazing 🙂
    I also saw you play with Ben, Dave and Chris and I didn’t realise until someone told me that you were winging the whole gig! Excellent work,


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