Waking Ken

Beyond Kompere

Once upon a time, at a festival called Alchemy, I took a picture of a fat man in a stripey jumper. He was sitting in a camping chair ‘resting his eyes’ as he started off into space at only he knew what, unwinding his head a bit after yet another weekend of psychedelic music in a far away field.

This was Kozmik Ken. Psychedelic DJ and compere extrordinaire, a legend in his own lunchtime, recognised by dozens. It wasn’t even the best picture I’d ever taken, but it was funny, and colourful, and the light was pretty good and so I shared it onto his facebook page, where it started to generate rather a lot of comments…

‘HaHaHa! Zonko Ken! He’s fast asleep! I wasn’t…I was just resting my eyes No your not you were off with the faeries, I was resting my eyes I tell you Day Dreaming! Drunk! Tired out. Stoned more like! What you dreamin about? Women! Rainbows? Spaceships? Hawkwind? The Grateful Dead, Beer! Actually… I might have been dreaming about holding my own festival one day:D,WoW, Awesome, :O ! Can we play?? Cool, I’d go to that! Me Too! And Us!! When is this?… It’s just a dream, I haven’t got any land to hold it…I’d be up for this, I’ll Play, Can we play, When is this? , F,F, Tag, Tag,

I know someone with some land you could use…”

And so on and sew on, it grew and gru as it attracted more and more comments from among his space rock friends, all wanting to be a part of something new, something good, something different, a chance to build our own little psychadelic festival. Everyone promised to buy a ticket and the more musical among us offered their technical services, there were sound men and musicians, photographers and roadies, stewards and litter-pickers, artists, artistes, artavists and entrepreneurs, All of of these assorted party-people and more then began working together, and Kozmik Ken’s Psychedelic Dream Festival was what came out the other end.

It had always been possible that it could just spontaneously happen one day, probable even… and with hindsight I’m surprised that it took so long really.

Farmer Bobby, he of the 27 sheepdogs (and a peacock), provided the land, permissions were granted things really started to get organised, and before you knew it there was an actual thing going on. Our thing. Our festival. We called it Kozfest and Kozmik Ken was our King.

Five Years

Every year for the next decade, Kozmik Ken’s Dream came true again and again. Ken was a frontman and was great at drawing a crowd and it was his dream which had bought an awful lot of good folk together. Five years on found me sitting up at Whitedog’s cafe, long after hours on Kozfest Saturday. Ken was there, of course as we raised a tankard to our mutual friend Allen, who had sadly gone missing in action earlier in the festy season. Ken said that here will always be A. Guest Ale available at Kozfest, a reminder of those who have gone before. It must also be said that none of us are getting any younger and that the sacred space always gains a few new names every passing year.

But there was also magic to be found there and there was something magical in the air that night, so thick you could smoke it. There was no place better to be than there that night, five years is quite an achievement, a wooden anniversary as such things are named, and this was a very special night for everyone involved. I must clearly have been doing something right myself back then because that was the night I first met my lovely Sn@il. She came sliding up out of nowhere, drawn by the magic, and when our eyes met, we liked what we saw. She must have been doing something right, too, as we are still going strong together five years further down the line. Kozfest has a lot to answer for.

Another Lustrum has passed since then and our own anniVersary is fast appropaching. Coincidentally our own ‘wooden’ year coincides with 2020 bringing Koz up to it’s ‘Tin’ anniversary (and if you know anything about our boats, then you might just smile at that).

In a normal year, Sn@il & I would be getting ourselves ready for another Kozfest we had planned to celebrate our milestone at Koz IO. But these are, unfortunately, anything but normal times, and whilst we are still going strong, still doing what we do, still keeping on, keeping on our friend Kozmik Ken has left the stage for the last time.

Three Cheers for Kozmik Ken… Fly Free, Fat Man in a Stripy Jumper.

Waking Ken

KozFest IO is still taking place this weekend, although it has had to be moved to an online location (Search the web for Kozfest2020 for details) and once again all our good festy framily will be coming together (as best as we all can) to turn up the volume and remember the good things in life. There will be a weekend of music and memories as all the players come together once more to play for us, for Ken, and for all those who have gone before us.

Come find us and join us, All Welcome, bring what you expect to find. One Framily xXx

KKIO, The weekend of July XXV, all across the WWW.