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Whilst an Archaeology undergrad at Edinburgh University I discovered the deep and long-lasting elation that comes with putting on successful parties. Part of the attraction was just how appealing the potential venues were: cavernous medieval vaults under the heart of the city, an old hermit’s cell cut out of a sandstone cliff in a wooded glen, and an island which you could walk out to at low tide.

The island, Crammond, was my favourite location and I organised three events there. The most ambitious of these took the form of a ‘private view’ when the tide was down, followed by an all-night rave when the tide was up. Achieving the event was a serious logistical challenge. A generator had to be carried almost a kilometre along the tidal causeway and up a steep path to a natural amphitheatre at the heart of the island. We did this by slinging it off two scaffold poles, shouldered by four people, with others hovering around to take turns or provide extra help on the tricky sections.

Artists from a local collective and Edinburgh College of Art made site specific installations. Perhaps the most successful of these was Alice Myers’ transformation of a WWII bunker into a walk-in pinhole camera. We were blessed with the weather and my enduring memory is of watching the morning sun pull itself up from the Firth of Forth as the sound system wafted psychedelia out over the still water. For the duration of that night we’d created our own utopia, sealed off by the sea from the rest of the world.  

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