It was a ripe morning for a festival. The sun had perked up from behind the rolling heather of Bristol county and shone onto a small farm where the greatest community event of all time would slowly blossom. As the day unfolded hordes of excited punters filled the fields and aaaearaeraereatghghgyyfuck it.

Come on, let’s be real with each other here. You don’t need another festival review. It is clearly a given that, if you went to ArcTanGent 2014, you had an absolute blast and would undoubtedly agree that this festival is setting a new precedent in DIY festivals worldwide. And if you didn’t happen to make it, you can rest knowing that someone here in Internet-land has most likely belted out a full and comprehensive account of the event covering everything from the blazing performance of Russian Circles right down to the lauded Pieminister pies.


John Locke

Here, we’ve decided to part ways with our prose-flowing bloglodytes and decided to have a bit of fun with the ArcTanGent organisers. As you are all undoubtedly aware, last weekend marked the birthdays of two eminent philosophers: John Locke (1632-1704) and David Hartley (1705-1757). Locke was a firm proponent of social contract theory, which posits that a persons’ moral obligations depend upon a societal agreement or ‘contract’ with the community they are part of. Hartley, like Locke, believed that the brain was a blank slate accommodating experience directly from environmental stimuli, and that our moral development was a cumulative sequence of transformations of the self through association and experience. The contributions of these gentlemen were integral to the study of social philosophy and understanding the moral predispositions of the individual.

I’m sure you know where this is going. Comfortably nestled upon beds of beer kegs in a tent behind the Las Aranas bar, we probed James, Si and Goc, the ArcTanGent festival organisers, with a swathe of moral dilemmas and hypothetical social situations, to rummage inside the inner ArcTanGent moral sense, as it were. And, as the viral clickbait websites so lovingly put it ad nauseum, their answers may surprise you.

You witness a man robbing a bank, but you later find out that he donated the money to an orphanage so that he can ensure that no one suffers the poor childhood that he had. You are the only witness that saw him unmasked. What do you do?

Goc: “I would explain the scenario exactly as I saw it. So I’d explain it thinking that it was obviously a crime scene, and then I would explain that I knew the outcome of that story and I would present the problem to someone with the authority to make a legal decision.”

James: “I think it’s amazing. I would go and do it myself, it’s a great idea.”

Si: “Let’s ALL go rob banks!”

James: (laughs) “I’m all for the Robin Hood.”

You make your living taking photos of birds. You learn that there is a national park out of town that is a haven for rare and exotic birds, so you set out to visit the area. You find out just before entering that the park that it is also a major nudist camp; you’re carrying a camera and binoculars and are bound to look like a pervert. But you really want the photographs. What do you do?

S: “Get naked.”


G: “Dress like a Nordic Giant with all the feathers and everything!”

J: (to Si) “You could use your ‘penis cam'”

S: “‘Penis cam’? What penis cam?”

J: “Oh yeah, you told me not to tell anyone…”

You’re in a busy pub by yourself and you order the sausages and mash (vegan sausages if your diet dictates so). The dish arrives with a small bowl of peas on the plate. The bowl has a really nice hunk of mashed potato smeared on the side of it. There’s people all around you. Would you lick the mashed potato off the bowl?

G: “The peas, I would tip straight into my mouth. The mash I can leave.”

J: “I think you can use the finger. A finger is slightly more civilized. I don’t think I’d lick the bowl. If I was at home I’d lick the bowl.”

G: “I have lots of friends that would lick the bowl. I wouldn’t.”

You are playing an intense game of pub trivia and you’re currently first equal with another team. As the final question is being read out, a really important phone call that you’ve been waiting on all day is finally coming through. If people see you, you’re going to look like you’re cheating. What do you do?

G: “Well I’m fucking useless at pub trivia.”

FB: Yeah, but here you’ve absolutely killed it; your esoteric fields of knowledge have put you on top.

G: “I’d put a reminder on my phone and call them back in five minutes.”

FB: It could be misconstrued as you searching on the internet though…

S: “Voicemail. That’s what voicemail is for. But he (points at James), he always ignores his voicemail.”

J: “My answer to this question is: I couldn’t concentrate on the question because I love this band in the background and that riff that just played is so good.”

It’s early morning at you are the only person in the city centre. You stumble upon a wallet in the middle of the street. Inside there is over 2000 pounds but every note has a blood stained fingerprint on them. What do you do?

J: “Oooooh. I’m too much of a pussy to do anything but hand it in. I’d be shitting myself.”

G: “I’d give it to that orphanage for the children.”

If music is food, what sort of food is dubstep?

G: “It’s a really dirty burger from a shitty motorway chip shop.”

S: “It’s service station food.”

J: “It’s eating your own faeces, basically.”

Do you selfie?

S: “Not personally. Although we just did a press shot where the photographer did a selfie.”

G: “We can’t deny that we selfie, because we took one in the caravan office with all of us that went on Instagram!”

FB: Ah, the renowned Ellen Degeneres style group selfie!

S: “That wasn’t me! That wasn’t me though! I didn’t hold the camera!”

FB: Blame rests with the taker, I think. That’s the moral disposition.

J: “Exactly. Exactly.”

S: “I personally can’t do the selfie.”




ArcTanGent 2014


Bristol, UK

The Good Bits

Amazing line-up, friendly atmosphere, great sound quality, local/ethical food traders, DIY and community ethos, affordable ticket price.

The Bad Bits

Hearing ‘Let The Bodies Hit The Floor’ in the silent disco, not being as good drinkers as Enemies.

Five word conclusion

Precedent for math festivals worldwide.

Your Next Move

Buy tickets for 2015. They’re currently discounted at 20% off the 2014 price. Purchase here.