Taking their audiences on an animalistic, improvised journey through the musical spectrum of dubstep, jungle, death disco and rap samba, Badger Badger are the furry flashmobbers with serious stamina.
Counting musicians, dancers, mask makers, costume designers, shamans, installation artists, graphic designers, games creators and choreographers amongst the participants who help keep this woodland themed abstract dream alive, Badger Badger is a project centered around helping people let loose and reconnect with their inner beaver fever. Performing at a wide range of festivals, parties and events, what they do is undefinable. Donning larger than life costumes, accessorising with paws as opposed to pendants and then romping about open spaces in a theatrical fashion, the collective’s badgers-in-chief hold workshops on mask making, Ecstatic Dance and Shamanic Journeying when they aren’t on the stage themselves. Believing that sometimes behaving in an uncivilised manner can improve the way we co-exist, these creative critters have fun for money, decent dollar work if you can get it. i-D online took to the underground to unearth more about where we can find them next and what they will be getting their weaselly grills up in.
What do you badgers do in the day? Sleep and shag mostly. No but seriously, some of these amazing artists have normal jobs and lead a double life like super heroes.
When did you first form? Secret Garden Party 2009 for our first Artful Badger Ecstatic Dance and Shamanic Journeying Tent, produced by co-founder Freddy Drabble. The band played for four nights straight, three hour sets to uproarious support, and it became clear they could really help achieve our aims.
What have been some of your most memorable performances? Where to begin! We’ve had such consistently amazing crowds! To name a few: The Wilderness Festival, a thirty strong samba/dancing troupe smashing the amphitheater to 1000 people at 2am! The scheduled 20 minute set was easily tripled by the hundreds chanting “BADGER BADGER” between every song we played. It was pure feral energy, just as we like it! Then there’s always Secret Garden Party, specifically Saturday night, in 2011, straight after the burn, all that pent up energy and excitement channelled right through us, incredible. We loved stage diving, when we were dressed like golden owls at the sold out La Trianon in Paris, to cap off a triumphant European debut, and the afterparty was awesome! Headlining the main stage on Sunday night at Winterwell Festival this year was superb, the Summer Solstice Sun came out on the festival for the first time all weekend to ecstatic response and we channelled the euphoria into our music. Badger fan Norman Jay MBE came up to us after the set and said “That was incredible. I caught the last half hour of your set and you Badgers totally smashed it!!”
What’s the best festival in the world? There are so many great ones it is hard to put one top, but if we have a personal favourite it has to be our home ground: Secret Garden, as they have given us so many opportunities to develop. The woodland we inhabit there has a five year development plan we have only just begun, including tree houses and living structures. What badger could ask for a better festival environment to play in.
How do you push forward with each performance you choreograph? Mad ideas in the night, the collective is constantly feeding new ideas and developing them, next time we will have a human sacrificed by an animal live on stage!
What ambitions do you have for the future? We’ve been lucky to expand so quickly, we seem to have become a magnet for incredibly talented, lovely and creative animals. Our focus now is entirely on the quality of each and every performance.
What are the top underground happenings you would tip for people to attend?
1. Artful Badger, whenever, wherever
2. Sound-system, mid-November, Secret Location, London
3. Carnival of the Animals, November 11, Secret Location
4. Winterwell Halloween Party, West London Sat 29 October
With Special Thanks to Ione Rucquoi
Get yourself down to the next Badger Badger event, over at Hootananny on Saturday November 26th