Whilst the official blurb says ‘Occulture 2001  followed its birth with a celebration of the 50 th anniversary of the Repeal of the Witchcraft laws and formally opened by Colin Wilson’, it might be fair to say that this was the year that the event truly arrived on the scene. It had a shape, a format, a theme and a stunning, newly opened venue  called at the time ‘The Hanbury Ballroom’. Local musician David Bramwell helped finalise one or two adjustments to the logistics.Occulture 2001 hired internationally renowned photographer Helene Sandberg, who  captured stills of the event. Her portfolio includes the last Bjork film ‘Dancer in the Dark’, with Danish Director Lars Von Trier. Elsewhere, videographer Simon Williams captured Colin Wilson and Dave Lee speaking at the Hanbury Ballroom.

  • A live link up by ISDN (unusual at this time) featured Eleanor Bone – The Matriarch of British Witchcraft.
  • The voices of Crowley, Derek Taylor and Alex Sanders were mixed to music.
  • The Gurdjieffian film by Peter Brook was screened at the now defunct Cinemateque.
  • A minor scandal erupted in the newspapers as Occulture was accused (wrongly of course) of animal sacrifices on stage!
  • Jeff Merrifield returned to talk about the Cathars of the Langdoc, France.
  • An obscure film made by Tracey Twyman about Rennes-Le-Chateau was screened.

The sensational attack on Occulture from a lone Evangelist  led to some interesting conversations on the notion of belief and right to live as one wishes. The Occulture Founder rang the Reverend of the church concerned and asked if lying was a good thing. Obviously the Reverend, a New Zealander of Evangelical persuasion  answer ‘No’. Once he had heard the shameful story he apologise unreservedly and was offered free tickets to attend the festival anonymously to see for himself whether the festival was evil as he might see it. No one knows whether he took up the offer to attend Occulture 2002 in cognito , although he was sent passes. The incident set in motion a further feeling that the festival might have some meaning or purpose beyond just showcasing esoteric talent.