We catch up with the Mad Max-esque creators of the festival scene's favourite big, fire-spitting bug shaman.

We catch up with the Mad Max-esque creators of the festival scene's favourite big, fire-spitting bug shaman.

If aliens are looking down at us from space I hope it’s Arcadia that first captures their attention. The giant metal spider that spits fire, made by two pyrotechnic lovers from Bristol Pip Rush and Bert Cole, is like an image of the future dreamed up in Mad Max.

Not only is the trippy insect loved by UK festival-goers, having been ridden (think Dr Loveless in Wild Wild West) by the likes of Skrillex, Aphex Twin and Fatboy Slim, but it’s now on a mission halfway around the world to bring the UK party spirit to the debaucherous world of full moons.

We caught up with Bert to find out more about party-goers’ obsession with this industrial creepy crawly.

When was Arcadia dreamed up, by who, and why?
Bert and I conceptualised the first stage at sunrise at a festival in Ireland. We knew we wanted to make a stage and space that complemented the creative amazing music being played and we knew we wanted to break down the traditional linear layout of audience and musician. We were sat by a fire at the time and talked about the importance of fires in communities and festivals since the beginning of time… and also how much fun it was blowing stuff up.

What do you think people love about it?
There is a lot to it, the people who create it are really diverse, as are their skills and ideas. I think all those different elements working together and such a diverse range of people dancing amongst it is a really magical thing.

Why do you think the festival-goers are on a mission to alter their minds?
I think people enjoy getting away from the norm, feeling united with different people and appreciating art. A weekend at a festival gives you a great space for reflection which is really positive in a time where we are bombarded with advertising and media agendas. I don’t know that mind altering is the right word, but after a good weekend I definitely get a sense of clarity in life and faith in mankind.

Has it had any awkward malfunctions in its history?
We fried a load of expensive lights with a tesla coil once… that was a stinger.

Is Arcadia promoting the philosophy of the free party scene?
We came from the free party scene and hold the philosophy close to our hearts. We still do a yearly ‘free party’ off radar, but from experience those parties were never totally free in a financial sense, but they were in a spiritual sense. We are focused on taking that spirit into cities, pushing the boundaries and uniting people on a huge scale. We work hard to keep the dance floor clear of advertising and all the crew who work with us trust and support each other like family, which keeps the spirit true to our roots.

How do you think Arcadia will be received in Thailand?
It went down a storm last year. The maddest crowd we have ever had I reckon! We really loved it and are really excited about going back. We’ve always loved Thailand and to take our machine into the centre of Bangkok is a total privilege.

Arcadia returns to Thailand in in January for Gravity Festival 2016.