Below are listed various interviews with the elusive DJ Monkey Pilot, where the source of his DJ name is revealed, the history of Whir-Y-Gig is discussed and the inspirations behind the fairy tale are laid bare.

WOMAD 2001 – Monkey Pilot Radio 3 Interview

Pete Fruin checks out the WOMAD festival and talks to DJ Monkey Pilot, the man behind the Whirl-Y-Gig…

Compared to Glastonbury, Reading and newcomer the Phoenix Festival, WOMAD has always been pretty small (which is very much part of the appeal for its regular audience). The three-day event at Reading Rivermead has consistently attracted crowds of around 9,000 in recent times, up until last year, when it was a 12,000 sell-out. This year (the festival runs from July 21-23) looks like being the same, in fact there may not be any tickets available on the door: at the time of writing, the weekend before the festival, Saturday had already sold out.


ABBG meets co-promoters of Whirl-Y-Gig Mary and Richard who live in a quiet rural-looking corner of Harrow in a small house, which, despite the occasional tripped-out wall painting, has decoration reminiscent of a country farmhouse. Outside is a small church window embedded in their garden wall, which overlooks a large field. This is the base from which they run Whirl-Y-Gig, one of London’s longest-running regular parties, and a pioneering club for showcasing world dance music in London. They also run a record label called Whirl-Y-Music.