Big Issue vendor Brian Wilson will return to Doune the Rabbit Hole after a hugely successful experience selling the magazine to festival punters last year.
The 40-year-old will temporarily leave his usual pitch outside Marks and Spencer in Perth for the 3-day music romp on Cardross Estate, to be held July 19-21.
Wilson said he sold more than 100 magazines at last year’s festival and is hoping to beat that this time when Sister Sledge, The Wailers and The Damned will headline.
“Last year was just amazing,” the vendor said. “There was a fantastic atmosphere and everyone was really supportive. The type of people who go to a festival like Doune the Rabbit Hole are very liberal and supportive of people that aren’t doing so well. People really took an interest in my story.
“I’ll be looking foward to seeing a lot of the same faces this year.”
Wilson said he particularly enjoyed camping in the same area as other vendors and stall-owners there to work the Stirling festival. He said: “Everyone was really helpful and I built up a good rapport with them.”
In the time since his Doune the Rabbit Hole debut, Wilson has been working hard to get his domestic plumbing and heating business off the ground. He saved money he earned selling The Big Issue to buy a car and equipment and hopes this will be the year he can “have a go at the business and move on to the next chapter of [his] life”.
The vendor believes The Big Issue has opened doors for him, explaining: “It has not only helped me to keep my head above water financially and not get into any more debt, but it’s made it possible for me to be self-sufficient. It has been really instrumental in making things possible that I never thought I would get to do.”
Wilson said he is really excited for the huge variety of music on offer too, which was one of his favourite aspects of working last year’s festival, and hopes to once again win over festival-goers with his winning sense of humour.
In total, more than 92,000 people have sold The Big Issue since 1991 to help themselves work their way out of poverty – more than could fit into Wembley Stadium.
Rhys Corley-Morgan, sales and operations manager for The Big Issue in Scotland, said: “We are really excited to have renewed our partnership with Doune the Rabbit Hole this year and we are going to build on the success of last summer.
“Brian was buzzing with excitement when he found out that the team at Doune had specifically asked for him to represent The Big Issue again. That just goes to show what an impact our vendors can have when they are out working hard and connecting with the people around them.”