Kozmik Ken

Photo: Jay Cantebrigge

Alan Dearling like many others involved in the UK’s psychedelic festivals was shocked and saddened when he heard online of Ken (Ingham’s) demise.  He invited some words to celebrate Ken’s life from Paul and Jonny, who knew Ken well. Here are contributions sent in from Paul and Jonny, plus a couple from Facebook tributes by Jay and Jo.  Alan says: “He’ll make heaven or t’other place a lot ‘brighter’. Ken is off to spread technicolour dayglow in ‘A Grateful Dead World’! RIP.”

Here’s Harry Collison’s lovely photo tribute. Harry says, “The world is a much less colourful place today. R.I.P. Kozmik Ken. Keep on Truckin my friend.” Do take a look, it’s great:



Paul Woodwright writes:


The Rainbow man has gone…..

The smaller psychedelic music festival scene lost a giant on June 26th 2020, when Kozmik Ken died from a pulmonary embolism. He was just 64.

Kozmik Ken was a dj, host and compere at many smaller festivals like SRS (Sonic rock Solstice) and Tannerfest as well as events like Glastonbury Psychfest and Glastonbury New Avalon Ballroom Weekends.

Ken, (Real name Kevin Ingham), lived for music and especially the psychedelic music scene. Many years ago he would have been known to many as the Porcupine Tree driver/merch man. He then started to dj and compere at many festivals and gigs.

He was known by most for his amazingly colourful jumpers and coats. Always available for a chat, drink or a smoke, people knew him by name even if they had never spoken to him. His presence was and will remain large for many of us.

Around 2010 a picture went around the internet of Ken asleep at a festival. Some dream bands were added to the picture as though he were dreaming up a festival. This picture ticked so many people’s boxes that myself , Snake (Mark Lee) and Jon Slack started up Kozfest for him. Or, as the first festival was called ‘Kozmik Ken’s Psychedelic Dream Festival’. This year I know he was so excited about it being our tenth festival…. As you know Covid-19 intervened and we will have to wait, to not only celebrate ten years, but also remember Kozmik Ken. The Rainbow man. Kozfest will carry on in his memory.
Goodnight Ken. Sleep well my friend.

Paul Woodwright
Deviant Amps


Jonny Greene ([email protected])

I probably first met Ken almost 30 years ago when Daevid Allen supported Porcupine Tree while Ken was working with them. Daevid and I trucked across the country to be met by an enthusiastic Ken eager to meet Daevid – he was always eager in a slow Ken way. He and I, who are of a very similar vintage, shared a love of the Grateful Dead, so they naturally were often a topic of conversation between us. He may have been happier to dress like one of their more psychedelic musical excursions made flesh than I ever have been – but then that thankfully, was Ken. I will miss him.


From: Jay Cantebrigge

2 July at 08:09 · 

I’m gutted to wake to the news that yet another friend has died. Kozmik Ken was a psychedelic womble (my affectionate term for him) without comparison. His musical knowledge was deep and interesting. And, of course, there would be no KOZFEST without him. It was a pleasure to know you sir. Womble on and I’ll meet you on the psychedelic rainbow bridge one day my friend.


From: Jo Thilwind

4 July at 15:04

Kozmik Ken…
Literally a legend in his own lifetime, and the man who’s musical taste inspired a whole festival, an absolutely brilliant one at that.
What a legacy.

We will never forget and every year we’ll celebrate you my friend.
You’ll be with us in every moment at every Kozfest.
It seems fitting to me that the first year it’s not on, is the year we lost you.
Dancing with rainbows now mate.

Beaming love out x


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6 Responses to Kozmik Ken

    1. I met Ken way back in March 1981 after my first Dead show on March 20th. Together with Richard Russell, Rob Bruce, Dave & Lorraine of Gloucester and myself he was one of the motivating forces in the creation of Deadheads In England (DIE) and the (fairly regular) production of Spiral Light magazine.
      Ken was the “old hand” Dead Head among us newbies and contributed much from his experience and contacts.
      My most enduring memory is of a moment – and I can’t remember if it was at a show or Glastonbury – when this solid somewhat biker-like bloke broke into the most wild dancing imaginable, revealing the wild spirit within.
      Huge thanks Jo Thilwind for that picture – it reflects him well – still dancing with rainbows somewhere…

      Comment by Nick Mosey on 12 July, 2020 at 8:27 am
    2. For the past 7 years, Ken had been the djembe player and electronic noise maker in our band TangleMist. He and I would share so many giggles at wrong chords, fluffed words, bad timing, but we always got through the set, which always was followed by massive hugs and pats on each others backs, before Ken would declare “I’m off to introduce a band”. Occasionally even mid set, he would run off for a few minutes to another stage to do his stuff. He would come and stay with us for recording purposes, and he adored our dogs (and them he). He would always turn up with a couple of Jumbones to distract them so he could actually get in the door! I have unreleased recordings and contributions to the next album, which he played/sang/shouted on! They will be out for all to hear in due course. The stage will be weird without him there, but of course he always will be. He hasn’t left the band, he’s just running very late. Love you Ken x

      Comment by Andi Sowden on 13 July, 2020 at 9:21 am
    3. So sorry to hear of Ken’ passing. I never met him but Spiral Light was a huge part of my late teenage life. I’d discovered the Dead at school in ‘84, didn’t get to see them till Wembley in ‘90 so it was Spiral Light and my small collection of tapes that kept me going. Even persuaded Ken to photocopy back issues of Spiral Light for me! Thanks Ken.

      Comment by Bill Newsholme on 24 October, 2020 at 11:37 am
    4. I knew Ken through the the whole Spiral light thing in the 80s . He accompanied us on the Epping Forest Grateful Dead Country Ramble and I went with him once to see The Rain Parade in Dingwalls. Remember him shouting “Bring on Grace Slick” between one of the songs. He once organised a Grateful Dead allnighter in a barn in Middlesex which was great fun.
      Always great to run into him at Glastonbury and other festivals. Twas a treat to know him. xx

      Comment by tony corden on 17 October, 2021 at 9:23 am
    5. Ken, I had no idea. I was looking to reconnect with old friends from Bucks and you and Leon are both gone. I will never forget you. You were so kind to me as a neighbor and friend and I have never met anyone like you. I remember when I said you reminded me of Jerry Garcia and it was only then I learned about your Grateful Dead obsession. I remember your flat and all the psychedelia in it (messy but so comforting) and I recall all our deep chats. God bless you old friend.

      Comment by Sheryl Belletti on 24 July, 2022 at 10:14 pm
    6. I used to drink pints of ale at the Iron Horse with Ken and many other cool folks in Amersham, Buckinghamshire and talk about all things grateful dead! He would supply me with many awesome tapes and such (best hashish around lol) and I really enjoyed his company. I lived in England from 86 to 88 and was just a kid but Ken was super cool and befriended me, my brother and our friends from school at the American Community School in Hillingdon….I recall he published a relix like magazine called the spiral light and I loved reading it when it came out about 4 times a year i think…..RIP my friend and see you on the other side!

      Comment by WILLIAM MORIARTY on 11 April, 2024 at 1:46 pm

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