I’m writing this from the middle of a field in rural Perthshire, which is usually where you’ll find me on this particular weekend in any given year. I’m at the Solas Festival, an event that’s been running since 2010 – I started attending in 2012, and it’s been a big highlight of my year ever since.
Like Greenbelt, the event it span off from, it’s hard to describe, and “music festival” doesn’t really do it justice. As well as music, there’s visual and performing arts, film, discussions, talks, workshops and an opportunity to try endless new things. It’s a fantastic combination, in wonderful surroundings. Solas is somewhat smaller and more intimate than Greenbelt, and with a distinctive Scottish flavour to its content, although that said, I’ve just watched Moroccan band Gnawa Trance Fusion kick off proceedings on the main stage, and they were excellent. Grace Petrie is up next, but I’m particularly looking forward to 47SOUL later on, who sounded phenomenal when they were sound-checking.
Biggest surprise of the festival thus far is that it’s moving to a new venue next year. Bit of a shame, as the current venue is absolutely gorgeous, but clearly the festival is growing, and it could probably do with more room. I’ll make sure I photograph everything thoroughly this year – I’ll miss the place, but I’m sure the new venue will be great too.
I’ll leave you for now, but I’ll be back with some more reports and reviews from the festival over the next couple of days. Keep an eye on my Instagram for photos as well…