Well lads and lasses its been 7 days since I went to Solfest and I swear to god it’s taken me this long to get over it. Alongside my festival blues, I have a croak where my voice should be, aches and pains all over my body and a dislocated knee! What an experience!
Set in the picturesque back arse of nowhere, Solfest is a world all of its own. From the moment I arrived I felt like part of one huge festival family. With friendly stewards and security with a smile on their faces, it really is like being in another dimension.
In terms of logistics, the layout is perfect. The car park is within spitting distance of the campsite meaning carting all your gear is easy and you can do more than one trip without any hassle. Campervans and tents are separate but only by a walk way and although there was no official seperte family camping the general instruction from the stewards was that the closer you are to the campers the quieter and more family friendly it would be. So, we headed towards the campers but not too far…. we’re not too old to rock and roll…yet. From the moment we pitched up we were greeted by our neighbours and offered a can of warm cider, which we graciously accepted and from that moment the mister and I knew we were home.
The campsite was basic with running water and toilets dotted around, fabulous provision for disabled guests with their own car park and amazing looking bell tents. There were several access points to the arena which were manned 24/7 by again, friendly, happy stewards and I noticed plenty of bored looking security patrolling the campsites, which by all accounts isn’t a dig, if the security are bored I know me and mine are safe.
The whole vibe of the campsite was relaxed but laced with excitement of what was to come, turns out our neighbours were working the festival and were just as excited to be there as we were. People who were excited to be at work…. Yeah the concept is lost on me too.
Now, I’m no music critic, but the acts we saw over the course of the weekend absolutely blew my mind. Newton Faulkner, the most beautiful man to ever grace the Drystone Stage was brilliant, and his rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody echoed across the Campsite and gently rocked me to sleep.The Dub Pistols brought their A game and had the crowd bouncing from start to finish.
But my absolute favourite act of the weekend has got to go to The Dutty Moonshine Band. From their cover of ‘You shot me down’ to their big bands 90’s megamix ditty I was utterly blown away. I skanked that hard I dislocated my knee….
Check them out Here!
Beans on Toast was MDMAzing – that’s all I have to say about that.
Colonel Mustard and the Dijon Five were fab, crossing the road has never been so much fun.
And its got to be said, theres some feckin’ talented Cumbrians knocking about. The JAMbEATER Sound System is immense and listening to Mister Monster Himself Mr Dave Crossley was an absolute pleasure, and between Papa Shanti and Zom-B in the Unity Sessions I’ve felt basslines in parts of my body I didn’t know music could reach.
Being in Loungevity was like falling down the rabbit hole, I lost all concept of time and space and enjoyed some great crack with friends to a backdrop of some funky folk music and a fiddler who had me up doing my best Michael Flatley impression.
The bar stage hosted by the Tractor Shed Brewery showcased some of the finest Cumbrian rock and punk bands, my favourites being Fat Albert and Youth Salute with the bar staff serving an array of ales and spirits. They were also kind enough to allow me and my friend to drown ourselves in Jägermeister….. I can still feel the hangover now.
Looking at the stalls across the site was like looking through a Kaleidoscope, there was everything, in every colour for every man, woman child and dog on site. Every need and whim was catered for, including the food stalls, which I’ve got to say for such a small festival the choice was plentiful.
Solfest is by far one of a kind and it really is a case of “you had to be there to understand”
It’s a small site, with a big heart and everyone is welcome to enjoy it.
Until next year….