Solas puts wellbeing and creativity at heart of the festival’s return to Perth

Solas Festival will take place from the 21st to 23rd of June this year at Errol Park, Perthshire. Photo: Ludovic Farine

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SOLAS Festival is excited to be back this midsummer weekend after a 3 year hiatus. With performances from the likes of Don Kipper, Kris Drever, Stanley Odd and Eliza Shaddad, there is a huge curation of acts on this year’s bill.

However, Solas is not just your average music festival. The weekend serves as a creative retreat for the soul, offering a variety of talks, literature, wellbeing and creative workshops, storytelling, comedy, and many other forms of performances. There are also exclusive chill out zones for those looking to really put their feet up. Tickets range from £21 to £110, with children under 12 going free of charge.

The Festival is being supported by Creative Scotland and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland, through their National Event Fund Programme.

The progressive midsummer festival is focused on bringing social and economic issues to light in various creative ways. Having previously touched on subjects such as slavery, post-Christianism, migration and trans/queer experiences, Solas is eager to explore matters from many different cultures, religions and sexualities. This year the festival will see some of Scotland’s best authors, thinkers, storytellers and activists contribute. Expect discussions on a range of important issues – as always with a focus on allowing space for a multitude of experiences, and where necessary, disagreeing well. 

A number of the talks curated for this year’s festival explore the many crises being experienced world-wide and raises the question of what can and has been done about it. Dr. Nicholas Barnes, lecturer at the University of St. Andrews will speak about community approaches to political action in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Meanwhile, Anupama Ranawana – from Christian Aid – will discuss the vital importance of ‘rainbow coalitions’ in the climate justice movement. 

Discussions of current issues will also take a much wider view at this year’s festival, with speakers like Richard MacLean Smith, host of the podcast Unexplained, described by the Guardian as the ‘spookiest podcast ever’, to discuss what our collective myths and unexplained phenomena say about us as a society, and performer Lynne Campbell, who will be exploring how traditional folk music in Scotland has shaped us are our attitudes to romance, sex and much more.

There is also the opportunity to explore all realms of the self through various wellbeing and spirituality workshops. There will also be the opportunity to learn all about gut health with talks from Dr Sheena Fraser, and how to find hope within the painful parts of the mind with Verene Nicolas. And with plenty of children’s yoga classes on offer, the kids will not be feeling left out. 

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We are delighted to support Solas through EventScotland’s National Funding Programme as it returns with another diverse programme of music, talks and more that I am sure will entertain and educate in equal measure for Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022. The wellbeing of audiences is a hugely valuable but often intangible outcome of events so it is great to see Solas put it front and centre of their 2022 offering.”

Staying true to its ethos of active and creative participation, Solas has a series of creative workshops for everyone to engage in. There will be a vocal workshop with Mairi Campbell, ‘Finding my voice’, which will allow participants to go on their own vocal journey of self discovery. There will also be accessible and creative movement workshops for all, with inclusive dance company Indepen-dance, a Playback Theatre workshop, and an expansive stormaking session with Tawona Sithole.

Solas welcomes all ages, and allows free tickets for children, who will be able to enjoy a story wagon, wilderness exploration, face painting, workshops in circus skills and puppet making.

There is also an abundance of food available at Solas this year, from Carribean food from ChilliKoko Cuisine to flatbreads, paellas, pancakes and coffee.

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