This weekend I had the opportunity to take my one year old Son River along to his first Music Festival at Solas! With a car packed to the brim looking like we were away to set off for an arctic expedition we journeyed to the The Bield at Blackruthven only 3 miles from Perth City Centre.
Labelled as “Scotland’s most family-friendly music festival” I was eager to see if the festival would live up to its reputation. If like me you haven’t heard of the festival before, Solas is a little hidden Gem of a festival nestled away in the Perthshire Countryside at the Blackruthven retreat. With a jam packed three day events calendar with live music across three stages, workshops suitable from tots to teens, inspirational talks and political debates. There really is something for everyone!
I have never been to an event at this scale with such an ambient atmosphere. Everything had been meticulously thought out to be welcoming to all ages from the festival décor with string fairy lights, dangling wind charms hanging from tree’s and secret wicker hidden dens for your little ones to play hide and seek. Instead of lairy festival revellers the area in front of the main stage was scattered with picnic blankets and toy tractors, see- saws and colourful play tunnels. Allowing the adults to sit back and relax with a cocktail watching the live acts perform while your little ones play safely beside you.
The musical acts performing this weekend ranged in genre from hip hop, folk, indie and Spoken word. With a diverse set of acts including Jonnie Common, Grace Petrie, Withered Hand, and Bossy Love. Solas hit peak nostalgia for me when Mr Boom Opened the main stage on Saturday morning. There was something special dancing in a field covered in glitter to “Mr Boom Man on the Moon” with my baby Son River whilst reminiscing thinking of my mum who would sing the exact same song to me whilst sat on her knee in the 90’s.
Along with the musical acts and inspirational talks we were equally impressed with the workshops on offer from yoga workshops (yes the mood really was this Zen) to Jewellery making and wooden spoon carving. Although River was a little too young to participate in some of them we plan on coming back next year so he can try them out.
Our highlight of the weekend was the trip to see the animals living at the Southton Smallholding on the Blackruthven Estate. The smallholding extends the healing work of the Bield and provides therapeutic work for adults with learning disabilities. River was delighted feeding the chickens – one handful shoved in his own mouth and then one to the chickens, patting Clyde and Garcia the alpaca’s and taking a goat for a walk on a lead. I spent around an hour enticing him away from the miniature pigs which he fell in love with!
After a long day in the sun we decided to head home with full stomachs from the delicious vendors offering healthy vegan meze platters and delicious handmade pizza’s. It was easy to see how the festival has built such momentum over the 9 years since its inception. There was a clear sense of community with the festival organisers, the attendee’s and the performers and we will be back again next year for more family fun at Solas.
*** Samantha received a complementary ticket to attend Solas festival in return for a published or private review ***
Perthshire hosted some amazing gigs this year across a range of top-class venues. Here are our New Year honours.
December 31st Monday 2018
We reviewed An Orange Conspiracy live way back in 2017, now they are poised for great things with their debut ep being released on Rough Trade.
December 18th Tuesday 2018
Colin headed to Perth Theatre Pantomime of Snow White and the Seven Dames to review this hilarious Pantomime production.
December 10th Monday 2018