Ask any of your Perthshire pals what their favourite summer pastime is and they undoubtedly mention a weekend spent dancing at Solas Festival. Designed to ‘entertain, inspire and challenge,’ Solas has been taking over hearts every summer since 2009, first in Tibbermore then moving to Perth’s Errol Park last year. Bringing with it, the freshest talent in local music and arts, food & market traders.
The festival is well known for its ethical outlook and welcoming nature where inclusivity is a priority. Although sadly, like many of our summer plans, Solas Festival’s 2020 edition has been postponed until 2021 due to the current pandemic.
However, encompassing Solas’s creative drive and community spirit. We’re not going to let anything stop us from celebrating all things arts and culture from the 19th-21st of June when Solas Festival was due to take place. Along with our DIY festival guide, you can also tune in to the official Solas Makeshift festival online, where we can gather in our own homes to enjoy music, arts, kids activities, yoga and more! You can keep updated with the online event here.
So, here it is. This is your step-by-step guide to recreating your very own DIY Solas Festival experience right in your back garden. We’ve covered all of the festival essentials and hopefully caught the spirit of this wonderful local event. Now all we need to do is keep our fingers crossed for some summer sun!
Step 1: Set up camp
A milestone moment attending any festival is that glorious moment you walk into the grounds serenaded by the mish-mash of vibrations coming from each stage. But, before you can launch yourself into all that Solas has to over it’s time to set up camp for the weekend.
At Solas you can choose to rough it at one with nature, or they also offer the more luxurious choice of ‘glamping.’ It goes without saying that for our back garden festival-extraordinaire, we’ll be taking the glamorous option.
First of all, pitch up your tent. If you don’t have one to hand, then get a little creative creating a fort with old sheets or a garden gazebo. Pad out your tent with blankets and cushions galore! Then take things next level glam, drape your tent in flower garlands, or funky tapestries and, of course, some twinkling fairy lights.
These are some of the top picks from our range of interiors that we would include in DIY Solas Festival.
With business taken care of inside of the tent, it’s time to set up outside. Arrange your garden chairs where the summer sun simply can’t miss them. And, if you’ve got little ones joining your DIY Solas Festival, why not blow up the paddling pool? Adults, you’re more than welcome to dip your toes in!
Finally, it’s very demanding work hosting your own festival in the back garden, you’ll need some hearty food to tuck into. Fire up the barbeque and declare an official cheat day - we’re all allowed one now and then! After you’ve scoffed down your food, keep the fire burning. Not only to keep warm during the evening but because you know that set of Quince & Cook marshmallow forks you ordered a while back? Well, it’s their time to shine. Nothing completes the full camping experience quite like toasting marshmallows on the fire.
Step 2: The perfect Solas soundtrack
(Photo credit: Aldous Solary Photography)
At the heart of every Solas Festival is an incredible roster of talented musicians and artists across all genres of music. Whether you like a little funk, jazz or hip-hop to keep you dancing all day long. Or, if you prefer to kick back and relax on the grass listening to acoustic folk. The Solas team are great at ensuring there’s a little something for everyone.
For our DIY Solas experience, all you’ll need is a speaker and your phone. Lucky for us, if you head over to the official Solas Festival Spotify you’ll find their 2020 playlist which includes tracks from the full line-up. Turn the volume up and it really will be like you’re there.
Once you’ve listened to the full playlist, you can start to make your way through the line-up checking out their Spotify, Youtube etc. Right now, with our topsy turvy world, local artists appreciate each play, like and share now more than ever.
You'll also be kept amused with appearances from some of these artists at the makeshift festival, so make sure you are following the event and updates to see who might take to your screens.
Step 3: Strolling the stalls of Solas
(Photo credit: Stephanie Gibson)
One of the most unique aspects of Solas Festival is how the whole event encompasses more than just music. Solas welcomes all forms of art to inspire the mind, body and soul. Between dances, you can stroll through the market stalls celebrating local businesses and crafters. You’ll find a complete treasure trove of handmade jewellery, fashion accessories, art and delicious food and drinks.
In fact, Quince & Cook’s pop-up shop The Wash House Store was due to debut at Solas Festival 2020. Here, we offer refills of natural body and hair care products as well as cleaning supplies. Festival-goers would have had the opportunity to browse some of our zero waste home essentials, but fear not. You can still check out our eco-friendly goodies from The Wash House Store over on our website and browse the wonderful work of our fellow stallholders, makers & indies below.
So, when you’re chilling out in your DIY glammed-up tent, listening to the official Solas 2020 Spotify playlist, you can continue to support independent stallholders by swapping strolling, for scrolling. Dedicate some time to checking out the websites and social media channels of some local crafters and businesses. If you’re not in a position to fill up your basket, then don’t worry. A share, a shoutout and a nice comment on their business page will mean just as much.
The official Solas Festival might be on hold this year, but hopefully, with some of our tips and tricks, you can still enjoy the weekend hosting your own festival at home.
Team Solas have also been busy organising their own interactive online event to get involved with. Here's a sneak peek at the programme so far.
- Solas Music House featuring special broadcasts from artists on the original festival programme
- Live children's storytelling from the brilliant Mara The Storyteller and a special interactive singing session from the one and only Mr Boom!
- 'Not Going Back to Normal: Visions of a post lockdown Scotland' panel discussion featuring some of Scotland's top thinkers, plus contributions from Solas' favourite Pádraig Ó Tuama
- Also, expect live portraits from Issey Illustrates, living room camping silly-ness and some very special surprises still to be announced
Enjoy your weekend with Solas from home! If you do try this at home, then we would love to see your photos. Post them on social media and make sure to tag Quince & Cook and the official Solas Festival pages.
Quince & Cook x