Refugees, Clown Doctors, politicians and rockstars for Solas Festival 2018

We're really excited about our line-up this year! Here's some condensed info on ideas and music, or check out our line-up page for the full low down!


Professor Sir John Curtice will be examining about how Scotland votes in a discussion session. With Labour on the rise and Brexit on the cards, what do future elections hold for Scotland's politics and identity? Of course we can’t ignore Brexit, so Mike Russell MSP will be giving us the latest from the Scottish Government, while Duncan Morrow explores the Irish border dilemma.

As people all over the country celebrate 100 years of women voting, we have sessions on the women’s procession (as well as banners); the untold story of suffrage in the Western Isles; and Lesley Orr celebrates activism and dangerous women.

Other talks and discussions include musician, political activist and former member of Faithless Dave Randall, expert on colonialism Professor Charles Forsdick, Hearts and Minds Clown Doctors, and UNESCO Chair Professor Alison Phipps. Cable Magazine will be hosting a discussion on Russian misinformation in Scotland, Hannah Lavery will be exploring what it means to be black and Scottish, and Place for Hope will investigate how we can find peace in an increasingly fraught world.


The packed programme of talks, discussions, poetry and literature will be complemented by children’s shows, outdoor games, and some of the best music in Scotland.


The headline acts on Friday and Saturday night will be Jordanian/Palestinian shamstep act 47Soul, whose debut album ‘Balfron Promise’ just made The Guardian’s World Music Album of the Month, Highland sensation Tide Lines, and Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert, who will be performing songs from their new collaborative album.

Solas Festival is also delighted to host seminal Edinburgh music label Song, By Toad’s tenth anniversary showcase, with acts including Jonnie Common, Siobhan Wilson and Adam Stafford.

Other acts on the lineup include Withered Hand, Distant Voices featuring Emma Pollock, C Duncan and Donna Maciocia, folk singer Grace Petrie, Roseanne Reid, Scottish electronica act Bossy Love, Glasgow new-New Waver LUCIA, North African folk from Gnawa Trance Fusion, slam world champion Harry Baker and Scottish Opera.

Deborah Hahn