Solas Festival Announces 2019 Line Up
Kobi Onyame, Niteworks, a solo performance from Honeyblood’s Stina Tweeddale and Solareye are among the acts for the tenth anniversary of Solas Festival this year, taking place in the brand new location of Errol Park, Perthshire.
Solas Festival is an all-age, three-day celebration of the arts taking place over midsummer weekend at the beautiful, secluded site of Errol Park in rural Perthshire, overlooking the silvery Tay. Solas is designed to entertain, inspire and challenge with a wide-ranging programme of music, spoken word, theatre, dance, debate, workshops and more. There's so much to get involved in, all in a safe, family friendly, chilled out atmosphere.
Kicking off the festival with a bang on Friday night are the fantastic Niteworks, with their special fusion of traditional Gaelic music and electronic influences. Hailing from the Isle of Skye, they have been setting dancefloors ablaze since 2011, winning ‘Up and Coming Artist of the Year’ at the 2012 Scottish Trad Awards, followed by major performances at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, Glasgow’s Hydro Arena, many festivals and much more.
Our Saturday night headliner, Kobi Onyame, has been making waves in the UK hip-hop scene for years and we can’t wait to welcome him to Solas. Born in Accra, Ghana but now based in Scotland, Onyame is described by OkayAfrica magazine as ‘the UK hip-hop game’s unintentional preacher of sunny vibes’, with his music a vibrant spectacle that draws heavily on African culture – both sonically and visually. His latest album, ‘GOLD’, was shortlisted for the prestigious Scottish Album of the Year award in 2018 and has received widespread critical acclaim. The album mashes his Ghanaian heritage with contemporary hip-hop and creates an almost wistful echo of a yearning for home that somehow has its roots in the past and present simultaneously, inspiring a vibrant live show full of character, heart and soul.
Other musical highlights coming to Solas this year include a special solo performance from Honeyblood’s Stina Tweeddale, whose latest album ‘In Plain Sight’ is set for release this month amidst a string of live and festival performances. We will also welcome more Scottish hip-hop from Solareye, winner of Best Hip-Hop at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards in 2018. The big, brash sounds of Supa & Da Kryptonites will play the festival out on Sunday night with aplomb, and we also look forward to performances from the likes of critically acclaimed artists Kapil Seshasayee, Martha Ffion and Beerjacket. There will be a strong folk and traditional music presence across the weekend, welcoming back 2018 favourities Josie & Pablo, plus special slots from Savourna Stevenson & Steve Kettley, Brighde Chaimbeul, the experimental sounds of Jessica Danz and up and coming trad six-piece HEISK. Not to mention psych-folk singer-songwriter Lizzie Reid and epic camp-pop offerings from HYYTS.
A special mention also deserves to be given to the wonderful and ground-breaking Tinderbox Orchestra who will be joining us at the festival – founded in 2010 as a community orchestra with a difference, Tinderbox has grown to become a leading youth arts organisation, charity and social enterprise. They fit perfectly with Solas’ ethos of inclusivity and diversity, and will be sure to go down a treat.
SPEAKERS, TALKS AND WORKSHOPS
Solas would not be the same without its extensive programme of non-musical contributions, from spoken word artists and comedians to politicians, activists, religious thinkers and poets. Highlights on this year’s programme include Scotland’s Makar, Jackie Kay, comedian Josie Long and up-and-coming young writer Chris McQueer. We’ll also be joined by Nadine Aisha Jassat, included in YWCA Scotland’s ’30 Inspiring Women Under 30’ in 2017, poet Juana Adcock, Scottish slam champion Calum Rodger, and theatre-maker Robert Softley Gale, the artistic director of Birds of Paradise Theatre.
We’ll also have Alastair McIntosh talking about non-violence, Donald Trump and the psycho-history of Lewis. Kenny MacAskill will be talking about Red Clydeside and the events of 1919. Gutter Magazine will present a show case of new Scottish writing. Kapil Seshasayee will talk about his concept album exploring caste discrimination in Scotland and the Desi diaspora. And Pádraig Ó Tuama will discuss Other Tongues, and writing between languages with Sara Shaarawi and Juana Adcock. Henry Bell will be talking about his recent biography of Scottish revolutionary John Maclean and the festival will also explore the future of Scotland with Gerry Hassan and Simon Barrow.
FAMILIES AND ACTIVITIES
As a festival, we pride ourselves on providing a safe, relaxed, family friendly atmosphere. There is plenty of space and toys for your wee ones to play with, as well as participatory activities and performances to engage and excite them. The festival’s children’s programme promises enriching nature based activities like den-building and fire-cooking, perfect for a midsummer weekend in stunning Perthshire. Last year the children's entertainer Mr Boom was a real hit, and the festival is delighted he'll be back for another year! There will also be roaming street theatre for kids to get involved in with the Unicorn Dance Party, previously at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. And don’t forget that kids under 12 go free, so it really is an affordable weekend for all the family.
From overtone singing, to indian ragas, Palestinian cooking, to Scottish trad, circus skills to intimate theatre, Solas Festival will host an array of workshops to get your mind and body moving.
To celebrate the Festival’s tenth anniversary, Solas will also be welcoming choirs from across the country to attend the festival and form a special ‘super choir’, led by singer and workshop leader Corrina Hewat. Groups of ten singers or more are invited to attend and will receive a special 60% discount on tickets. Find out more information on the offer here.