Discounted tickets for Solas Festival 2017 are now on sale! 

Mary Ann Kennedy The Van T's


The 2017 music programme is bigger, noisier and packed with exciting home-grown and international talent.  Big-name acts such as Radio 1 and 6Music darlings White; Mercury Prize nominee C Duncan, and Lau, called ‘the best live band in the country’ by The Guardian. Look out for the fruits of a collaboration between Scottish and Palestinian hip hop artists and musicians, headed up Declan Welsh and Louie Bhoy of Hector Bizerk.  We’ve also got a special Ghanian collaboration between Gameli Tordzro, Noyam African Dance Institute  and The Ha Orchestra, the UK’s only pan-African symphonic orchestra, while Scottish bands-of-the-moment The Van T’s and Pronto Mama bring the noise. The programme also takes in folk, pop, rock, and world music from Mary Ann Kennedy and Finlay Wells,  The Spook SchoolRoseanne ReidEmily Smith & Jamie McClennanRileyEwan MacintyreLaKyotoThe Little Kicks, and Harry Bird and the Rubber Wellies. Even more names coming soon! Tickets here.


Debate, discussion and the sharing of ideas are important parts of the Solas ethos, and the 2017 programme of talks, taking place against a particularly fraught global landscape, seems more urgent and necessary than ever. UNESCO Chair Professor Alison Phipps will curate a strand of talks and performance events engaging with the current refugee crisis, while land activist and Green MSP Andy Wightman hosts a series of discussions on democracy, ecology, the local and the global. David Greig, Scotland’s leading playwright and the artistic director of the Royal Lyceum Theatre, explores whether true democracy is possible in a world without art. The festival is also delighted to announce that The Sunday Herald Big Debate, a panel discussion taking on the issues of the day, featuring contributing voices from The Sunday Herald and throughout Scottish public life, will be a key part of the festival for the first time. We’ve also got Padraig O Tuama in conversation with choreographer and dancer Claire Cunningham and of course, there will be some talk about THAT referendum.


Booker Prize-winner James Kelman heads up the literary programme, with readings from his new novel The Dirt Road, exploring Americana and roots through the eyes of a Scottish exile and accompanied by live music from the Dirt Roadsters.  Helen Sedgwick, novelist and physicist, discusses her hugely-acclaimed, metaphysical puzzle box debut, The Comet Seekers, described as “an exquisitely layered, thrilling novel” by The New York TimesTawona Sithole will lead a late-night poetry event with Seeds of Thought. More names coming soon.

Film and family

This year Africa in Motion curate the film programme, a pop-up festival-within-a-festival celebrating a diverse range of shorts, feature and documentary films coming from Africa. As ever, family-friendly activities are at the heart of the programme, with a huge number of activities for children of all ages – look out for workshops in crafts, dance, drumming and circus skills, and a petting zoo. Remake Scotland will be running workshops in upcycling and textile creation.