As a massage therapist from York, here are my impressions of Solfest…
The next day I go for a walk, eventually settling to enjoy the good weather in an enclave which has The Love Shack (dance music, going on til 5 in the morning) opposite another marquee calling itself House Of Joy (reggae). They are about 40 metres apart. I sit there listening to the two genres uncomfortably blend with each other, surrounded by people tucking into plate loads of food. A woman next to me tells me how good her chickpea curry is.
I look around me. There is an incredible choice of good food – for meat-eaters and vegetarians. Amongst the more unusual offering is food from the Seychelles, churros and vegan jerky.
You can buy alcohol from various bars, including ones which are shipping containers with a counter at the front. I suppose they certainly are quirky, and secure when they close at night.
Solfest is a family friendly festival, with a kids area, a craft area, and a healing area. The healing area is welcoming – this is where I am offering massage – home away from home of my massage practice in York.
As I pass the healing area I come across the crafts area. The crafts are nearly all for children. Add to this a baby chill-out tent, a very extensive playground, a teen area, music-making workshops, a story telling tent… and this is the best kid’s area I’ve ever seen at a festival.
The adults are catered for as well – there are workshops on knitting, making biodiesel and blacksmithing. There is also a space to do art (paints and paper are provided). The works of art produced at the festival are to be auctioned on Sunday for charity – they go for anywhere from 25p to £13. Two works by a lesser known artist called Frances Aggarwal go for a respectable amount.
Amongst the plethora of traders which catch my eye is someone making jewellery on site out of old coins and someone else hand making glass beads on site. I resist the temptation to get a henna tattoo or thicken my thinning locks with hair braiding.