As a massage therapist from York, here are more of my impressions of Solfest…
A large element of Solfest is dance. There is a dedicated dance tent in one corner of the arena. It is a large cavernous place with some luminous sculptures shaped like giant vuvuzelas suspended from the ceiling. There are DJs playing all kinds of dance from hardcore to ambient. For a change there is an occasional rapper on stage.
“Dogs in Space” is a major venue run by DJ Michael Dog. Carpeted floor, drapes across the ceiling, comfy sofas, psychedelic art. The images projected on to three large screens and the calming but funky music add to what can only be described as the homeliness of the place. The occasional live band contributes even more to this atmosphere. Add to this the stylish 24 hour café in the corner, and it is the kind of living room you dream about. This place is transformed in the morning. The screens are no longer operational. The music is more mellow. Of the few people who occupy the sofas, a good half are asleep. Some look bleary eyed as they nurse cups of coffee. A select few are still buzzing, animatedly chatting. But just to shock those unfortunates out of their slumber techno is played at 10am on Sunday morning.
Saturday night is fancy dress night and you can bump into gnomes, smurfs, Father Christmas, air hostesses, old bag ladies, leprechauns, a pirate ship, a banana and whatever else takes your fancy.
The headline band is Afro Celt Sound System. As the name suggests it is a blend of Irish Celtic and African music. The musicians are varied and talented. African drums, a bodhrun and a dhol (an Indian drum) compete with each other to produce a sound which is full of energy and soon has the entire audience energetically moving. I reluctantly give into the dynamic atmosphere and join all those around me dancing away.
On the Sunday I watch Flogging Molly, the closing act on the Main Stage. They produce their unique version of traditional Irish music. As well as the music being good, the lead singer has stage presence. Stage presence isn’t something you can pick up on so readily from an audio or even video recording. The festival is nowhere near heaving, which means I can get near the front without being jostled. This is the third band I’ve seen on the main stage and enjoyed. I really am getting into this live music thing.
I have enjoyed massaging here. Although I have been away from my massage practice in York for a few days, I will soon be back.