NEWS: Solfest @ Tarnside Farms, Cumbria | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Nestled into the cosy countryside of Cumbria this upcoming weekend lies a festival that, if it were human, would be the vibrant and heart-warming and would probably wait until you got into the house safely before it drove away.

A non-profit organisation that puts every little penny it receives back into making the festival the ultimate extravaganza, Solfest is the brainchild of a collective of volunteers, who are so passionate about giving their festi-folk the most incredible experience that they create an environment that has a slice of something to satisfy everyone’s taste, from wonderful live music, to healing gardens and even… teddy parachuting? Very intriguing.

Solfest displays a range of eccentric music throughout the weekend, including folksy quirksters The Unthanks, a band renowned for playing to a Tyneside primary school one day, touring Australia the next, and perhaps a couple of weekends later, hosting one of their singing residential weekends, where they cook and play for their adoring fans.

Headlining The Bar Stage are The Skints, an eclectic jumble of ska, reggae, punk and hip hop, who hail from East London. Their unique sounds have gained them a reputable audience, and live performances of mellowed out alas bouncy tracks such as Rat-at-at cannot be missed for those who are fans of a head-bopping, chilled out vibe.

Also featured are PopGun, a Cumbrian outfit whose boppy tunes are sure to bring a tidal wave of all the necessary Vitamin Feelgood you need, The Honey Badgers, a group of friends who started out in college as a Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute band, and Skye’s finest, The Peatbog Faeries, ready to whisk everyone away with their charming myriad of genres that are all pieced together by a solid traditional Scottish background.

However, Solfest isn’t just your average festival. Lurking around the sites are a mass of the most unusual albeit most glorious activities and happenings.

Wander through the Green Area workshops, and you can be greeted by the likes of the Vamos Art Studio Space, an area where you can learn to create your own Picasso-worthy masterpiece and have it auctioned off in aid of The Nepal Earthquake Fund. Wouldn’t it be rude not to?

Daily meditations are provided from the Uma Kadampa Buddhists, where you can partake in a spirit journey, complete with chakra and crystal healing; an experience you wouldn’t expect to occur in the North West of England.

If you have little nippers on board that aren’t as enthusiastic about the wonderful line-up in store, then the annual Saturday night fancy dress party will be calling their name from the second they waddle their wellies onto the campsite, not to mention the aptly named Kids Arena, which features a bunch of fun workshops and activities for the little ones to enjoy.

If you’re not quite feeling the hardcore bashing that is Leeds Festival this weekend, then grab your most garish poncho, a wad of facepaint and wander on down to the Lake District, and be welcomed with open arms by the lovely atmosphere that is Solfest.

Solfest takes place at Tarnside Farm, Cumbria between Friday 28th and Sunday 30th August.

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