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Solfest 2007

I seriously considered not going to Solfest this year when I found out how many of my friends were going to Shambala. But despite the 600+ mile round trip Iím so glad that I made the effort. Solfest improves year on year and has now matured into one of the finest small festivals on the UK calendar. There were more people there this year with ticket sales increasing to 6,500 and nearly 10,000 people onsite altogether when you include performers, traders & crew. But there is so much space that it never feels crowded although the campsites did fill up noticeably quicker.

Stages were positioned as before and there were a few technical difficulties with the sound on the main stage on Friday evening. But the one big plus this year was the enormous new dance tent which had an absolutely kickass PA and superb laser enhanced visuals. The stage in the main bar, which has performances alternating with those on the main stage also seemed to have a much better sound than I recall in the past and the quality of the acts on there would certainly have graced a much bigger venue.

The Kids area was much larger this year with several different tents and areas providing performances, workshops & other entertainment for the junior punters. And as well as the more familiar sculptures and structures a new group of brightly coloured tipis were added for people to chill in. There was also a small pyramid in the middle of the arena which lit up at night & shone amazing projections through clouds of dry ice. There was no theme to the fancy dress this year but Iíve never seen so much effort and inspiration put into costumes by so many people and the haul of photos that I have are among those that I am most pleased with from my festival wanderings.

Toilets were plentiful and as clean as Iíve seen anywhere and more urinals were added, although there were still a couple of overflow situations. Stewarding was friendly but superbly efficient in dealing with traffic flow and also both a medical emergency and a tent fire. All in all Solfest is a very friendly, entertaining & slickly run event and my congratulations go to Simon & Sarah and all of the crew for developing and running such a brilliant festival in such idyllic surroundings.
Chill out tipis
Chill out tipis
In the pink
In the pink
African carving
African carving
Chai Chapel
Chai Chapel
Interesting adaptation
Interesting adaptation
Clangers
Clangers
Fancy swapping that for your BMX?
Fancy swapping that for your BMX?
Garden
Garden
Tantrum
Tantrum
Camel's Arse
Camel's Arse
Hubbly Bubbly
Hubbly Bubbly
That's Scotland over there
That's Scotland over there
Disco du Fromage
Disco du Fromage
Climbers
Climbers
Wicker work
Wicker work
Mazzoni
Mazzoni
Getting things under way on the main stage
Getting things under way on the main stage
Wizardmarra
Wizardmarra
The Hired Sportsmen
The Hired Sportsmen
Nice mugshot!
Nice mugshot!
Neville Staples
Neville Staples
Pity it was such a short set
Pity it was such a short set
The Beat
The Beat
Easy Star Allstars
Easy Star Allstars
A few technical difficulties
A few technical difficulties
The Sweetbeats
The Sweetbeats
Excellent projections
Excellent projections
Ozric Tentacles
Ozric Tentacles
Mr Psik
Mr Psik
Pedal powered laithe
Pedal powered laithe
Musical barrow
Musical barrow
Pump!
Pump!
Smoke cannon
Smoke cannon
Windmill workshop
Windmill workshop
Alhambra - Terribly decent chaps
Alhambra - Terribly decent chaps
Sabai (I think)
Sabai (I think)
Sara of Neck
Sara of Neck
I love you guys!
I love you guys!
Good grief!
Good grief!
Winsdswept chums
Winsdswept chums
Audience participation
Audience participation
Alhambra on stage
Alhambra on stage
Dancing girls
Dancing girls
Doing their thing
Doing their thing
David Straightjacket
David Straightjacket
Take a bow
Take a bow
African dancing
African dancing
Toot!
Toot!
Storytime
Storytime
Pimp
Pimp
Somebody looks pleased with himself
Somebody looks pleased with himself
All dressed up
All dressed up
Our friendly giant is back
Our friendly giant is back
Woodland creatures
Woodland creatures
Ahoy!
Ahoy!
Great wigs
Great wigs
Homer
Homer
Fiona Kate Roberts (possibly)
Fiona Kate Roberts (possibly)
Chumbawamba
Chumbawamba
An excellent acoustic set
An excellent acoustic set
Purrr!
Purrr!
Cheesy
Cheesy
Superdad
Superdad
Flower power
Flower power
Wurzels
Wurzels
Jest a minute
Jest a minute
I am Sparticus
I am Sparticus
I'm on the phone!
I'm on the phone!
The little people
The little people
Hercules & grumpy chum
Hercules & grumpy chum
Wired daisy
Wired daisy
Birthday treat
Birthday treat
Faces
Faces
Horde
Horde
Assortment
Assortment
Bunny suit
Bunny suit
Family portrait
Family portrait
Renaissance
Renaissance
Fiendish
Fiendish
Chubsters
Chubsters
Romper room
Romper room
Mojo
Mojo
Honk!
Honk!
Misbehaving badger
Misbehaving badger
Dummy
Dummy
Golf
Golf
Cyberman
Cyberman
One man & his Sheepbee
One man & his Sheepbee
Fannys
Fannys
Lost?
Lost?
Top T Shirt!
Top T Shirt!
Chris Ellis
Chris Ellis
Celeste Lovick
Celeste Lovick
Nice stockings!
Nice stockings!
Hello again
Hello again
This gets my vote for best costume
This gets my vote for best costume
Wonderland
Wonderland
Mrs Mop
Mrs Mop
He visits Eltons cobbler
He visits Eltons cobbler
Very fetching
Very fetching
A worrying number of men in lycra
A worrying number of men in lycra
Would you Adam & Eve it!
Would you Adam & Eve it!
Cuddle
Cuddle
The Shithorn
The "Shithorn"
I wonder what the inside of his sleeping bag looks like now
I wonder what the inside of his sleeping bag looks like now
Another fatty
Another fatty
Tut Tut
Tut Tut
Sunset
Sunset
Flobalob
Flobalob
Join the dots
Join the dots
Badly Drawn Boy
Badly Drawn Boy
Technicolour
Technicolour
Butterfly
Butterfly
2 Daft Monkeys
2 Daft Monkeys
... and the other one
... and the other one
Angelic
Angelic
Dance tent lighting
Dance tent lighting
Gamelan gongs
Gamelan gongs
These kids were amazing
These kids were amazing
Al fresco jazz
Al fresco jazz
One Glass Eye
One Glass Eye
Gabby Young
Gabby Young
Drumming cow
Drumming cow
Bag Of Spanners
Bag Of Spanners
Bikini Beach Band
Bikini Beach Band
Walk like an Egyptian
Walk like an Egyptian
More bizarre beachwear
More bizarre beachwear
On duty
On duty
Lucy & The Caterpillar
Lucy & The Caterpillar
Laugh fully in order
Laugh fully in order
Posh frock
Posh frock
Tragic Roundabout
Tragic Roundabout
I love this band
I love this band
The CD was on repeat play all the way home
The CD was on repeat play all the way home
Gorgeous as ever
Gorgeous as ever
Show Of Hands
Show Of Hands
Bex Marshall
Bex Marshall
The Levellers
The Levellers
I have to admit it, they were really good!
I have to admit it, they were really good!
How cute are you?!
How cute are you?!
Tarantism
Tarantism
System 7
System 7