24th – 30th August 2022
The last time I attended Solfest was 2008 and I had a really Good Time. So I knew this was going to be a really Good Thing. I dinnae think I was prepared for just how good a thing it was to be attending in a production and artist role. It was the first time C Note Soundsytems had taken control of The Lagoon and what a brilliant team we made to create a welcoming venue and a Solfest First. Everything about this festival was perfect.
It is by far a most welcoming part of the world, The softness of the Solway Firth and mountainous landscape. Far removed from the maddening crowd. conducive to peace of soul and mind. We arrived on site at about 7pm. The rain had stopped and wouldnae return, weathermen got this one pleasantly wrong. Wednesday night was a bit parky, once I had found The Lagoon and set up camp, I headed to the open mike at Crew HQ to volunteer a poetry performance, I was ready to deliver and was somewhat on fire after, not to mention totally lost. The night sky was clear, the Plough Guided me back to my tent and cozy sleeping bag and I was oot like a light. ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz.
I was awake at Dawn watching the Sunrise any rain clouds were long gone and the early morning chill soon burned off.aye I thought today is going to be a warm one, after breakfast at the crew canteen and a catch-up with lots of loverly friendly Northerners who made me feel so welcome, my heart was smiling and my Soul relaxed. After breakfast and a stroll around the site, the main stage were sound-checking to Goldfrapp’s. Oh La La La. This invoked my first festival dance. Boogie Boogie Boogie. ❤ Then back to the Lagoon to help build the stage from which the weekends Drum N Bass, Techno and Dub would be performed.
Also lending a hand to the Creative Geni’s behind the decor of The Lagoon, Alison Marydoll and Samantha Butterfly. Roo Cunnigham, the captain of The Good Ship Lagoon, founder of the CNote Sound System collective who run successful Dub Nights Internationally, Up and down the UK and across Europe and now for the first time at this heavenly music festival. To present a line up of sterling young soundmasters mixing cutting edge, D&B, Dance Hall, Reggae and Techno. with live performances from Sex Cakes, this I was excited for, Sex cakes are a fast rising fusion of Spoken word and original techno, delivering work for their much-anticipated release of Sex Cakes debut album. Live on Saturday Night. I was already wet for this one. So wanted to help create a suitably grand space Grounding the healing love and Angels at every available opportunity. Becci Wallace and Blackout JA accompanied by Roo Cunningham on the decks would also deliver live performance brilliance over the course of the next four days.
By 10pm after a spectacular dinner at the Crew Canteen, I was ready for an early night, I went to sleep that night listening to Seasick Steve on the mainstage from my sleeping bag.
I was up again at the crack of Dawn for Fridays shenanigans, the young DJs were still partying from the night before I had such a giggle before heading for a (Free) shower, courtesy of my Production and Artist accreditation wristband, it was a warm and sunny morning, so clean and shaved I headed for coffee and toast at the crew canteen, it was such a beautifully pleasant place. Everyone was really nice and friendly and the stunning location and views were breathtakingly beautiful. Ahhh I thought. This is how life should be all the time. Solfest is a festival with a massive heart.
On the way back to the Lagoon for some last-minute prep before the opening to dancing punters, I headed to check out Sketchy Beats, Edinburgh’s very own creative artistic musical collective, who also had their own venue offering musical performances and jams over the course of the weekend. Sketchy Beats also had a piano, so I could have my daily tinkle. Divine loves Sketchy Beatz ❤
Once all the decor was up, I was off to find fire extinguishers and flame retardant spray. There had been a few setbacks the first was the original marquee hire people of which the Lagoon was to be housed, increasing their prices before the gig and then pulling complete (Booooooo) Then having a tent delivered and erected with a good portion of wall panel missing. This was a testing gig. However, everyone pulled together and any problems were swiftly resolved. By 5pm The Lagoon was open for what would be a totally class night. It wasn’t till dusk that the lighting genius of Sophia Ann West & Sean Zelle would be introduced to its full potential The whole thing was totally beautiful eye candy The lasers and the projections totally synched in time with the big name DJs of the night, Drum And Bass never sounded or looked so good. Metrognome and Mrs Magoo headlined on Friday night and the Lagoon was bouncing by midnight. Which I enjoyed from the comfort of my sleeping bag. It had been a long day and Divine was Knackered.
I have loved electronic music since I was a nipper, it took me a long time to get Jungle and Drum N Bass as a genre, but once I had got it, I discovered music that brought a different kind of dancer in me, but once locked in that groove the dance was on. Just like Jungle and Drum N Bass a new emerging genre of electronic dance music, Hard Tek, challenges me in the same way that D&B and Jungle did. So with ample opportunity for an early Saturday Morning musical lesson, Roo’s Hard Tek set became that teacher. It was an earth-moving experience that I was determined to understand and as I was camped backstage of the Lagoon this was the perfect opportunity to futher my education into electronic music. Hmm I thought, this one is going to take some time.
Saturday at The Lagoon, was the Live, Techno, Dubstep day and as I wrote earlier, was excited for the arrival of “Sex Cakes” Pedro and Late Night Jazz were also hotly tipped on my to-do list. It was another gorgeous sunny hot day. So after morning meditation, breakfast and make-up session at Crew HQ, I headed to Sketchy Beatz for my morning tinkle. The big headlining acts of Solfest were less of a draw for me I was much more interested in the new emerging talent, of which there were lots and lots to take in.
Sex Cakes took to the stage with a performance that was just absolutely out of this world. . Oh my, how blessed could we be. Fronted by The Duchess, a poignant voice of truth that tells it as it is with no punches barred. This Goddess has something to say and it needs to be heard and indeed it will be. (All-Seeing. All-knowing Thats Divine ❤ ) And that’s just the lyrical prowess.
The Lynch Pin is the Electronic Mastery, Synths, Beats and Guitar by The Ploughman, a superior take on electronica in league with Orbital and Underworld, powered along with the Punk Rock power bass lines of The Baron. A collective of genuine performance art anarchic genius.
Sunday at Solfest was another really warm day, after morning coffee and toast at Crew HQ and audience with The Dutchess who was giving hilarious anecdotes on the comfy couch, I headed for a shower and after a make up session, I was ready for another day of quality entertainment. My three performances were CNote Blackout Ja & Wends, Orbital and Nema Kuta. So on my 4th day in this beautiful festival, I took it easy as I needed enough energy to perform my own DJ Set 2am-4am Monday morning. I fashioned a chez lounge out of straw bales and chilled oot, it really was too warm to do much else and my 55 year old body was feeling it, so self-healing was the nature of the day.
Blackout Ja and Wends with C Note on the decks drew a healthy audience for a performance of Dub brilliance. Everyone was getting down to this fantastic fusion of love, dub and Rasta vibration from Master Blackout Ja, proving that reggae really is the music of love, everyone was having a lovely time as spiritual alchemy was taking place. So many smiles and happy hearts. Good Time it was wonderful.
After the performance,. I headed to get a good vantage point to experience Orbitals arrival on the main stage and to have a good boogie. It was a big presentation, as a mainstage act should be, yes I had a good dance and they played all the fan faves, however, the message that Orbital brought was that we are all fucked and the visuals were very much about the destruction that the rat race has caused. With industrial imagery that really was the very thing that people come to festivals to escape. A complete contrast to the love and peace I had just experienced with Blackout Ja, Wends and C Note. When Orbital presented a remix of The Spice Girls. Do You Wanna Be My Lover???????? They lost me completely. So I headed back to The Lagoon to catch Fema Kuta on the decks who played a brilliant set. Taking us into the early hours of Monday Morning.
So after my closing set at 4am, I collapsed into my tent and my mind started to unwind, slept for a couple of hours and then we were up dismantling the venue and decor, by mid-day I was really knackered but in a good way. A friend invited me back to her van for a lovely cooked brunch, I fell asleep in the field. after giving her a counselling session. By the time I got back to The Lagoon. everyone had gone home. This was the first time that I had felt a little abandoned. However, the lovely remaining crew made me feel at home. Francesca and her lovely family welcomed me into their comfort zone. Any feelings of abandonment were short-lived and Jo Robert’s beauty and smiles warmed my heart.
The Lagoon was a complete success as part of this lovely welcoming healing festival, The Crew were welcoming, Crew catering was delicious and everyone was well looked after. The festival site was Heavenly Healing, of which I am still processing the Healing that took place. I returned to Edinburgh courtesy of Louise Hare who also gave me lift to the venue. I had to wonder why it had taken me 14 years to return to Solfest, Thank you to Roo Cunningham for inviting DJ Divine to perform in the Lagoon and for this wonderful, deeply enjoyable. Solfest Experience.
See Ya Next Year ❤
Love Divine ❤