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Fans of Greenbelt may have heard rumours, or even been part of conversations, about a new 'art, faith and justice' festival to be launched in Scotland in 2010. The outcome of those discussion is  Solas Festival. Independently funded and managed, organisers say that their 'dream is that this all-age weekend will light up the Scottish festival landscape with a vivid mix of music, debate, theatre, comedy, film and visual art and will quickly establish itself as a unique location to celebrate and question our commitments to art, faith and justice within Scotland's cultural life.'

A fine line-up is already in place. Speaking at the event will be Douglas Alexander MP, Gerry Hassan, John Swinton, Kathy Galloway, Chris Harvie MSP, Shaun Burnie, Dan Glass, Doug Gay, Cole Moreton, Alastair McIntosh, Vérène Nicolas, Eugenie Harvey and others. Music will be provided by The Russian Choir, SuplexTheKid, Kitty the Lion, Yvonne Lyon, Jo Mango, Calamateur, Rory Butler, Brian McGlynn, Monica Queen & Thrum, Mr McFall's Chamber, Esther O'Connor, Peatbog Faeries, McIntosh Ross, Juliet Turner, Iain Morrison, Fair Witness and We See Lights.

Workshops and children's entertainment will also be on offer - the Gaelic singing and storytelling adding a Scottish flavour to a familiar mix. The festival is definitely international, however, with performing arts from Indonesia, Kenya and Ghana. There is also a cinema stream.

The festival will take place at Wiston, Biggar. Wiston is about an hour south of both Glasgow and Edinburgh, ten minutes from the M74 (J13), and the 52 acre site has ample room for camping in what we're told is spectacular and beautiful lowland countryside.

Tickets are available from the Solas website ( in the expected groupings - family, adult (with concessions), youth and child. You're advised to book quickly as prices increase towards the festival date.
Those especially supportive of such enterprises may wish to sign up as a Solas Saint. The organisers are aiming to recruit 100 generous people who will pledge a minimum of £5 per month to the festival. Those who do will be kept closely in touch with the festival and be part of the decision-making community.

Third Way will be attending Solas, and has a limited number of tickets for volunteers who can help us onsite for a few hours. To sign up, call 0207 776 1060 or write to us at