DIARY DATE 22nd of August 2006

2 days to go.

I actually managed the briefest of lie ins today. Only about fifteen minutes, but it wasn’t half nice.

Karen had things to do about the town and we both had bits of the dreaded paperwork to do. All the stuff I had waiting since I’d done all that urgent and essential stuff. It’s now urgent and essential in its own right and I’ll be on with it again after I’ve posted this.

This may also be my final blog entry before we start, as I don’t think I’ll be back home until next week now. I’m hoping to do a FRIDAY REVIEW from the BBC BUS on Saturday. But you never know I might be able to get one up tomorrow.

So, it was afternoon when we arrived onsite and it is looking like a festival now. The new mainstage has its skin on and instead of looking flash it looks a bit weather-beaten. Not that this matters, its who is on it that counts. For myself I’m looking forward to both introducing and seeing CROFT No 5, for me they were the best band we had in 2004, and it’s sad that this year we shall have their last ever gig outside of Scotland and even then it’s only the one. I am particularly pleased that Gerard has booked THE OUTROADS for mainstage, I had them on the Drystone last year and pestered Gerard that they were mainstage calibre and bless him he’s got em booked.

The Peacecake Café is going up and I checked out their menus via the link on the Solfest website. Good Eating!

Every single one of now is running on a mix of adrenalin, coffee and the sure and certain knowledge that we all have a to do list as long as Mr Fantastics arm. But bit-by-bit we tick things off, not that it’s just us now as daily people are arriving. Kerry and Amy, come to make art. Ian the steward. The Green Shee Storytelling Yurt, The Session Tent. Bedlam Boudoir and loads more.

The Bar is looking brilliant. Believe me you will not expect what you will see, I cannot think of a festival that has anything to compare with it. I’m talking about the actual bar, not what’s being served. It is a beautiful piece of work; yeah I know any old trestle or top will do to serve a pint. But it’s like we like to do at Solfest, to try to make things just that little bit better.

I’ve not had a look at how things are down in the Dance Tent yet, I haven’t had the time. But Sarah, Jim and Tom are working really hard on it and the quality of acts they’ve got lined up, well I mean Dreadzone, Eat Static and of course Micheal Dog!

The two Abbotts have been setting up the stone circle (oh god I let the cat out of the bag, there was you thinking that circle had been up there for donkeys years)

I think we all welcome the onset of darkness, it’s the time you know you can stop doing stuff. Otherwise, it is just work work work to get things off that list. The deadline is unrelenting, everything has to be done.

Just as darkness fell a forlorn and lost figure wandered past the Drystone, it was Barbara, Mrs Wise searching for her disappeared husband. She was locked out of the house; we found Wilson about an hour later in the canteen and on hearing the news shot off to see if he could find her. All the Wises, Barbara, Wilson and their sons Dave, Alan, and Ed put so much more into Solfest than merely hiring us the land. Their help with everything from building things to moving things with tractors, trucks and trailers (there’s a country song in there somewhere) is invaluable.

You’ll be pleased to know the toilets have arrived! Loads of them. This year we also have some straw bale urinals. Let’s face it us blokes are generally none too fussy where we squirt when the need arises, these make sense too. As blokes and not particular (especially when drunk and the aim can go a bit askew) it means that the toilets are left for the ladies and if we can reduce the amount of squirtage over the seats it’ll make for a happier more comfortable festival.

There’s a fantastic crop of blackberries in the boundary hedges around the site that according to Wilson are a result of the males of Solfest copiously fertilizing them last year, enjoy. Help yourself to as many as you want!

As you are in the camping fields you may notice mushrooms growing, and no, I do not mean magics just your common or garden edible field mushrooms. But how cool would that be for breakfast. From field to frying pan in seconds, picked right outside your tent.

It was our first onsite nightly committee meeting today too. This is actually a run down of jobs that must be done so they can be posted up for the next day. It is good as well to know exactly what stage we are at, and touch wood, this year we are actually slightly ahead of schedule. No room for complacency though, there’s rain forecast for tomorrow and there’s nothing like that to slow you down.

I’m not thinking about the weekend’s weather. But I have to confess sunshine would be best, but it’s going to take some mega foul nasty heavy weather to dampen my spirits. I’m up for a party. If its bad on Saturday night we’ll just pretend, it’s a storm at sea, as we ply our piratical path through the high seas.

Anyhow, if I don’t get to write anymore until then, I’ll see you there at THE SOLFEST OF LOVE where hugs are free.


The Wizards Pot

An archive of the life and rantings of The Wizardmarra. The Best Storyteller In The World.

About Alan Whittaker

A storyteller like no other. Weaving traditional storytelling with madcap posing and stand up comedy riffing. Taking the listener from here to there and back again at break neck speed; with panache and a fine sense of the ridiculous.For more information about Alan, read his biography.

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