A Wee Woodstock down Wiston way

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CLYDESDALE’S own `Wee Woodstock’, the SOLAS Festival, is to be held from June 22-24.

This will be the third staging of the annual gathering at Wiston Lodge near Biggar in which all the arts are showcased in what is a strongly family-orientated festival.

Indeed, at previous events, it’s not been unusual to see highly distinguished Scottish poets recite their serious and meaning-laden works while, nearby, children laugh and play in the sun.

As in past SOLAS gatherings, folk music plays a very important part, the 53 acre site of beautiful Upperward countryside being almost the perfect setting for traditional songs to be performed.

Naturally, Scottish folk has predominated and the 2012 Solas will stick with this tradition with some very interesting exceptions.

Hot on the heels of a prime time slot on American TV, Indie pop band The Imagineers are coming to SOLAS after performing to audiences of two million people on The Late Late Show.

They will support Admiral Fallow, who will headline Friday night at the festival.

Ali Greig, The Imagineers’ bass guitarist,said: “These are strange times – America one minute, Lanarkshire the next - but it’s very much business as usual for us and we’re really excited to be taking part in this year’s Solas Festival.”

The organisers usually shun big name headliners in favour of up-and-coming Scottish talent and are delighted to have signed The Imagineers as part of this year’s line-up.

Frankie Campbell, Festival director says, “We can’t wait to see The Imagineers take to the Solas mainstage next month – their live act is creating a real buzz just now and it’s clearly opening some really exciting doors for them.

‘‘We first spotted them playing an unplugged set to a small crowd who they had dancing around a Glasgow coffee-shop.

‘‘Suddenly they’ve got exposure to a massive American audience.”

Other acts booked this year include Indian folk sensation Raghu Dixit, Idlewild’s frontman and solo folkist Roddy Woomble, European `slam poetry’ champ Harry Baker, the legendary Scots poet Aonghas MacNeacail and even Scottish politics gets a look-in with Roseanna Cunninghame MSP and Douglas Alexander MP giving their very different views of what Scotland’s future should be!

Prices are: Weekend Tickets: £95, Adult concession: £65,. Youth ticket: £30. Day tickets: £35, Adult Concession: £20, Youth ticket: £15, Friday evening (the night of the Imagineers gig): £15, children aged 0-11 free.

It promises to be another fine family-friendly mix of music, debate, theatre, comedy, film and visual art, all being held in some of the most beautiful surroundings Clydesdale has to offer.

l Visit www. solasfestival.co.uk.