SoL 2013

Pre-SoL phone round

Marquees – check
Sound system – check
Stage – check
Generator – check


Equipment already checked out – cool but quick once over and make a few changes. Load in car and it looks empty – panic!

Pick up camping stuff from garage – check

Pack and get things from shed.

Think I’m as ready as I’ll ever be!

Thankfully just as I was starting to stress about it someone posted a picture from the site! Thankfully it all seems to be coming together as I planned it – phew!





martin carthy


SoL sunset

syd arthur

syd arthur 2


peacesonnytir na nogcrowdsaxcoal portersgazebo

coal and rainlapis



Woken up at ten to seven when my mobile phone beeped to let me know the battery was going so I decided to get up and have a coffee. This meant putting the generator, which was 30kVa and capable of delivering a 3 phase 43A supply, on just to boil my kettle and charge my phone. After I’d been refreshed with a couple of coffees I set about packing up. I’d derig a few bits and then wander up to see if they were serving breakfast and if not I’d come back and derig a few more bits. Eventually I’d had breakfast and packed every thing except the tent up before there was any sign of the sound man or the lighting guy!aftermath

I set off home as I knew Sarah wanted to go and pick up a few bits of furniture she’d bought off of Facebook. I somehow managed to get them in the car around all of the equipment. I also managed to pick up a double album of the best of Frank Sinatra for a £1 while we were there.

In the afternoon we had a barbecue in the back garden for Becky’s friend who had stayed over the weekend. I had to put all my stuff away in the shed and at one point there was a slight avalanche of stuff and as I was putting it back  I found some cable suitable for speakers so I wired the old speakers back into the B channel of the amp and had them on a long enough wire that they can be moved outside to provide music in the garden.

Later I sat in the sunshine finishing off the wine (and marshmallows) and played my mandolin. It had been  a lovely weekend but it was good to finish it with the family barbecue!

After the event someone posted this in the Facebook group for the SoL festival – I think it’s great and sums it all up!

Our field is still once more.

The tents, stages and gazebos around which we danced and embraced are all gone. The flattened grass on which we sat, sung, smoked and slept now home only to insects and the late summer dew.

And our field is still once more.

Our candle flames are long burnt out, our neon electric colours replaced by still moonlight and stars, our laughter and songs now just ghostly echoes through the branches of the trees which still sway gently in the silent air, always the last dancers.

And our field is still once more.

Our fires are but ash now. No crackle of wood nor coal to be heard. No smells of roasting meats or steaming soups to waft across the evening air, testing eager appetites.

And our field is still once more.

The flutter of bunting is replaced by the gentle fall of autumnal leaves.
The tie dyes and flags are returned to their drawers and we to our daily grind as our dog ends and spent Rizzlas begin their slow decomposition into the sweet Kentish earth. 

And our field is still once more.

The grass will grow and the scarred soil heal as Nature takes back what is hers, lent all but too briefly to the appreciative few.

Our field is forgetting us, though we do not forget our field.

For we are grateful

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