As promised, here are a few words and pictures from my Swedish adventure, accompanied by Serge and Arno, the recycled fabric cats. The picture above shows the lads looking down into the town of Sollefteå from our Bond-villain style hotel on the hill above. The view is fabulous.
This is my first visit to a music festival, and what a place to start, in the village of Nämsåker, the Urkult Festival snuggles into a gorgeous wooded setting
It seemed like the whole world was ambling by the stall, heading in for the fire ceremony to mark the opening of Urkult 2016.
Serge & Arno have been enjoying their trip so far. Lots of new experiences, and delicious Swedish breakfasts. Today will be their first taste of festival food!
Here’s a picture taken at the fire ceremony on the opening night
The second day we had a small amount of time to explore, and I took the chance to look around the festival site. The view from the Museum next to the festival was stunning, looking down over the river. It was warm and sunny, and there were lots of people swimming in the river.
Here are Arno & Serge enjoying their picnic spot overlooking the river.
Then after a rather shaky presentation, my first ever Pecha Kucha (20 slides with 20 seconds to speak about each slide), it was back to the market to set up the stall again.
The festival by now was in full swing, with a brightly coloured crowd ambling in and out to see bands, catch some dancing or get some delicious food. The crowd was a really mixed bunch, with families (some with really young babies), older couples, teenagers, students. Most were intrigued by the group of stalls that I was part of, all of us sponsored by Creative Edge. There were three of us from Ireland: myself, Airmid Soaps and Skincare and Bearfoot Enterprises, 3 Northern Irish businesses (Ciara Campbell Ceramics, Patricia Millar Ceramics & Journeyman Saddler and 1 Finnish craft weaving business, Susivilla, run by the very wonderful Annika Kontaniemi, who is helping me to develop my own fabric designs (more on that in another post). As a group we got on very well, and the opportunities to talk to each other, share experiences, ideas and news was a major benefit of the event.
I found that a lot of the visitors to our stalls were really interested in the handmade aspect of our products. All of our businesses have a strong green ethos too, and this was very attractive to the festival goers. The whole of the Urkult site was a green zone, with massive emphasis placed on reducing the impact of the festival on the wooded site it was held in. We also presented a different type of product to many that were on offer at the other stalls. many contained imported goods from India and China, much was the kind of generic festival clothing and gear that you see at festivals across Europe. We were delighted that we were providing people with a choice to buy something truly original.
All too soon it was our last day in Sollefteå.
I took Arno & Serge for a last rapid look around our fantastic base near the urkult festival site. Our hotel was a ski resort in Winter, and next to it was the scary ski jump. I climbed right to the top with the lads and they posed for a photograph, which doesn’t really do justice to quite how far down the landing area is – it is out of sight when you jump! There was a roller ski festival on at the hotel too, the Summer equivalent of cross country skiing, so the whole place was full of ridiculously fit people in lycra and roller skis, and me looking totally unsporty in my plimsolls and t shirt, ready to head off back to Stockholm.
Kevin from Airmid, Silvia from My Creative Edge and I managed a very brief canter around the Gamla Stan area of Stockholm, which was beautiful It was warm and sunny, and we were able to see the Royal Palace and the gorgeous cobbled streets of the old town before we had to head back to the hotel.
It was a very early start for us as we headed to the airport at 4.15am. We were back in County Clare by lunchtime, straight back into preparations for the massive Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann that started on 14th August. That will be covered in my next blog post! I’ll be at the Scout Hall in Ennis, opposite the Holy Family School, from 12-7 for the next 5 days, Wednesday – Sunday. If you’re coming to the Fleadh, don’t miss out on Chapel Lane Market’s gorgeous offerings in our temporary new home.Share This: