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Solarsphere - Anyone else going ?

Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:15 am

Is anyone else planning on going to Solarsphere?
It's happening next weekend (10-13 August 2018) near Builth Wells and combines astronomy talks and live music.
It'll be our first time there, but we know the organisers and some of the 'astro buddies' who'll be helping out, and it looks like it could be really great.


Re: Solarsphere - Anyone else going ?

Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:49 pm

That looks like a great event, I just had a look at the link you posted. I've heard Greg Smye-Rumsby speak, he's full of enthusiasm!

Can't make it myself but I hope you have a good time!



Re: Solarsphere - Anyone else going ?

Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:59 am

Well, having had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend I can heartily recommend Solarsphere as a family friendly Astronomy and Music Festival.

It caters for up to about 400 people, with use of the campsite included. There are three venues, one for Music, one for food and astro related activities, and one for talks.

The speakers were all very high quality, and included Will Gator (from Sky at Night), Mark McCaughrean from ESA, Megan Argo, Suzie Imber, Steve Tonkin (from BinocularSky.com).

What's great is that quite a few of the speakers stayed for the whole weekend, so they were around for conversations outside of their talks.

It's a music and astronomy festival (one of the organisers was in Hawkwind in the 70s), so there's as much music as astronomy, but they are carefully scheduled not to clash.

One of the camping fields is designated a red light only field (which was generally respected, apart from an inadvertent inspection by the Security team), so the Friday night was made more enjoyable by sharing views of the planets through the scope. Unfortunately it dewed over quite heavily by about midnight, but we stood around for another couple of hours enjoying the Perseids and the company. Volunteers gave a 'Night Sky Introduction' talk to anyone who was interested.

The rest of the weekend was cloudy, but (on the whole) the rain stayed away - or if it did rain it was during the talks.
The catering is cheap and cheerful basic rather than gourmet, but none the worse for that. The bar selection was good (and very affordable), with local ales as well as the mainstream brands.
With it being in the Summer Holidays, the festival is planned to be family friendly, and it undoubtedly is, with lots of activities for children - they even help to check your wristbands as you enter the talks, which is just great.
Although we've been to several other Star Parties, it was a first time for us at this event - but we came away feeling this was definitely the best we'd been at. It helped that we'd already met a few others already, but I think it's such a friendly and inclusive event that you'd need to be a real curmudgeon not to enjoy it.
Though I did hear one bloke hated it and left after 1 night - apparently he objected to people asking to look through his scope. The very thought!

Anyhow, we're aiming to be one of the first to book for 2019!
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