Eden Festival 2015
Liz and Eilidh, FreshAir.org.uk’s reviewers for Eden Festival 2015
The feeling of Eden Festival is a complete embodiment of its commitment to community. There is an immediate sense of appreciation for all of the volunteers on entry into the festival, surrounded by a swarm of midges but keeping spirits high. From the outset, it is clear Eden Festival is very different to any other. No one is trying to out-cool anyone else, there is no elite. Eden Festival is, at its very core, the hippy fest for which we all yearn.
Set in the idyllic surroundings of the borders with stretches of meadows and hills for miles, Eden Festival is a retreat from city life and a chance to absorb the peace of Dumfries and Galloway. For the Thursday evening at least. If you wanted to spend Friday, Saturday or Sunday night in, the peace would have been shattered by the earth rattling bass from the DJ tents in the arena, but who would want to stay in? The main stage had acts on until 02:00, the Furry Chillum, Ghilli Dhu and Lost Disco ventured into the early hours of 05:00, and if you weren’t into sleeping in your tent at all, the Vishnu Lounge was open from 12:00 to 12:00 everyday.
Eden Festival also offered many alternative daytime activities. It appealed to the incredibly diverse range of festival goers and had family friendly activities, though very tempted, we thought the ‘Make Extravagant Floating Hats’ event was mostly angled towards the family campers with kids. However the Workshop and Craft Tent did offer up plenty of opportunities to improve one’s belly dancing, yoga and hula hooping skills. The campsite has a river flowing around the edge and in the boiling heat on the Friday, we went for a swim. There is no doubt that the lucky Scottish weather improved the festival tenfold; we were able to bask in the sun, with a pint from Rabbies Tavern and with Miss Irenie Rose playing on stage. This was certainly a promising start to the festival which only seemed to get better.
Venturing away from their old sound, Portico took to the open air stage with a heavy synth and more of an electronic feel.
The Tipple Taxi
The taxi was a stand-alone feature in the food stall area of the festival, away from the main acts. However, the DJs here were playing some of the best tunes we had heard all weekend. Selling frozen margarita cocktails out of the boot also added to the ad hoc and brilliant nature of this feature.
The Drive In Cinema
Kitted out with vintage cars you could hop in and out of as you pleased and playing some classic films on the screen in front. The line up included the likes of Pulp Fiction and The Big Lebowski. It also provided a cool and calm escape from the main music arena when there was no film on.
Shakti Mama Disco
THE QUEEN of Eden, she rocked all of the silver sequins a disco diva could ever need. She boogied in the DJ booth and also in the crowd when her set finished. An extended version of Disco Inferno with real fire flumes lighting up every time the chorus hit was a highlight. The old school flashing dance floor placed in the outdoor Lost Disco venue also added to the perfectly misplaced feel of the venue.
Beat Box Sax
Walking into the Vishnu Lounge at 04:00 and hearing some live beat boxing was a little disorientating at first, but once we were settled and heard Beat Box Sax do his thing, letting the loops build and each layer add to a fully formed tune at the end was a very satisfying way to enter into the early hours after a night of dancing.
A combination of African styles and modern UK electronic music makes for an amazing act. The merge was masterfully handled and complimented both genres so well to make for a whole new listening experience.
All the pessimists were completely shut down when Ms Dynamite’s set started. Anyone who thought she had that one hit from 2002 and nothing else was to be proved so very very wrong. Her set was crammed full of absolute bangers (Gold Dust, Put Him Out, What You Talking About, Wile Out). This grimey bassy set was surprisingly perfect for this festival full of peace loving hippies. It was the weirdest and most wonderful combination. We were also hugely won over after speaking to her back-stage. Her voice was sweet and kind in comparison to her agro on stage persona. She was happy to chat to us and grinning whilst telling us over again how ‘AMAZING!’ it was performing at Eden. We are now number one fans.
At the end of the nights, as the sun was rising and everyone knew they should be heading back for some kip, the campfire was lit. It attracted the strangest stragglers of the night. Musicians teamed up and managed to make bagpipes, African drumming and jazz flute all sound great together. This was how the community of Eden manifested itself, maracas were handed out to join in, everyone had a go, everyone was welcome and everyone was happy.
Eden Festival 2015 was a weird and wonderful experience. We will definitely be back again!