Review| Eden Festival 2014

Eden FestivalLeaving the city behind me, I travelled down into the South West of Scotland to roam freely around Raehills Meadows, the setting for the independently run Eden Festival.

Walking through the gates of Eden you do feel cut off from the rest of humanity. The beauty of a smaller festival is that great that thought goes into getting every minute detail perfect, which really does transport you into a different realm. Each stage and tent at Eden Festival has its own unique qualities. These are not just vacuous spaces waiting to be filled with music revellers, these are spaces that welcome you with their imaginative, colourful and vibrant décor.

Friday night brought the funk with the main stage occupied by Federation of the Disco Pimp and Electric Swing Circus, both of whom are the embodiment of plain old good fun. Both bands were full of infectious energy and sass. Federation of the Disco Pimp’s whittled down drumstick really says it all – they partied hard and we partied hard with them.

A quick dash to the Ghilli Dhu Dance Tent and I’m confronted with whistles, vuvuzelas and a lot of questionable dance moves as the Nextmen and Artful Dodger take to the decks (separately I might add!). This is the place to be carefree, loose and absorb yourself into the music with your most outrageous dance moves on show.

The night was drawn to an end in the Furry Chillum Cocktail Bar, which was home to acoustic, ska, reggae, swing and vintage cabaret from Les Amis D’Onno. The bar offered a selection of delicious cocktails, and thirst quenching beers from Williams Bros. In the wee hours of Friday night, tunes were brought to us by Swank ‘n’ Jams who offered mash-ups and fresh funky fun, much to the delight of the late night party goers.

Bleary-eyed on Saturday morning we sought out a relaxing sauna situated just off the festival site and a workout session with Mr Motivator. The man is quite simply an inspiration to us all with his age-defying moves and sound advice on life!

What do you need after a heavy dose of goodwill vibes? A FIGHT…..!!! Yes the paint fight was ready to go, and madness ensued. I may have ended up with yellow teeth, but it offered some the best laughs of the weekend – even if it was at my expense!

The main stage was today home to Scottish Ska band More From Jim, Will and the People and headliner King Charles. The latter was a last-minute replacement for De La Soul who unfortunately had to drop out of the festival, but much to the mustachioed singer-songwriter’s credit he kept the crowd going with his glam-folk rock style of music – a fierce combination!

Meanwhile, The Furry Chillum was packed out for some witty anecdotes from Howard Marks aka Mr Nice. Later in the night there was some Ska happiness from Crinkle Cuts, who had one of the most electric sets of the weekend!

The phrase ‘get on your bike’ had a different connotation over the weekend. The cycle powered tent provided music all day as long as there was enough pedal power. New addition The Lost Disco stage also provided al fresco dancing with highlights including bass heavy, maestros of the big beats The Asbo Disco.

Finally it was Sunday and a much-needed chill out day was at the top of my agenda. It started with brunch at the Dandy Lion and at least two coffee stops in the Hurly Burly café where there was a full range of delectable treats on offer.

A spot of shopping at the on site vintage boutique and charity shop  turned out to be very successful! Next up a sit down in a classic car in the ‘drive-thru’ cinema provided some chill out time, as did a quick cup of Chai tea in the hammock-laden Vishnu Lounge.

Kids had all sorts of activities to enjoy, with cabaret, wood workshops, story time, fire shows, kids procession and Spinning Jenny’s Circus Skills which was hula hoop galore!

The final spot on the Main Stage was given to Victorian Trout Conspiracy, the 10-piece Edinburgh based band who describe themselves as a high energy collective. The sweat was dripping, as the crowd fully immersed themselves in the big, bold and brashy sound of the Trouts.

Eden Festival continued to uphold the carnival atmosphere with a final flourish from the mighty Mungo’s Hi-Fi. The last ones standing, danced to a formidable mix of reggae, dub and dance hall until it was time to throw a few  more shapes and stumble into our tents.

There is zero pretentiousness surrounding Eden, it welcomes everybody with open arms and a provides an escape from the trivialities of everyday life. It manages to replace worries with colour, good vibes and a warm, fuzzy feeling that is sorely missed when you return to the real world.

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