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Monday, 17 June 2013

Eden Festival - 2013

So good that like New York they should probably have named it twice.
I'm an old festival hand, but it's been a long time since I have been to one.
Well that's not actually strictly true.
I've been to plenty of events claiming to be festivals, but in the main they are gigs held al fresco.
For me setting a large tent up in a field and then putting some bands in it does not a festival make.
There has to be some key ingredients added to make it worthy of the name.
One is that it can't just be devoted to music.
On board has to be poets, jugglers, magicians, jugglers, actors, jugglers, artists, jugglers and mentalists of every hue imaginable......and jugglers.
Fire eaters are always a good addition to.

In fact if there isn't a man dressed as Henry the VIII unicycling past at 8am on the way to the burger van then it is safe to say you are not at a real festival.
That being said I can now categorically state with my hand on my heart, and no fingers crossed behind my back, that Eden is a 'real' festival.

Nestled in what is a large meadow surrounded by a thick forest it is akin to a psychedelic Brigadoon.
Magically appearing for one weekend a year it serves to provide a real alternative to the outside world.

When I arrived I had a real sense of deja vu.
I could feel the Glastonbury vibe from many decades ago.
The anarchic taste of rebellion hangs heavy in the air, but it's not the sort that the media would promote.
There's no aggression or negativity associated with it.
Instead, as the name of the festival suggests, they are looking to create a party atmosphere that encapsulates a sans original sin angle.
We are all innocents in the garden of Eden with self discovery and the wonderment of the anticipation of unknown adventure laid out before us.

I loved it.

While other reviews may focus on the bands and artists who performed, I really think it is worth taking an overview on it all and try and convey a sense of the whole rather than a part of the whole.

On saying that it is true that I was blown away by the artists who performed.
From The Ballachulish Hellhounds to the Correspondents and from Wise-L Leathermonk to Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer the organizers rarely put a foot wrong with the acts that were booked, but while the music is the skeleton of the festival it is the meat that hangs from the bones that is a wondrous sight to behold.
Chill out tents with festival goers cocooned in hammocks, sound systems that could shake the earth, pirates and mermaids, paint and jelly fights, kids marching around with mile wide smiles.

This is what Eden was about and without a shadow of a doubt I shall be returning next year, and every year thereafter.

Best festival in Scotland?
I'm leaning towards saying yes.

PS. Curse you midges. Damn your black hearts

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