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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Eden Festival 2015

I’ve made no secret of how there was a time when I fell out of love with festivals.

There was a singular moment a few years ago when I was returning from one and I was tired and dirty - and facing an early shift the next day - when I had a road to Damascus insight.

That insight was that I hadn’t really enjoyed myself.
In fact I had found it shockingly stressful in many ways.
And then I had to admit that I personally didn’t have much fun the previous year either, or the one before that.

The rot hadn’t set in overnight, but instead crept up on me incrementally over a period of years.
I had to accept that my ongoing attendance was really rooted in habit and the expectation of peers to just go along with the flow rather than any personal urge to participate.

It wasn’t that I was getting too old for sleeping under the stars, or that I had changed that much, but rather that festivals across the UK had changed in so many ways, and in the main most were becoming little more than al fresco gigs with all the eccentricities that I had come to love about them relegated to being memories from the past.

Maybe it was akin to how travelling carnivals started to become increasingly sanitized and lost the freak shows and the hoochie coochie girls only to be replaced by fruit machines and arcade games.

Heaven for some I suppose, but hell for others, and I’m certainly with the latter as I’m more a freak show hoochie coochie sort of guy.
For me a big part of any festival experiences was never about the standing centre stage and watching a band, but rather all the wandering around meeting characters, the coming across talented outsiders entertaining people in quiet corners, and basically immersing myself in a world that only had a tenuous link to the stereotypical daily grind that we all live in.

Once that weekend of anarchic respite started to be usurped by main stage acts booked to attract the widest mainstream audience possible I was partially left behind and on that trip home the reality of all that came crashing in and I hung up my festival boots.

That is until on a whim, and all very last minute, I ended up attending the Eden festival a few years ago and rediscovered the magic.

As I arrived I instantly knew that in a sense I was home.

Here was exactly the thing that I didn’t know I was still looking for.

Here were my brethren that I had become lost from.
The people I would refer to as the backbone of any real festival.
The misshaped pegs that refused to be hammered into a constricting hole, the dreamers and the modern day beat poets, the counter culture warriors and more.

I was home and it was quite an emotional moment.

Once the last tent peg was hammered in I was off looking to become lost in what Eden has to offer and I discovered that it was a real smorgasbord of delights.

Everywhere I turned I was the magpie with another shiny shiny catching my attention. From the stalls to the stages, from those attending to the ales on offer I was swamped as my senses grabbed onto it all and drank it in like a man lost in the dessert who has suddenly found himself waist deep an oasis of fresh sparkling water.

I was in love again.

The best thing about it was that this was not just an initially overwhelming rush, but an experience that was maintained all weekend long.

Even better was that those feelings were recaptured the next year and now I am feeling the buzz building for Eden as I have no doubt at all that it will be more of the same again.

Basically what I am saying is that if you are old school when it comes to festivals then Eden will deliver 100%.

Way before festivals were being called bespoke and bijou Eden apparently had it nailed and it was there right under my nose and I hadn’t even known.
Even though many friends had attended it and raved about how much they enjoyed it I had been setting their praise aside and considering it in my ignorance as just another festival.

I was wrong.
So very wrong and once experienced I came to realize that it has everything I want and more.

So Vive le Eden Festival and bring it on.

If you see me there then please do say hello and watch out for the post Eden review on New Hellfire Club and ItsaXXXXthing blog


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