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‘It’s Eden, I can wear what I want and I can do what I want’
^^ This, overheard by a ten year old desperately trying to persuade her mum to buy her a sparkly gold skirt, summarises the entire ambience of Eden festival. A weekend of joy, hidden away in Raehills meadows near Dumfries, where men stumble around dressed as fairies, someone collapses on my mum because they’ve taken too many shrooms, you catch a man dressed as a duck trying to flipper his way through a pool of mud, find young families up by 8 every morning cooking bacon on their camping stoves, and 5,000 people gather together on the Saturday afternoon to copy the dance routine of a 65 year old man dressed in a unitard (Mr. Motivator).
Eden is magical. Though not quite magical enough to ensure good weather – the mud drove me out early on Friday morning in pursuit of wellies - it is, however, magical enough to keep it’s 9,000 (apparently it’s this big, but feels way more intimate) strong army of Edenites in good enough spirits to keep the party going all weekend long. Even my mum (who is 51 and the type of woman to get excited about surpassing 10,000 steps each day of a festival) was out till 3 each night exploring pastures new, whether that be DJ sets, discovering the existence of gypsy punk as a musical genre, or watching a sexualised acrobatic show. Eden is a place where you can be surrounded by hundreds of people completely different to you doing whatever they want to do, but you can also feel completely comfortable doing whatever you want to do.
With 9 different stages and a wide range of activities going on throughout each day - 10am yoga, an afternoon of stone carving, or learning how to make felt fairies, it's the best place to wander aimlessly about. Try a new craft, learn to juggle, amble towards some music, (amble away if you hate it), stay if you enjoy it, and if you’re still looking for something to keep you occupied, never underestimate the joy that people watching in a field that progressively looks progressively more and more like a swamp provides.
Personal Musical Highlights include:
Jazzanova: a smooth nu-jazz collective from Berlin who headlined the Devorgilla stage on Friday night,
Ezra-Collective: 1 x big fat sexy saxophonist + other sexy guitarists, trumpet players and pianists (AKA an Afro-jazz collective from North London) NeuroTrash: Featuring subcity’s Patrick and Ollie – this was my first time at a Neurotrash gig & absolutely what I needed when a little bit tired and hungover on Sunday morning – best enjoyed with an overpriced cup of chai tea. GhillI Dhu Subclub take over – Some may argue 5 hours of techno is a bit too much, usually I’d agree, but take subclub residents into an exotically decorated tent with moving speaker visuals & you’ve got the je ne sais quoi accompaniment that 5 hours of techno needed. Lost Disco: Though occasionally drowned out by the thundering tones of Voltans Psychedelic Temple, this place played some 10/10 disco and also has a flashing disco floor, which is a really great space to play noughts and crosses on. Alice Russell: soulful jazz to provide the final live music on Saturday night. Beautiful voice. Amazing play suit. Boney M: I had to go home early so missed the festival highlight, but Rose has confirmed that Boney M were 'great'.
All in all, if this year's weather conditions couldn't dampen the spirits of Eden, nothing can.
Roll on next year.
Words and Images by: Laura Williams
Listen at: subcity.org/shows/morningbreath