The aptly named Eden Festival opened its doors to glorious sunshine on the 9th of June. Sadly the sweet weather didn’t last but that didn’t dampen people’s spirits. There was a wonderful atmosphere and everybody you spoke to was a delight. This year had the largest turnout of Eden’s seven year history , with a total of about 8000 attendees, and this was reflected by one of the best line-ups the festival has seen with Mr Motivator, Mungos Hi-fi, Craig Charles, Gentleman’s Dub Club and the John Langan Band just to name a few. The festival was fabulously decorated with intricate detail, and prides itself in being artistically lavish. There were many stages, with a wide variety of atmospheres and musical genres, ranging from Psytrance to Reggae to Dub.
However, the festival also offered an impressive selection of activities besides music. You could sit in one of the cosy cars at the drive in cinema and immerse yourself in a movie, go for a spin on the big wheel, find inner tranquillity with mindfulness and yoga workshops or sit back and relax in the steamy sauna.
The festival was off to a strong start immediately with King Eider at the main stage around mid-day who played a charming set . It was at times energetic and upbeat however also adversely calming and gentle. They had soothing harmonies and a typical Celtic feel expressed especially by the violinist.
Cosmo Sheldrake was a true manipulator of eclectic sounds and a great traditional folk singer, with a dreamy tone similar to Joe Newman from Alt-J. Cosmo combined these talents to create inventive and stylistic set. He began with a few avant-garde originals in which he harmonised himself with his own vocal samples, created drums and even a trumpet with his mouth and all with a Mida recorder. He later progressed to some of his own published work, the standouts being: ‘The Moss’; a rhythmical alluring masterpiece with a deep melody; and ‘Profusely’; a rendition of sweet dreamy vocal cuts and quality production.
Gentleman’s Dub Club graced the stage later that night with a high-energy performance. Their trumpets conveyed a bluesy/dub feel, that was complemented by their deep melodies. Their baseline invigorated the soul an connected the audience with the music.
On Saturday afternoon Mr Motivator took to the stage with some strong words of encouragement. For sure, it was certainly motivating from start to finish, his upbeat optimism was infectious there was large audience participation. Arms were flying, whoops were given- everybody loved it! Soon after followed the chaotic paint fight. An exhilarating experience- with paint was flying everywhere, the only thing that could have made it better was more paint!
The London Afrobeat Collective’s set was smooth, jazzy and tranquil. Their relaxing trumpets made your mind wander. It had a nice tropical and funky feel to it with uplifting major chords and strong vocals. To balance the performance it was climactic and had a nice variety of drum patterns.
Glasgow-based Mungos-Hifi delivered a upbeat and invigorating set. With deep powerful baselines and reggae vocals- it was electric excellence. Their songs had top notch sound engineering with lovely percussion and bass lines. Despite being slower than most party music, it was great to dance to.
Craig Charles funk and soul set was certainly one to remember. He played to, what must have been one of the most packed tents at the festival and got everybody moving. Believe the hype; Craig Charles is a fantastic DJ and was a highlight of Eden this year.
Overall Eden was a wondrous weekend, a great combination of well known acts and some lesser know gems. The crowd are famously friendly and you can rest easy knowing that your tent is safe and won’t for example be burned; as seen at previous years of T in the Park. This inviting festival caters for everybody’s needs, boasting a strong variety of activities for adults and children. Starting early and lasting all day and deep into the night there is truly something for everybody here. GIGsoup would certainly recommend this quality weekend to anybody who loves music.
This Eden Festival article was written by Ruaridh Fleck, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson.