This was my first family festival and my first time at Eden so apart from the wet weather that was forecast I really didn’t know what to expect! I am very pleased to say that it wasn’t a total washout, the weather never putting put a dampener on the fun and the festival itself was absolutely brilliant.
We were camped up the Artist’s campsite, which was probably the furthest walk from the main stage and also the most unkempt part of the site. Every other campsite that I visited was much nicer and flatter and an easy walk down into the main area. They all had plenty of water taps for use and were serviced by reasonable dirt roads which managed to maintain their integrity even with the damp weather. I am not saying that there wasn’t plenty of mud the first couple of days, especially down at the main arena, but it was manageable and there was a lot less than I was expecting. Aye, wellies are a must, like, at a Scottish festival – but no need for waders!
Eden is a great site for camping no matter the weather. All of the facilities were actually great, and way better than anything I have ever experienced at a larger festival. Toilets were regularly cleaned, showers were good, and food was delicious at a number of the stands that I tried, especially ‘The Italian Kitchen,’ whose pizza’s saved my life! There was even a sauna for those who wanted to completely unwind.
Eden is a family festival so they have put the emphasis on trying to make sure there is plenty for everyone to do. You don’t have that rushing from stage-to-stage felling to catch the must-see act, its more about taking your time and enjoying the full experience. I saw some very touching moments with fathers in the crowd carrying their kids on their shoulders (with ear protectors of course), dancing the night away.
I was speaking with a couple of parents and aunties about their experience ,who also said that they absolutely loved it. There was loads of things for the kids to do, but it was all about showing them that they can be free and enjoy themselves outside alongside parents who did not have to worry about them constantly.
I don’t know if it was the size, location or type of festival, but at Eden I ever met any ‘idiots’ the whole weekend. No one was completely off their face or falling about, you were even allowed to take your own alcohol into the main area – I would not like to think how that would of worked out at a T in the Park or something similar!
There were a few different stages throughout the site with a number of acts on all day. I spent a lot of time at the Mainstage where most of the headliners were. Chineseman took the roof off on the Friday night and really made the place come alive. We then went on to the ‘Snake Pit’ to dance the night away till the wee small hours. In the pit you had two main tents which were banging all night, with a variety of DJ’s playing. My personal favourite was Optimo on the Saturday night who were different class!!
For those who preferred a slightly slower pace you could walk through to the Lost Disco which was pumping out the tunes ’till late, or for those in the know you could wander on to the Thunderdome who had a variety of acts including ‘7 inch Sal & Son,’ – again very inclusive for the kids and without doubt the funniest things I saw all weekend and totally loved by the kids!
The weekend acts were finished off by Bombskare, who brought their energy and touch of ska madness to ear on the mainstage. They again were absolutely brilliant and the right mix of fun and enthusiasm which summed up the full festival for me. Eden may not have had the headliners that you expect at some bigger festivals, but it had everything else and then some! The people were amazing, the site was great, the acts were brilliant, food was class, beer was reasonable, and without a doubt I had the most fun I have had in a long time. Thank you Eden for everything – one love!
Review by Mark Parker
This was my first Eden without a broken heart and the Healing preparation that I put in a week or two before, certainly was effective. I arrived with Ross on Weds Afternoon. Into the Garden and made camp backstage in the dance arena so that I could be close to the main Fire. Ernst and Heather Maxwell were both busy sawing and prepping the wood for the swanky new Camp Fire that was being planned for Thursdays festival opening. It rained till the early hours of Thursday Morning and then the Sun came out to shine. I had a good sleep and helped with breakfast in the crew kitchen.
With the Intention to bless and heal the hearts of all who visited Divines healing flames of love. The new seating arrived for the Camp Fire. While Ernst created the new caged fire. It was perfect for the main arena and would keep the Edenites warm during the coming Rainy Saturday. I also prepped the Healing Fire in the Meladrome. Alan, Lotus and Travis arrived at 6pm so both fires were covered and the gates opened at 7pm. The Festival had begun. So so many happy smiley faces flooded into the Garden. It was a beautiful Summers day and everyone was Happy. I divided my night between the two fires with time to recite a poem on The Well Happy Bands Meladrome Stage Thursday take over. Good Time.
Friday was performance day for Divine. Poetry recital in Rabbies Tavern at 6.15pm. Bowie V Prince at the lost Disco at 9pm and the Sunrise Set in The Vishnu Lounge at 4.30am. It was another lovely Sunny day. I knew it was going to be a long day so I paced myself so that I could express my creative Juices to full effect. I settled outside The 99p Tea Tent in the Sunshine and began makeup sessions. My Poetry went down a treat in Rabbies Tavern, just before the performance I met a new friend called Iona. Divine was buzzing. The lost Disco was packed for Divines Bowie and Prince set and it was beautifully received. Then it was back to fire duty till my 4.30am Sunrise set. I got into my sleeping bag at 6.30am just as Saturdays rain had started and had a deep 3 hours of sleep.
With all of my performances on the Friday/Saturday Morning now complete. The focus was completely on fire. Travis had done a brilliant job keeping the flame burning throughout the night at the Meladrome Fire, myself Alan and Ross held space at the main fire, revolving between the two for the rest of the day. with drum circles at each It was a wet Saturday, the peace and healing was profound, the Fire dried off my waterproofs and kept my drumskin tight. Eden has lots of indoor venues to protect Edenites from the elements. I returned to the main Camp Fire as Dusk made the embers and flames lick brighter. Travis was at the Meladrome fire. Divine, Ross and Alan and Ernst built the flames to a roaring blaze. I hit exhaustion at midnight and slept a rejuvenating deep sleep for 3 hours. I was back at the fire at 3am to join Alan and Ross. The rain had stopped falling and the love was huge.
My Sunday began early, at 3am I rejoined Alan and Ross at The Camp Fire. It was busy and the party was in full swing. Dawn and Sunrise were about an hour away and the transition from night time groovers enjoying the Flames Of Love to Sunday Morning counsel as I held space and grounded the Angels. By midday I hit exhaustion. but couldn’t find anywhere to settle for a power nap. I wandered round to the healing area laid down on the grass and was out like a light for an hour. I headed up to The Meladrome Fire and that would be my vantage point for the rest of the day. Building the flames and looking after the revellers. This is where well-tended fires at damp festivals are most important. I held space until midnight and then headed for my sleeping bag. It was a lovely Sunny Monday Morning when Ross woke me up to tell me that he was leaving that morning so that I would have to get the bus back on Tuesday. I helped out in the Crew Kitchen that morning, washing and scrubbing the pans. There was a crew party that night but was too tired to attend. Stretched beyond my limits I had an early night and ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz.
I packed my things and headed for the Stagecoach 101 Bus for the pleasant journey back to Aulde Reekie. Alex the Astrologer was on the bus who had been working on The Vishnu Build. I was home, back in the Divine Parlor by 5pm as process and recovery began. Divines 11th Eden with full participation. The Healing of Rae Hills Meadows and the people that will visit will happen now untill the end of time.
Divine Service To Humanity And The Festival I Love Above All Others.
Words: Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert
Photos: Jo Legg