Dates: 6th - 9th June 2019
Location: Raehills Meadows, Scotland
The Eden Festival, a family friendly affair that offers multiple small stages and not too many people, (about 7000), has its roots in the Wickerman Festival. Originally set up as the ‘Eden Zone’ in 2002, it wasn’t until 2009 that it became an event unto itself. Co-ordinated almost entirely by young people from the area, they curate a program that showcases both big names and new talent in the industry, drawing people from all over the country and of all ages.
The Wickerman Festival, affectionately dubbed ‘Scotland’s alternative music festival’, was set up in 2001. With a strong ethos towards supporting local acts and businesses, they also had a firm belief in the involvement of young people from the area, in every aspect of the event. From this, the Eden Zone was born, which was entirely run by people under the age of 17 (with a little help from some more experienced hands…). This turned into such a success that in 2009, they were able to branch off and expand in their own right, creating the Eden Festival.
Since then, they have further propelled the participation and contribution from youths to the festival, starting projects to find new talents both locally and further afield – from lighting and sound to music and performance. They also have a steadfast commitment to the environment; constantly searching for ways to reduce energy use, or find a greener source, as well as counting their carbon footprint and planting trees to offset it.
Being a boutique festival, they have eleven different stages, which feature a range of some of the industry’s bigger stars to the new figures on the scene. Reggae, Traditional, Ska, Swing, Balkan, Hip Hop, Folk, Classical, Rock, Blues, Bluegrass, Rocakbilly, Electro…. the list goes on. Having multiple stages allows them to offer such a wide range of genres, and at the same time ensuring that those lesser known bands, as yet undiscovered, will be sure of appreciative and diverse audiences.
Well in advance, they also work closely with artists, both locally and nationally, in order to create a setting that is filled with visual stimulation. The thought and time that goes into these installations is extraordinary, and a reflection of the dedication to the festival and their ethos. For example, one year they created a giant tortoise shell stage out of 30 sitka spruce trees – and walking around, you might also find glass snowdrop flowers, metal sculptures, carefully carved wooden mushrooms or a range of willow tunnels – spurring your imagination on at every opportunity. With a yearly theme also, festival goers are encouraged to reciprocate the inventive mind-set with fancy dress.
They have an enthusiastic children’s arena, where just as much time and energy is expended on their amusement – with themes, workshops, activities and so much more. They even have a special Toddler’s Dome for smaller babies – with specially geared entertainment to suit their slightly different needs.
The Dumfries and Galloway area in which the festival takes place is a stunning part of Southern Scotland. The site was chosen with accessibility in mind, and is an easy place to reach. When considering your accommodation for the weekend, you’d be wise to pick some luxury camping. Glamping at the Eden Festival is an affordable treat that is well worth the decision. Why worry about bringing your own tent and packing all the bits and bobs that go with it, when you can just rock up to your own perfectly prepared bell tent?