Originally an off-shoot of the Wickerman Festival, Eden has blossomed and bloomed over the years to become a sparkling event in its own right. A testament to the enthusiasm and commitment of the local community, Eden is largely organised, managed, crafted, painted, sculpted and performed by the good people of Dumfries and Galloway.
Eden Festival is an energetic and vibrant independent boutique festival showcasing young up-and-coming musical talent (from the local area and beyond), as well as more established artists. Set in the stunning Raehills Meadows and hosting over 250 acts across 9 different stages, including a kids arena, circus tent, drive-in cinema, comedy, cabaret and workshops, as well as a feast of performers, artworks, games and much, much more.
How about sitting in a vintage car or bus whilst watching a drive-in movie, or swinging in a hammock to a soundtrack of acoustic vibes? You’ll find all this and more, bundled into a brilliant weekend of fun and great Scottish hospitality. And to top it all, ‘wee bairns’ under 12 years are free
Musical Maestros Eden Festival’s playlist includes a multicultural melting pot of hip hop, dance, RnB, acoustic, soul, funk, dubstep, disco, dancehall, electronica, ska, pop, African dance, jungle, balkan beat, drum & bass, Ceilidh and more. Headliners for 2015 include The Cat Empire, Ms Dynamite and Grand Master Flash. Other live acts appearing are Quantic, Aphrodite, The Skints, Submotion Orchestra, Portico, Ghetto Funk Label Party and Alpines.
Featured fun There’s all manner of shindigs and shenanigans afoot, including the perennial favourite: the Colour Fight, inspired by the Holi celebration in India where a kaleidoscope of colours of the rainbow are splattered everywhere. Wear old clothes and expect colourful chaos!
The Zones Devorgilla Open Air Stage, a mighty hand built tortoise shell stage that hosts the festival’s headline acts; Shellycoat Kids Tent, for free arts, crafts, performance, forest skills and play from 9am to 8pm daily; Spinning Jenny’s Circus Skills; Furry Chillum Cocktail Bar for acoustic, brass, swing, ska, reggae, plus vintage cabaret troup Les Amis D’Onno; Rabbie’s Tavern, an auld Scottish bar selling local hooch with live bands and a traditional Scottish ceilidh each night; Ghilli Dhu Dance Emporium; Voltan’s Psychedelic Temple, a florescent utopia showcasing psychedelic electronic music; The Vishnu Lounge, the place to hang out in hammocks; The Lost Disco, outdoor dancing; Casa Caliente, spoken word and workshops with cosy carpets and cushions; Bear Club Soundsystem, a crazy mix of carving wood and crafting beats; Cycle Powered Reggae Stage; Barry’s Bandwagon; Melodrome Theatre hosts theatre shows, comedy, impromptu music and all sorts of quirky entertainment, Hum Drum Club by night; Drive-In Cinema, where your seat is on a bus, car, boat or truck; Woodland Area; The Boardwalk Stage, an island of Phat beats in the trees.
- Weekend outdoor events for children include dedicated forest skills activities, water fun and games, treasure hunts, parachute games, and the ever popular end of festival Kids parade.
- Workshops for children to make pirate flags, fish masks, scuba packs and much more. The Forest Skills team will be leading woodland crafts and bush craft skills, including campfire cooking and herb walks, and making jewellery, nature art and willow crafts.
- The Toddlers Dome has a host of books, toys and dressing up and on Saturday you can seek out clues for the lost treasure and on Sunday the kids will claim the festival site as their own, when they make some noise on the colourful parade.
- The newly opened woodland play area has stunning trails, as well as den building, wood work and forest skills, marsh mallow toasting, damn building and ‘kick the can’. There will be also be beautifully lit up forest walks with swing seats and boardwalks.
- New to the garden this year is a story-telling marquee, outside arena and a Parents Space, which will include sessions such as birth stories, breastfeeding support and peaceful parenting.
- The marquee will host creative dance and yoga, puppet shows and song time for babies and toddlers. There will also be storytelling workshops by a published children’s author and illustrator.
Chill Out Time For chillaxing, there is the healing area, beautiful green spaces to soak up the sun (here’s hoping), and babbling brook you can dip your toes in – or if you’re feeling brave, take the plunge and swim. The Healing Field has every therapy imaginable, including some free ones: Aromatherapy, Bowen Technique, Craniosacral Therapy, Crystal Therapy, Eden Energy Medicine, Indian Head Massage, Kinesiology, Osteopathy, Reflexology, Reiki, Sports and Remedial Massage, Swedish Massage, Shiatsu, Tanta Massage, Thai Body Massage, and Thai Foot Massage. There’s also a manmade sauna and hot tubs where you can sip champagne. For a little soothing background music, check out the Vishnu lounge, where you can listen to acoustic sounds from the comfort from hammocks and sunken baths.
Dining Tables Foodie delicacies are all locally sourced. For a real gourmet splurge, try the three-course Boathouse Banquet, with complementary glass of fizz. £27 per person, vegetarian and vegan options.
THE PRICE TAG Full Weekend Adult, £99, 13–17 years £75, 12 and under free
*** Want to see more family-friendly festivals for 2015. Check out our 12 We Love… Summer Festivals round-up ***