Audio Soup warms the soul
As festival season begins to wind down, the last of this year’s revelers flock to the south east of Scotland for Audio Soup. Now in its third year the festival has been compared to the early days of the biggest festival in the UK: Glastonbury. Whether it’s the friendly atmosphere, the people or the music, one thing is for sure, Audio Soup is definitely making a name for itself in the UK festival scene. Setting off from Edinburgh the sun is shining through the clouds until you get caught in the only rain shower of the weekend and get everything soaking wet before you have even left, welcome to festival season in Scotland…
Arriving fashionably late on the Friday evening everything is well and truly under way. The band on the main stage echo around the valley and further into the site bass rumbles from the three dance tents situated next to the campsite, it’s time to get down and dirty. First stop is the Joint Ventures Hi-Fi marquee. These guys are from the Borders and it’s nice to see friendly faces and of course a rather nice sound system in the corner blasting out some great music. The atmosphere in the tent is brilliant, happy and people are ready for a good time.
Awakening after a solid 2 hour sleep (that’s good at a festival) it’s time to start day two… Venturing further than the dance tents today it’s time to see the other gems that Audio Soup has to offer. One of the biggest stars of the weekend is the Beat-Root Cafe. Here you sit back on the hay bales with a coffee you’ve bought from the bar and watch the second act of the day, Lethalize, performing on the stage. These rockers are certainly what a lot of people were looking for as evidenced by the crowd that their sound has pulled into the tent. After lazing around for a couple of hours, you decide it’s time to be active and explore a bit more. Passing the main stage local lads Easter Street are playing a set and gathering a crowd in the wind, sounding great despite the weather.
Once they have finished, you move on, pulled towards the Thistly Cross bar lurking in the trees by some unseen force, probably thirst. Opposite the bar is a slightly more forested area, littered with hammocks and benches (all of which were built in the week leading up to the festival). Unfortunately, these are all taken so it’s back to the bar with you. Whilst enjoying a pint and people watching, you hear a strangely familiar tune suddenly blast from behind. Turning around, you see something that perfectly sums up boutique festivals: a group of women you’d seen earlier wearing burlesque dresses are now doing the can-can in the middle of the bar area. This was probably not scheduled, looking around everybody else seems as surprised as you are. After a few minutes they finish, and are given heaps of applause from a surprised and amused audience.
Back in the Joint Ventures marquee, the roof is really being blown off by the crowd. Looking up you see something peculiar – there’s a vegetable attached to one of the plastic bars. It’s a leek. A leek in the roof. Shaking your head, you climb the hill to The Wub Hut. After a few hours of dancing that would even embarrass your dad, you head to bed. There’s still one more day!
It’s time for one last adventure. Coming across a bonfire with logs positioned around it for sitting, feeling a bit drained it’s time to move one to a comfortable angle. As the sun goes down, listening to the flames, chatting to others who’ve joined you about their exploits this weekend. Some of your neighbours appear, and you’re reminded the festival isn’t over yet. Back at the main stage, The Banana Sessions have appeared. They haven’t played here in a few years so it’s a nice surprise. Pretty soon, what had been a fairly sleepy atmosphere has transformed into one of the liveliest moments you’ve seen this weekend.
Mutley’s Crepes are still open, they haven’t seen them closed all weekend. The staff have been there all day, serving crepes and tequila to the weary travellers. Once refuelled, it’s on to the Beat-Root Cafe. This is definitely the heart of the party, the crowds seem to trying to shelter from the weather. Jamie & Shoony really get everyone going and the tent is jumping. They must have predicted this because they’ve brought CDs with them, the crowd have clearly received them well because just about everyone you see is clutching one.
Clutching a hot coffee, you and your friends eventually head back towards the campsite. The food stalls have shut, although there’s a lot of music and noise coming from the back of the Moroccan stand. The festival ground is eerie now, the pounding bass replaced with a low murmur from the sparse herd making its way towards the tents. It’s a lot colder than it has been at any other point this weekend so you’re very relieved to get into your sleeping bag.
Thankfully the wind has died down a lot by the time you wake up in the late morning. Many tents have already disappeared, taken either by their owners or the wind. The sun’s come out one last time, bathing the now calm glen in a warm light. As you take your tent down, the sea of people dissipates until only the Audio Soup crew are left, beginning the unforgiving process of taking down the last major festival of the season. Packing things into your car, and passing any food you can find onto some of the kind crew you made friends with along the way.
It was time to ask other festival goers what they thought of Audio Soup:
“Lush green setting of East Lothian, with a peep at the coast, gives Audio Soup a beautiful backdrop for a unique, independent festival. Audio Soup manages to blend a mix between acoustic, rock and EDM. Technicolour ravers mix freely with the muted tie-dies of the organic hippies. The food is second only to the music, with great veggie food at the Beat-Root Cafe.”
We couldn’t of put it better ourselves.
Until next festival season…
Kyle & Oscar