Secret Garden Party has sadly closed its magical doors forever, but not before it threw an absolutely bananas final shindig
By: Emily Owen Instagram: @theglitterygoose
It’s safe to say we’ve only (just about) recovered from the absolute enchanting madness that was Secret Garden Party. Two weekends ago, we saw about 60,000 revellers head to the rural Cambridgeshire village of Abbots Ripton for the last EVER Secret Garden Party. We have to admit, we were pretty emotional throughout the course of the weekend. This was because the Head Gardener and the rest of the crew pulled out all the stops to make the last festival completely extraordinary. Born in 2004 out of an unabashed love for music, Secret Garden Party has turned into something so unique. There will never be another festival quite like the spell bounding Secret Garden Party. In our opinion, nothing else compares.
Even a soggy, muddy Secret Garden Party couldn’t ruin the magical, hedonistic atmosphere. Mounds of saturated, sticky brown mud and lashings of rain did not stop attendees from having the wildest time. Only at Secret Garden Party could you find festival goers rolling around and wrestling in the mud in gleeful abandon. They were determined to have ALL the fun despite the horrid weather.
A weekend of wonder and spectacle
The workers at the festival put in 150% into everything to make sure this was a memorable experience for everyone. Everywhere you walked around the site, you would find something weird, wacky and simply wonderful. This was to correlate with the theme, ‘Sweet Dreams are Made of These’. There were men on stilts dressed up as pugs and a giant fox dressed in a suit on a hill. The waterlogged Colosiliyum complete with mad activities and music until the sun came up was a firm favourite. The festival’s art installations were beyond imaginative and visionary. Where else can you simply walk through a door into a field of around 1000 sunflowers?
Abundant with a throng of stages skilfully placed throughout the estate, you were never short of stumbling upon some great music. The Drop was home to fantastic sets from Jackmaster, B.Traits, Craig Richards and Eats Everything. The woodland stage Where the Wild Things are saw acts like Bonzai and Zak Abel take to the stage. Our favourite stage of them all was the pink Palais de Boob – the stage was literally one big boob. Free the nipple indeed. It’s a very upsetting fact to think that we will never see another act play on the Great Stage again, but Crystal Fighters, Metronomy and Toots and the Maytals were perfect final headliners.
A vibrant and vivid adventure
At Secret Garden Party, the main selling point isn’t actually the music, it’s the outrageous goings on throughout the whole festival. It’s the Mermaid school down by a mini idyllic lake, the Little Gay Brother tent where absolutely anything goes (lingerie strictly encouraged), the notorious Sunday paint fight and being blessed by the wondrousness that is kale. Yep, you heard right. It’s even commonplace to see fellow attendees walking around in their birthday suits. Well, at least they saved money on outfits! Clever people.
We’re not afraid to admit that we almost very nearly cried during the Saturday night’s festivities. During an electric set from Jagwar Ma, we saw possibly the best and most magnetic fireworks show we have ever seen, followed by the famed ‘big burn’. The floating manor house stage in the middle of the lake exploded, caught fire and as it burned, a gigantic flaming heart emerged in the centre and carried on burning throughout the rest of the weekend. As they so aptly stated, ‘What will survive of us is love’.
We’ve ultimately come to the conclusion that Secret Garden Party is and will eternally be the greatest festival we have ever been to. RIP Secret Garden Party. You’ll forever be in our thoughts and memories.