It’s been over 2 weeks since my first trip to the Secret Garden Party (Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire) and I’m still on the festival come-down wishing I was back at the mainstage 5ft away from Martha Reeves absolutely smashing Dancing in the Street, or drinking absinthe cocktails in the forest at 11 o’clock Sunday morning, or watching thousands of glow sticks tumbling through the sky from the back of a magical paraglider during the finale of the greatest fireworks display I’ve ever seen.
I had to stop and make sure it was real, there was a lot of that over the weekend..
“guys you’re seeing this right? Tell me you’re seeing this”.
Getting there was a ballache (2 hour queue to get a cab from the station followed by a 4 hour queue to get into the festival and only 6 beers to keep us going) But I’m sure anyone unlucky enough to be in that queue would agree that the second you entered that gate it was magical, life was good again, the past 6 hours was all a dream.
Each stage and area had it’s own combination of the weird and wonderful; The Dance Off, The Temple of Boom, The Collisillium, Where The Wild Things Are… It was like a giant playground that got better and more bizarre every day. But of all the places we found our home at the Artful Badger Woods:
“In the darkest corner of the garden lies a mysterious woodland…
here you are invited to dance with the forest and mythical beasts thought long extinct.
The pipes of the faun lure you in a trance into leafy nights of musical adventure,
occult ceremonies, animal dance, pagan circus and wild fire shows.
All attempts at escape are futile”.
We always found ourselves heading back to the badger, it was like going home at the end of a great night out.. but if your home was full of beautiful acrobatic fire-dancing woodland creatures and everyone was on acid.
I’ll keep this short and sweet, mostly due to my extreme lack of memory from the whole experience, but I will say if you’re thinking of going GO! And if you do here’s some highlights/tips from me. Happy gardening!
1. The fireworks, nothing can prepare you for the magic of the fireworks. It’s emotional.
2. The woods, if you see a light in the trees follow it, you’ll find something insane.
3. The Mainstage.. Martha Reeves, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Public Enemy, Clean Bandit,
Submotion Orchestra, King Charles. Good work SGP!
4. The Dance Off.. Boxing ring dance battles (brilliant and tragic) by day,
off the chain DJ’s by night.
5. The sky… every time I looked up something awesome was happening in the sky from passing hot air balloons to magic glow-stick paragliders to red arrows making penis shapes.
6. The art – you’re surrounded by immersive art and installation,
and you can touch everything!
6. The 24 hour bar with the sunrise crowd that refuse to go to bed because they are heroes..
and YOU ARE A HERO.
1. Book a hot tub for the last day…
a hot shower and 2 hours drinking champers in the tub will sort you right out.
1.a) don’t pass out in the forest and miss the first hour.
2. Buy a weekend pass to Pootopia and have a luxury shit whenever you want!
3.Go to science camp and scientists will tell you drugs are awesome,
or a mysterious man will put his face in your armpit and decide if he loves you.
4. However much glitter you think you’ll need, bring more.
5. Make friends with the Artful Badger.
5. Do it all, sleep rarely and ask someone for a hug on the train home.
Thank you Mike, Boe, Stacey, Daniel, Lauren, Tim, Jake, Teresa, Nanki, Callum, Drew, Sacha, Annalisa, the hot dude with the absinthe, the dancing couple from Sunday morning and anyone else we encountered.. for being fucking fabulous.
What were your SGP highlights? Tweet me at @XstaticWorld