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Hearts on Fire: The Final Secret Garden Party

It’s a moody evening in late July. An ominous grey storm cloud looks fit to burst above the already waterlogged landscape of Abbots Ripton. Tents – both those belonging to campers and ones housing DJs, bands and bars – are laden with the intermittent downpour of the past three days. But, among some 30,000 revellers stretched across every corner of the Secret Garden Party – damp with rain, covered in paint and cast with mud – there isn’t a single downcast spirit in sight, despite the glistening, beglittered eyes everywhere.

Because, as the Secret Garden Party swung open its gates for one final, triumphant get-together, a kindling of intimacy and energy, kinship and community caught blaze in the hearts of its revellers. It was beautiful and bittersweet; a heartfelt, hedonistic reverie brimming with pain and gratitude, like embracing a close friend about to set off for a long time.

It was an ending – and we all came together to make sure it would be remembered forever, weather be-damned.

Since its inception in 2004, SGP (as it’s fondly known by its devotees) has grown from a one stage, 1,000 person festival to a 15 stage, 30,000-person extravaganza. Thinking back, its genesis came at a time that seems alien now: before smartphones, before social media and before anyone had ever paired the words ‘boutique’ and ‘camping’ together. Along the way, it hasn’t lost a jot of the frontier spirit and independent ethos that set it sharp against the grain of mainstream UK festivals.

From its burn-the-house-down traditions, to its eclectic-yet-understated lineup, every element has been carefully considered to create a chaotic, exuberant festival overflowing with energy and joie de vivre. Except, in the organiser’s eyes, this isn’t a festival at all; it’s a party. With that firmly in mind, we chose to forgo pulling out the highlighters and painfully scheduling our days. In fact, we didn’t look at a programme once the whole weekend, choosing instead to follow our eyes and ears and let the flow of the crowd and word on the grapevine carry us from stage to stage.

 

SGP #secret #garden #party #sgp #fireworks #metronomy #light #show

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As party plans go it was second to none; as review strategies go, it left something to be desired. Our memories are fuzzy at best. We can’t tell you everything we watched. We can’t tell you how incredible Metronomy were. We think Crystal Fighters were pretty great, but we can’t be sure. We were AWOL for Toots & the Maytals, and our editor lost three hours of party time when he passed out in a portaloo.

But, just like the sun breaking through, there are moments no amount of alcohol could cloud. At the Lost Woods, Maribou State lit up the crowd with an extended mix of Jungle’s time that could have carried on forever, and Sam Goku dropped a Greg Wilson remix of Grandbrother’s ‘Ezra Was Right’ – a groove so powerful the trees started shaking their leaves. The Palais De Boob provided a perfect setting for ecstatic singalongs to ‘Like a Prayer’ and ‘Unwritten’, and Craig Richards made 5am at The Drop feel like the start of the night when he revived tired legs with thick, boisterous cuts of techno like Helena Hauff’s ‘C45p’ and Luca Lozano’s ‘End of Line’. We’ll remember there’s no better cure for a hangover than diving into a lake, no better comic relief than drag race at The Lido and no better feeling than 30,000 people cheering in unison as fireworks light up the night sky. And yes, we’ll remember falling flat on our faces down The Drop, and waking up in a tent better described as a puddle of mud.

On Saturday night, everyone gathered together by the main stage to watch the mansion go up in flames. After being set alight, it burned away to reveal a heart on fire hiding within: just like this heart – which burned defiantly for the rest of the weekend – the final edition of the Secret Garden Party will shine brightly in the hearts and memories of everyone who attended, for a very long time.

There’s no festival quite like the Secret Garden Party. We won’t forget you any time soon.

 

Secret Garden Party 2017 Warmup Party

It might be the last Secret Garden Party this year but that doesn’t mean they’re not getting the party started right for one last party.

On Sunday 7th of May, SGP is presenting they official ‘Pagoda x Labyrinth Warm Up Party’. The one off party will pay tribute to the decadent spirit of NYC’s Studio 54, it is set to take place on Sunday 7th May at Mick’s Garage, Hackney Wick, East London, from Midday- 11 pm.

On that day you’ll be transported back to the glitz and glamour of New York’s Studio54. Recreate this hedonistic and stylish era by donning your finest Disco wear to truly feel like a ‘Native New Yorker.’

The Secret Garden Party proudly presents a one-off warm up Pagoda x Labyrinth Party in anticipation of this summer’s final big send off.

You can expect to see some of the best DJ’s London has to offer and the full lineup to be announced soon.

Knowing the SGP organisers, the warm-up party is sure to be a great one! Info below:

Sunday, May 7th
Mick’s Garage Hackney Wick
Midday – 11pm. Line up TBA but expect friends & family of the Pagoda & Labyrinth.
Tickets on sale now!

https://www.facebook.com/events/118112005399689

Tickets for Secret Garden Party 2017 are on sale at tkt.to/sgp2017

Secret Garden Party second wave lineup announced

This year, our FAULT Favourite Festival ‘Secret Garden Party’ is back with a clear message to the fame worshipping and excluding masses, “bore off, we all run this town!”

This summer the Secret Garden Party invites all into the most inclusive VIP-LOL-OFF for their 15th SGP ever themed – “Sweet Dreams. Are made of these? And who are we to disagree…”

It’s no surprise that we LOVE attending SCP each year and would likely still attend even if the lineup wasn’t to our taste but time and time again they have filled their lineup with FAULT Favourite bands and this year is no exception.

FAULT Favourites Crystal Fighters, Metronomy Toots & The Maytals Wild Beasts, Peaches, Ray Blk, Honne and Jagwar Ma are just a few names from the perfect line up to get the secret party started right!

See the full lineup below alongside booking info and we look forward to seeing you all down there 20th-23rd July 2017.

Rystal Fighters / Metronomytoots & the Maytals/wild Beasts / Peaches / Ray Blk / Honne / Jagwar Ma

Rejjie Snow / Jeremy Loops / Tom Misch / Akala / Jorja Smith /  Fickle Friends / Bonzai /the Moonlandingz / Deap Vally / All Them Witches /  Kate Nash / Jain / Pumarosa / Zak Abel  / Will Joseph Cook / Tom Grennan / Mabel / Etta Bond / Be Charlotte / Toothless / North Downs / Let’s Eat Grandma / Seramic / Charlotte Oc / Laurel / Aine Cahill / Cosmo Sheldrake / Mont Jake

Tickets for Secret Garden Party 2017 are now on sale at: tkt.to/sgp2017

The Secret Garden Party announces Theme for 2016

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The Secret Garden Party presents…The Gardeners Guide to the Galaxy. To all first-timers, this isn’t the typical rooftop, beers all round knees up that you may spring to mind. No, this is Secret Garden Party revolution at its best! (Why else would we religiously attend!?)

They are back in 2016 with another annual arts and music extravaganza but this time there’s a twist! With the help of science fiction and inspiration of Arthur C Clarke, Azimov, Philip K Dick and Douglas Adams they are going to grow your imaginations from childish roots up into something more.

 

The instalment scheme is now on sale; with even more options. To help those Gardeners, who prefer to spread the cost of their tickets, there are two types of instalment plans now available for adult tickets.

For these tickets, visit www.secretgardenparty.com for more mud, music and entertaining madness!

FAULT Magazine attends The Secret Garden Party 2015!

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Our FAULTless long-time readers will no doubt know that FAULT look forward to attended Secret Garden Party each and every year and we have never before been disappointed. Unsurprisingly, we once again travelled up to Abbots Ripton for the annual festival of wonders and we are proud to announce that we once again had an amazing weekend at the festival. This year’s theme was ‘back to school’ and while most rainy school days were spent in-doors watching ‘Lady and the Tramp’ on VHS and a selection of dusty puzzles missing more than just a few pieces; we weren’t to be deterred by a bit of drizzle so we ventured out to make the most of the magical weekend.

You would be forgiven by thinking there was a step back from the “larger names” in music from 2014. Last year’s lineup included legends such as – Public Enemy and Martha Reeves who are already international stars and recognisable by music lovers young and old. Even the more contemporary Foxes was and is becoming a widely known name amongst popular music fans. However we would argue that this year’s lineup is not a step back, but if anything, befitting the theme ‘back to school’. We too ventured out to the festival knowing less acts by name than last year proving that even we were in need of some much needed music education from the head gardener but we were willing and ready to accept.

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That being said the great stage did not disappoint this year! Arriving on Friday we just caught FAULT Favourite Lianne La Havas making her appearance on ‘The Great Stage’. Belting out tracks from her latest album ‘Blood’, the crowds truly went wind. However Lianne wasn’t the only act to pack the stage area despite the downpour. Kate Tempest, Service Public Broadcasting, Jack Garratt also had the crowd screaming and headliners Jungle played us into a night of whimsy.

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If you’ve ever been to SGP you’ll no doubt know that when the great stage ends, the night truly begins! New to this year, SGP introduced it’s 24 hour stage in ‘Toad Hall’  which had the tunes rocking all night. After making the rounds from to ‘The Drop’, Labyrinth, Little Horrors, Gay Bar and all the other famous SGP haunts, we ended our night lindy-hopping inside The Living Room tent. It must be said that this was our favourite music tent this year. Introducing us to so many fantastic previously unknown artists.

Of course the daytimes aren’t all about nursing hangovers – SGP and their sale partners also offered a large range of funky stalls to be explored. They have a kid’s area for gardeners who decided to bring their children along for a slice of the magic. Also present was Blue Tit salons who were providing festive hair cuts and trimming. It’s always great to see boutique salons were getting down with the experience.

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Saturday evening gardeners were treated to an amazing fireworks display overhead. Like seriously, it was amazing. The evening sky lit up and much like the joy we experienced in our school days, we all cheered forgetting the rain of the night before and the tough mud beneath our feet and just got into it. There’s nothing like a few lights in the sky to start off another great night. Honne, Temples and The Cat Empire took to the main stage this day and it was another awesome night of music and partying with our fellow gardeners.

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On the third day, most pulled themselves form their tents to taste the last bit of magic in the air. The main stage was rife with great acts this day such as Lail Arad,  Caravan Palace and the legendary Pluto Shervington. Gentleman’s Dub Club took to the stage after years playing at various other smaller tents and pulled off a great performance. Their excitement spilled out into the crowd and energised their stage presence – it was great to see that they had finally earned their stripes and proved that they could take on a feat such as a large festival stage.

Photo: Miles Holder

Photo: Miles Holder

Of course we stuck around for the paint fight – the annual event which takes place at the festival. Paint was flung out, laughs were had and for another year running we licked our painted wounds (not advisable) as The Correspondents took to the stage followed by Roots Manuva, David Rodigan and leading us into the evening was electro 6-piece Caravan Palace.

All good things must come to an end and the annual burning of the monument was upon us. Battered by rain and weary from traipsing through thick and wet mud for 2 days straight we mustered together all the energy we had left for one last magical evening.

Another year and another successful SGP conquered, we are eagerly awaiting news on next years theme! We’ll no doubt be there for another weekend of glory.

SECRET GARDEN PARTY 2015: LINEUP ANNOUNCED

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By now you’ll no doubt know that the FAULT team are huge fans and frequent attendees of the annual Secret Garden Party. If not for the good vibes, open air art displays, epic powder-paint fights and unforgettable (never regrettable) festival nights, we’re also always excited to hear which artists will be performing each year.

SGP have just announced its first wave of artists hitting the festival for 2015. The list includes the likes of Jungle (who will be touring early 2015), Mercury Prize nominated poet Kate Tempest and the electro swing band Caravan Palace.

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Along with these growing household names, they have also announced that rising stars Jack Garratt and Marika Hackman are also confirmed along with Flyte, Iyes, Jagaara, Elder Island and Menace Beach. As with all years, we always come home with (slightly scruffy) notepads full of new artists we’ve fallen in love with, so we have no doubts in our mind that these lot will deliver.

This year’s theme is ‘Childish Things’, this ambiguous theme should be enough to get your creative minds flowing! Remember, once the thought of adults letting loose and remembering that they’re human was once considered a ‘childish thing’. How naive we all were.

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SGP kicks off from July 23rd-26th 2014 so ready your fancy dress, stock check your Chai Tea, freshen up on our SGP SOME NOT-SO SECRET GUIDELINES and get involved!

Get your tickets for Secret Garden Party 2015 Here
Once again SGP are also operating a deposit scheme that allows you to pay for half of your ticket now and the other half any time before 31st May 2014. (Please remember that if you do not pay the balance by 31st May 2014 you will not get a refund).

FAULT Online @ Secret Garden Party 2014

 


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In 2004, The Secret Garden party launched, pulling a crowd of 1000 human souls looking to hear some good music and feel good vibes. Fast forward ten years and now the festival draws in many more revellers seeking to forget the everyday rat race and just let go. This year even Prince Harry couldn’t resist seeing what the festival had to offer, adding  royalty to the already wonderfully diverse crowd in attendance.

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This year boasted arguably SGP’s most impressive line-up in terms of musical acclaim. Some FAULT Favourite artists – , Foxes, The Correspondents and Cherub were all performing on The Great Stage this year so naturally we were very happy (and a little smug) to see that someone out there agrees with us!

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Foxes

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Foxes

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Mr Bruce from The Correspondents

It was also great to see so many young people appreciating the music of Martha Reeves, Ken Boothe, The Dub Pistols, as well as the show-stopping performance by hip-hop legends Public Enemy.

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The Dub Pistols

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Flavor Flav of Public Enemy

 

It must be said that, unlike other music festivals where it’s all about who you see, at SGP it’s just as much about what you see. A secret sunflower meadow sat hidden behind a portaloo door and an epic dance battle held within the confines of an openair boxing ring were just some of the great amenities that sets SGP apart from so many other British music festivals.

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All in all, it’s great to see what SGP has become in the last ten years. While, like any popular festival, there seems to be an increasing number of annoying ‘lads on tour’ and ‘suns out, guns out’ vest-wearers flocking down each year, something about SGP allows you to show acceptance and tolerance towards everybody and just shrug it off. And, if non-violent appreciation isn’t your thing, you can always revel in the glow of the annual burning ceremony in the lake, where one of the floating marvels from the festival is purged by fire in the name of heady summer debauchery. Rest assured – we’ll be back!

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‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’… until next year!

Words & photography: Miles Holder

Secret Garden Party 2014: Lineup Announced

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The Secret Garden Party have revealed that this year’s headline act will be hip-hop icons Public Enemy. This year the SGP team are celebrating ‘all that rejects the hyper-capitalist dream’, so the revolutionary hip-hop group armed with their politically charged songbook are a perfect match for the festival.

Joining them will be Hercules & Love Affair who will be releasing their album entitled ‘The Feast of the Broken Heart’ this May. Loyal FAULT readers will by now know that we are regular ‘Gardeners’ and already prepared for this year’s theme ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’. Outdoing Flavor Flav’s patented clock-necklace won’t be easy, but dammit we’re gonna try!

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SGP kicks off from July 24th-27th 2014 so ready your fancy dress, stock check your Chai Tea, freshen up on our SGP SOME NOT-SO SECRET GUIDELINES and get involved!

Get your tickets for Secret Garden Party 2014 HERE
Once again SGP are also operating a deposit scheme that allows you to pay for half of your ticket now and the other half any time before 31st May 2014. (Please remember that if you do not pay the balance by 31st May 2014 you will not get a refund).