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!


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!

SGP 2015: Second Wave Of Artists Announced




Despite this year’s ‘Childish Things’ theme, no one at FAULT HQ will be throwing his or her toys out of the proverbial pram over Secret Garden Party’s stellar line-up.


Organisers have announced a shed load more of exciting acts to join the likes of Jungle, mercury nominated Kate Tempest and electro seven-piece Caravan Palace, already playing at this year’s festival.


Among the new additions are enigmatic Australians The Cat Empire, whose heady mix of reggae; ska, Cuban salsa and pop have earned them a legion of loyal followers over here in the UK. They will be joined by their Australian brothers (and sister) in arms Angus and Julia Stone, whose most recent album was co-produced by the legendary Rick Rubin and is the highest charting by the duo to date.


Also, leading the additions are festival regulars, Public Service Enemy. The dynamic duo have made a name for themselves combining a jazzy blend of electronics and guitars with their signature vintage public service information samples, through which they attempt to ‘teach the lessons of the past through the music of the future’.


Other confirmed acts include Temples, Palma Violets, Roots Manuva, Gentleman’s Dub Club and house DJ’s Joy Orbison and Ben UFO.


Get your tickets for Secret Garden Party 2015 Here

FAULT Online @ Secret Garden Party 2014




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.


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!






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.


The Dub Pistols


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.





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!



‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’… until next year!

Words & photography: Miles Holder

FAULT Favourites: Festival Fashion giveaway!

fault - new look competition graphic

Throughout Spring and Summer, we at FAULT have been going backstage at some of the world’s biggest festivals to give you an exclusive insight into what happens behind the scenes at this Summer’s showpiece events. From SXSW in Austin, Texas (covered in-depth in FAULT Issue 18) to Sonar in Barcelona via  Glastonbury, Park Life and – very soon! – Secret Garden Party, we’ve been clocking up the miles to give you the inside track on what have undoubtedly been the best festivals of the year so far.

Amazing shot of one of the stages at Sonar Festival. Photo by contributing partner Lux & Noah

Amazing shot of one of the stages at Sonar Festival. Photo by contributing partner Lux & Noah

*Now we’re giving you the chance to WIN FREE FESTIVAL OUTFITS for the rest of the Summer season. All you have to do is pick a style you like and we’ll select 5 winners at random to receive their ideal looks by international post. Just comment on this post for a chance to win – or read below for our suggestions…*


1. NEON BOHO – the signature Glastonbury bohemian look – with a twist. SEE MORE FROM THIS STYLE

2. TROPICAL BEACH – eclectic mix of print + colour. SEE MORE FROM THIS STYLE

3. NEON BLOOM – ultra feminine florals + intense colours clashed with denim (skinny jeans/shorts). SEE MORE FROM THIS STYLE

4. MEN’s – skinny jeans, faded/acid wash denim and classic summer holiday wear. SEE MORE FROM THIS STYLE

chelsea boots - new look

Man about town? These men’s flat heel Chelsea boots offer a well-heeled look for an urban festival like Sonar. Although they look like leather, the imitation material is easier to protect than the real deal and so are perfect for wet weather events too. STYLE: MEN’S

As we all know, though, there’s so much more to a great festival experience than the music. The overall vibe of the festival is crucial –  and that starts with the people in attendance. A bad crowd can ruin a great band whereas a good crowd can turn a great performance into an incredible experience. Finding your niche in the now-overflowing festival market can be tough, and there are always exceptions to every festival ‘type’. As always, however, the great unifier at large events – from ballgowns or jeggings at a party to suits or slacks at a seminar – is usually the fashion on display.

Add a touch of bohemian elegance to any outfit with this embellished longline fringe kimono

Add a touch of bohemian elegance to any outfit with this embellished longline fringe kimono.

Showing off your sense of style suggests a sense of belonging to a particular festival crowd. Individuals tend to unite at big festivals under the banner of mutual appreciation for a certain type of experience: whether you’re a rocker at Glastonbury, a techno-head at Sonar, a hipster at SXSW or someone who really, REALLY likes dressing up at Secret Garden Party…

These real leather multi-strap boots are a stylish and practical way to complete any festival outfit. Bold enough to make a statement and tough enough to brave any mud, they're a great tent-side or city-wide option.

These real leather multi-strap boots are a stylish and practical way to complete any festival outfit. Bold enough to make a statement and tough enough to brave any mud, they’re a great tent-side or city-wide option. STYLE: NEON BOHO

Fashion is so important for turning any festival from an outdoor concert into a celebration of musical appreciation – and that is why we are so pleased to have teamed up with savvy British retailer New Look  to showcase not just the best of contemporary festival outfits but also to look back over the years at some of the most inspiring and influential festival fashion trends of the past 45 years.

Acid Wash Button Front Drawstring Denim Playsuit - new look

The denim playsuit is this season’s most versatile piece. Pair this sporty version with jelly sandals in the day, or with tan wedges and a statement necklace in the evening. STYLE: TROPICAL BEACH

Starting with the notorious ‘Summer of Love’ at Woodstock, 1969, this graphic charts the sartorial selections of festival-goers from all the major Summer stomping grounds until the present day:






“You Would Have To Be Half Mad To Dream Me Up.”

Words and Photographs by Jacob Perlmutter

1. bubbles

It’s the promise of mystery, the predictable unpredictability, the certainty of uncertainty that draws people back to music festivals each summer. And although this was my Secret Garden Party initiation, I felt sure that I knew exactly what kind of unexpectedness lay ahead.

2. dancing

3. man with beer

4. paint fight

From the get-go magical fields swept me off my feet into a profusion of curious habitats and whirling worlds. Exploring the vast yet oh-so-intimate site I zoned into the attitudes, sounds and decor of each celestial space, from the woodland Badger Field to the all-seeing Psychedelic Lighthouse, flapping majestically in the wind. There really is something for everyone here. And if you have the mental capacity, you can become just about anyone during different periods of the festival, finding different part-selves in each territory. Indeed, if you qualify as a human being rather than a human doing, this lair is for you.

5. max

6. mud wrestling

To momentarily curb the unbridled praise: the line-up was not quite up to scratch this time out, with the exception of a few left-field revelations from Bombay Royale, The Correspondents and a  wind-down performance from London Grammar, set in the mouth of the enchanted Where The Wild Things Are stage. But this place is not about the music. It’s about coming together, dancing, eating and flying; it’s about magic and self-discovery, exercising the mind and being open to whatever comes your way; for this garden party is secret, so whatever happens here, stays here.

7. dec and cat

8. merrygoround