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.

 

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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!

SGP 2015: Second Wave Of Artists Announced

 

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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

 


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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).