Secret Garden Party Festival: Some not-so Secret Guidelines…

Nudity, fancy food, spinning skull boatmen… just some of the delights that await you upon entrance to the magical world that is the Secret Garden Party. Not so much a secret any more, the festival – which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2012 – has seen a huge upsurge in popularity these past few years. As regular ‘Gardeners’, we at FAULT have taken it upon ourselves to compile this short guide to a festival which, this year, saw the likes of Orbital, Little Dragon and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros rock our proverbial socks enough to shake them free of our wellies (and traipse gleefully through fields of muddy, musical gold).

SGP celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2012 – long may it continue

Secret Garden Party is a festival like no other – despite the huge number of also-rans it seems to have spawned in recent times – insofar as the music, however stellar the artists may be, will always be secondary to the overall festival vibe: laid back and unpretentious while sporting a healthy dose of unreality. In fact, upon first sight SGP can seem as though you’ve plunged head-first into the Rabbit Hole. But relax; we’ve sacrificed ourselves at SGP’s altar of otherworldly delights to bring you these creeds on how to optimize your gardening experience…

For the geeks out there, casual mythological references abound. The Charon Zoetrope was designed by Peter Hudson and also made an appearance at the legendary Burning Man Festival last year.

There is literally no point trying to pack according to predicted weather. You will have rain, you may well have sun, there will be plenty of grey… it is even possible that snow could hit. So as groups of little boys and girls once said: Be Prepared.

Try and make the headliners at the Great Stage. At any other festival, this would be a given. Not so SGP, where frolicking through the myriad fields and undiscovered tents tends to reign supreme. Despite these temptations, the main stage should still be a must. The unique and very well done lasers cast an impressive backdrop (reflected again in the lake) around the eclectic and kooky choices of lineup.

Contradict the above (!). Don’t be surprised if one of the intimate, partially hidden stages around the camp entices you away from your pilgrimage route towards the big bands. This is not something to regret, you will probably have an amplified participatory experience…!

Guess the last letter?

Bring at least 4 packs of Berocca for the morning after…

Allow a LARGE budget for food. The Secret Garden Party selection is nothing short of Michélin worthy (indeed many of the food retailers have won festival prizes for their fare).

Apportion a large portion of this budget to Chai Tea. A hippy favourite, once you have your first cup you will be hooked, and many a festival memory (or it’s resulting hangover) can be made sweeter the next day with one of these steaming beauties in your hands.

Start your stockpiling of fancy dress now for 2013. Every look works, the more the better. There is simply no such ‘too much’.

Either some finely toned buttocks or a heart. Either way: beautiful.

– Commandeer a space, a yurt or patch of ground (as you will) and Own It. Invite people in or watch them crash in themselves. During a festival everyone is looking to escape, and from this kind of vantage point you can observe the even more hilarious pursuit of people looking for repose from their repose.

Care for your sick – tuck up that friend who went a little too far last night into their sleeping bag, kiss them sloppily and zip up their tent door. Then go and make stories to tell them once they wake up.

Be prepared to lose the people you arrived with at least twice a day. There is no real remedy for this; you’re just gonna end up with many new friends.

Always wander into new places. If a tent catches your attention, go in. If a person looks at you, kiss them. This kind of attitude is what makes SGP so liberating.


Get your early bird tickets by placing a deposit for SGP 2013 NOW. Or risk missing out on possibly the best UK festival since Glasto became awful – your choice! :)

P.S: Here’s a naked guy