With only a few hours before the Secret Garden Party opens its doors, it’s time to finish packing and think about all the wonderful things the weekend ahead will hold.
Whether rain or sunshine this is probably the most serious party you will attend this year and is definitely one of the highlights of the festival calendar.
EF has created a guide of things you should try for those lucky people going this year.
1. Check out the new stages
Every year the Secret Garden Party HQ thinks of new ways to surprise their honorary gardeners and this year is no different with brand new areas to be explored. If you find yourself in the garden this weekend you should definitely try and check out Little Horrors, which will feature Maya Jane Coles and Nocturnal Sunshine amongst other acts. To us this stage already sounds like mysterious fun so we will definitely be exploring it. Another new stage is the Psychedelia Smithsonian hosted by Eddy Temple Morris and Simone Marie from Primal Scream, which replaces the Temple of Boom. To be honest we got a little overwhelmed by the Temple of Boom this past couple of years and thought that it didn’t really fit in quite properly. The new Pyschedelia stage on the other hands sounds like the type of place you want to lose yourself!
2. Have a drink at the bar
Secret Garden Party isn’t sponsored and that is why they limit the drink you can bring. This shouldn’t make you sad and you should drink at their bar, which sits on the hill by the main stage. You should drink there with pride as all the funds go back into the festival and that means you are a contributor in what makes this festival so special.
3. Swim in the lake
There’s a lake and you can swim in it so really that is a no brainer. It’s July and it will be hot and that’s a perfect way to cool yourself down! The lake is beautiful too and usually features the festival’s centrepiece the adequately named Lake Stage. For anyone who has been to Secret Garden Party before you will know that the lake is magical and a few proposals have taken place there.
4. Become a mermaid
So you’ve done your swim and still feel like there is something missing…well you are right as this year you will be able to take part in a mermaid/man workshop and we couldn’t be more excited to fulfil this childhood dream of ours! We don’t know if the creatures of the sea will start singing around us but one thing is for sure we will be flapping our fishtail like pros!
5. Take part in the action camps
The Secret Garden Party is unlike most festivals in that it’s the participation of its festivalgoers that makes it so special. The best way to participate is to take part in the various action camps, whether you want to get married, divorced, play croquet, build a fort, take part in a mud fight or any new activities, anything and everything will be entirely up to you and you will have the honour to make this festival special all over again.
6. Play like a kid
This year’s theme is childish things so try and release your inner child. This year the festival has already announced there will be giant bouncy castles, ball pools, fort building and all sorts of exciting workshops which you can take part in or just enjoy other people make fool of themselves. Seriously though this is a place for you to do things you’ve been told you are no longer allowed to do because you are now an adult. Well screw that and throw a tantrum if you are not allowed to fulfil any of your childhood dreams.
7. Unlock the secrets
This is Secret Garden Party after all and these clever people at SGP always know how to get our curiosity going with secret venues and surprises. Last year there was the sunflower field hidden behind portaloos. There was also the giant wardrobe that led you to a winter wonderland equipped with an igloo and ice rink. This year your task will be to find the Labyrinth, a famous yet super-secret stage nicely tucked away and also the Lost Woods which will be a 24 hour party! Undoubtedly there will be more and the brave will make it their mission to find those magical places and celebrate with others who have been just as brave.
8. Dance like you never danced before
It’s a serious party and probably one of the best you will ever attend and with its many, many dance stages you will not go home unsatisfied. Whether you are dancing to a great band on the main stage or in a tree house or even for your dignity on the Dance Off, Secret Garden Party is one of the best places to ruin your dancing shoes!
9. Relax in the Sanctuary
You’ve partied all weekend and you need to wind down or you want to get all dolled up for the big night out well then you should check out the festival’s amazing sanctuary which is equipped with massage parlours, beauty salons, hot tubs and much more and all of this is around a beautiful man-made lake, which brings out the zen in most.
If you are one of the lucky ones in possession of a ticket then this weekend will be packed with surprises and many memories will be made. All of the above is at the grasp of your hand…sssshhh don’t tell anyone it’s a secret!