The Secret Garden Party is set in beautiful grounds in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire every year in July.
For thousands of festival revellers, this is one of the year’s most anticipated parties and it was well worth the wait. With early bird tickets selling out a few days after this year’s festival finished, we thought we’d highlight some of the great fun we’ve had this year.
EF was there and we’ve put together our highlights of the weekend.
1. Thursday was sunny
If you were in South East England the past weekend then you will be aware of the downpour that happened on Friday but before the apocalypse the garden was still intact, green and full of vibrant summery colours. For those few that arrived on Thursday this was a real treat because it was sunny and glorious, and we enjoyed it to the fullest.
2. Friday was all about the daytime line-up
Friday may have been wet but it didn’t deter anyone from the great line-up that was on the main stages. We started the day on the main stage where we saw Jack Garratt perform his set, which attracted a big crowd. Garratt wasn’t the only one doing so, Lianne La Havas, Kate Tempest, Service Public Broadcasting and of course headliners Jungle attracted huge crowds and by the end of the night the area was absolutely rammed. Elsewhere Darwin Deez performed an entertaining set and Ben UFO / Joy Orbison took care of the party folk in the dance arena. All that contributed to making the day pretty special and we almost forget the endless rain.
3. It also rained and it was muddy
Weather-wise Friday was pretty grim, then again its an outdoor festival in the UK so you should be prepared for that possibility. However that didn’t seem to be the case for a lot of festival attendees and we were pretty amused. Wellies didn’t seem to be the first choice for festival-goers, oh no, instead why not bring your nice, clean white trainers? Or any trainers for that matter? If not you can always opt for plastic sandals and definitely flip-flops, they are appropriate for long walks in the mud! And for anyone fancying life on the edge why not try barefoot? We (the sensible shoe wearers) will be entertained.
4. Saturday was sunny and glorious
Yes sunshine was on the menu Saturday and after a continuous 15 hours of rain this seemed like a very well deserved break. Of course everyone was excited and took advantage of it by exploring the garden in more detail and noticing the things the the rain seemed to conceal. We wasted no time going to the beautiful more remote areas of the festivals where quite often the most unexpected surprises await.
5. Saturday night had the most exciting DJs
Collosillium, one of the most bonkers stages at the festival was hosted by Hospital Records and made sure any drum and bass fans got their well deserved fix. Maya Jane Coles hosted the Little Horrors stage at the festival and took on the decks in the early hours of the morning. Others that were meant to get the night going included Fake Blood, who were set to play in the Lost Woods stage but couldn’t make it but still the woods party was memorable. Who wouldn’t want to party in a giant fort in idyllic woods?
6. The Dog House tent
We discovered this tent Saturday evening and were instantly reminded why we love the Secret Garden Party so much. Tucked away between two main stages in the dance arena, the Dog House could only be accessed through (you guessed it) a small dog house. The tiny gateway led to a medium sized tent which was rammed and a hot box but this was a small price to pay for fun!
7. 24 hour stages
This year was slightly different in that SGP had a round the clock stage, the Toad Hall. This tent was very quirky and came with entertainment such as dancers and a brilliant sound system. Anyone who didn’t fancy going back to bed (there were a few) this was were you could find them partying with likeminded people. This was not for the faint hearted but certainly gave anyone in need of more boogying a place to go once the other stages had closed.
8. Beyond the dance arena
You might only think of the Secret Garden Party as a dance festival but this is simply not true and there are many other areas that deserve your attention, such as the peaceful Sanctuary where you can get a massage on a swing (as we did) or the food stalls, which offer delicious meals from grilled cheese to pulled pork and outstanding vegetarian options and even the family area which we explored this year. The Forum, Kitsch Inn and Small World stages, and the family area were a great mud-free gateway of the festival. Also we wanted to ride funky bikes, which were available there and have a glitter shower.
9. Glitter falling from the sky
The Secret Garden Party’s Saturday night is also famous for its fireworks display, which is attended by 80% of the festival near the great stage, of course this means you are confined to very little personal space however for the treat of shine lights this is a small price to pay. This year there was a glitter snow globe on site however this wasn’t enough! Oh no, SGP pulled all the stops and got glitter falling from the sky, (yes shiny, beautiful glitter) and the whole crowed was in awe!
10. The party carried on Sunday night
Anyone whose been to the festival will know that every year Sunday finishes early, generally around 1am and this used to be an act of kindness from SGP organisers so that festivalgoers could get a good night’s sleep before leaving the grounds on Monday. 2015 was different however and some dance tents partied on till the early hours of the morning. Our group decided to party on in the Lost Woods where a small DJ booth treated us to all sorts of music genres from rock and reggae to pop and house. A great way to finish a great festival!
The Secret Garden Party will be back in July 2016. Tickets are on sale now, early bird tickets have sold out.