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10 things you should do at Secret Garden Party 2016

This is a serious party!

Secret Garden Party (credit: Andrew Whitton)

It’s July and that can only mean one thing, the biggest and most serious party of them all is at our doorstep. Indeed the Secret Garden Party will take place this week and if it’s your first time buckle up because this is a ride you will remember for life and for old timers well you know as well as I do that the garden never stops to amaze and it most certainly always has a few surprises up its sleeve. I have been going to the Secret Garden Party for six years now and there has never been a bad year, sure there have been setbacks but nothing that would not be cured by a walk on the magical fields. In case you didn’t know SGP offers quite a generous list of things to do and I have prepared a list of my favourite. Continue reading for more info.

1. Swim in the lake

Summer is finally here people, so why not indulge in some refreshing lake swimming? The weather is looking good in 2016 and my experience of sunny SGPs is that a deep in the lake can really get your batteries going again. SGP has its very own lake and it’s glorious. If you worry about entertainment don’t as the lake is right bang in the middle of the festival and that means you are directly next to the main stage, the pagoda and of course the lake stage.

2. Go to intergalactic mermaid school

That happens right by the lake so why not top your swimming with some educational activity. Oh yeah mermaids are a thing! I myself only took the course for regular mermaiding in 2015 so can only imagine that this year’s mermaid school will be full of bionic fins and maybe turbo powered tails! You can find out so don’t be shy take part!

3. Take part in the activities

Secret Garden Party is not like most festivals in that it is not just about the music and in fact a lot of the fun to be had is completely unrelated to music. Some of my best adventures at SGP were when I lost friends and found new ones. I explored and came back a winner! This year’s games include, jelly wrestling, zorbing football (must see), ariel boxing just to name a few…

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4. Saturday means fire

Fireworks and bonfire that is! Saturdays at Secret Garden Party are synonymous with fireworks which are displayed by the main stage. This tends to be packed but you can still watch the show from the other side of the lake or the pagoda! The same night and generally during the fireworks the Lake Stage is set on fire, call it cleansing or a spectacle but it is one event you don’t want to miss. Last year drones sprinkled glitter across the site, yes that’s right GLITTER!

5. Check out Air

The French duo is back on tour, their first in years! The band played Field Day this year and it’s probably one of the highlights of my year so far. If you like mellow electronic music then this is one gig you want to be at. Expect to be mesmerized by the low-key atmosphere and of course the French cool attitude.

6. Don’t miss DJ Shadow

The revered DJ/producer is touring in support of his new album, The Mountain Will fall. Hip hop fans will better know DJ Shadow as the man who developed instrumental hip hop and put it on the map. His latest album is another solid piece of work and if you haven’t heard it yet, you should get acquainted with it!

7. Explore the art

Secret Garden Party is one of the very few festivals, which isn’t sponsored by big corporations so you won’t have to be plagued with big coca-cola, Tenants or what not signs! Instead the festival is filled with quirky art installations, which you simply must check out. Quite frequently the art is designed to make you think and that thought process will change and become more and more challenging as the day goes by i.e. once you’ve had a few drinks.

8. Rave in the woods

In case you didn’t know SGP is a ravers paradise and the many stages it has on offer will certainly get anyone’s attention. Forget tents, at Secret Garden Party you can dance on a ring, in a roman arena, on a lake and many, many different secret wood locations. Dancing in the woods is always fun when at SGP and offers shelter from extreme weather, be it rain or boiling sun. There are various woodland raves, one which by a tree house and another has a fort in it. In any case try and be adventurous.

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9. Visit the sanctuary

Whether you want a massage to get you back on top form or just fancy a hot tub (highly recommended), the sanctuary is a lovely little corner of the festival. It’s also the place where you can have a solar powered shower, go the hairdressers or simply sit by the manmade lake.

10. Fancy Dress

This is a must and I can’t tell you how many amazing homemade outfits I have seen at this festival over the years! I would say that 80% of the festival takes part in fancy dress and the day to do it is Saturday. Secret Garden Party’s 2016 fancy dress theme is the Gardner’s Guide to The Galaxy. Be creative!

I can’t tell you enough how amazing SGP is and how easy it is to make new friends. It is a wonderful place and one where it is recommended to get lost and explore all the wonders of the garden. Nothing puts a downer on this atmosphere more than rude people and those who want to stick to their schedule; this is not the festival to do that.

So there you have it my top things to do at Secret Garden Party 2016 but whatever you choose to do make sure you have the time of your life!

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