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Festival Focus #7: Secret Garden Party 2015

  • Published in Reviews
SGP Andrew Whitton
Credit - Andrew Whitton

The 23rd of July sees the return of The Secret Garden Party, the Huntingdon based festival that has rapidly become one of the most spectacular festivals that the UK has to offer. Having been lucky enough to attend last year, my expectations are high. But, I’m sure the organisers of this unique festival will pull out all the stops to make it is bigger and better than ever.

One of the features of the SGP that sets it aside from others, is the level of creativity and imagination (not to mention outstanding engineering) of it’s many different stages, stages like ‘Where The Wild Things Are.’ A stones throw from the main stage, this entangled construction of branches and tree trunks combined with a fantastic lighting set-up makes for a truly ambient experience. Another great spot is The Pagoda Stage, which sits on top of the edge of the lake located at the centre of ‘the garden.’ Playing some of the finest DnB and house music, it’s one of the most on point party destinations the festival has to offer. It’s also a must see destination to get some of the most sensational views of the site. The Bearded Kitten is one of the biggest stages, Home to the infamous mud pit, this stage has layered platforms around the edge that make it resemble an open air amphitheatre. There’s always a variety of DJs across the weekend as well as other silly events like the “Poppers high high jump.” It’s layout creates an awesome atmosphere that really isn’t to be missed.

SGP Rachael Wright
Credit - Rachael Wright

SGP doesn’t try to present itself as one of the festivals with a knockout line-up, but instead aims to provide a more holistic experience with a variety of other goings-on to entertain the revellers. Regardless of this, the team never fail to produce names that are enough to get merrymakers of all types excited. This year names like Jungle, Temples, Natty and The Mouse Outfit are all going to be gracing the stage with return performances from some other huge names like David Rodigan and The Correspondents. This year my ones to watch will be Roots Manuva bringing his upbeat old school hip-hop to the party, Crazy P and their relaxing lounge tunes and Ady Suleiman, the up and coming lad from Nottingham with his conscious, deep lyrics and bouncy beats.

As if these acts aren’t enough, its all the other goodies that SGP chuck into the mix that makes it such an incredible experience for anyone who goes. Whether you’re getting illuminated at the paint fight or mini zorbing at the games arena there will always be something fun going on wherever you wander. Once again, this year the great lake will see another crazy sculptural installation from the Pirate Technics crew, and if tradition ensues, it should be burnt down during the headline set on the final night.

SGP credit Samantha Milligan
Credit - Samantha Milligan

If at any point you just want somewhere to sit and chill whilst you scoff a burger, one of the best spots to relax and enjoy the atmosphere is the Dance Off stage. With music blasting from a small wooden building just in front, the wrestling ring style area pumps banging tunes out all weekend for anyone brave enough to enter their own dance off. If you are looking for something less interactive, art is dotted all over the arena, lining the trees and coating the bushes, transforming the countryside it into the wonderland it strives to be. Last year’s Secret Garden Party was one of the best festival experiences I’ve ever had. This year, tickets are sold out, so if you’re lucky enough to be going prepare for a packed festival at the forefront of it’s industry.