Secret Garden Party – Through the looking-glass

Entering the Secret Garden you almost feel like Alice falling down the rabbit hole into a magical wonderland where anything is possible and there’s something exciting to discover around every corner. Through the telephone box you can find a woodland trail leading to hidden parties in the forest and gatherings full of pianos. Under the fire place in the hedge you can chill out on a sofa and have a drink with fellow gardeners. The imagination and creativity that is put into creating this festival is overwhelming and the result an intriguing, exhilarating and unforgettable experience awaiting all those that attend.

It genuinely is a four day party like no other. In the beautiful setting of Grange Farm, Cambridgeshire the huge lake is perfect for swimming as it becomes scattered with boats, lilos and festival goers cooling down from the boiling sun. There is a genuine sense of freedom as the naked trampolining area is taken full advantage of – an open-mind is essential in the Secret Garden. The spectacles and ceremonies are never ending; from a dog show to the theatre, pig racing to the biggest, most spectacular fire work show i have ever seen.

Stereo-typically it could be said that festival food is generally perceived to be greasy grub, convenient and quick (well it certainly was when i attended Global Gathering in 2012) but at SGP this could not be further from the truth. The choice of delicious meals from many cuisines is vast, all fresh, mainly organic and of excellent quality. On Sunday roasts are available in a large tent where you can eat and relax on cushions and bean bags. After indulging in hangover curing smoothies and healthy chickpea and vegetable based tagines i honestly felt more revitalised leaving than when i arrived (considering the copious amount of wine consumed on a daily basis!) It is also fairly reasonable with meals averaging 4-8 pounds.

With so much to do and see it could appear that music takes a back seat but with an impressive line-up and secret guests (including Chase and Status) to be found out only by word of mouth each of the many stages host talented acts from a spectrum of genres. My personal favourite stage was The Drop, a DJ booth surrounded by stacks of hay bails where people danced till sunrise to the likes of house legends such as Seth Troxler. The weekend ended on an absolute high as Disclosure, Skream, Eats Everything and TEED played back to back for at least 3 hours with Disclosure tweeting-

 That is without question the most fun we have ever had on stage @I_Skream@eats_everything@TEEDinosaurs@SecretGardenHQ xxxxxx”

Covered head to toe in an array of colours from the powder paint fight i left Secret Garden Party with a smile on my face and an abundance of incredible memories.

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