Mesmerising music, enchanting gardens and secret sunflower fields, Secret Garden Party was fit for a prince
This year’s Secret Garden Party may have been the biggest and most popular to date, but that didn’t detract from the whimsical andfantastical nature that it’s renowned for. Still managing to retain its appealing boutique feel with well over 20,000 revelers in attendanceis no mean feat, but we’re happy to say they pulled it off. Wonderland was there to check out one of the worst kept secrets this year, and here are the things we enjoyed the most. Prepare to reminisce, Gardeners.
Arguably one of the festival’s most talked about elements are its art installations. Every year no expense is spared in order to bring life tocountless visual treats for Gardeners to see, touch and interact with.From bronze statues hanging in trees to hammocks made entirely ofcling film, the bar was raised high. However this year’s star was undoubtedly the floating Emerald City, which was the subject of the annual Big Burn on closing night.
ROAD TO NOWHERE’S LABYRINTH
While all the music stages have their own redeeming features and are vastly more creative than the majority of festivals, East London collective Road To Nowhere’s Labyrinth had a special place in our hearts this year. Hidden in the forest and containing a secret Speakeasy, a glitter station, and sets from the likes of Ben Pearce and Richy Ahmed, if you managed to find it then you’ll understand.
Each year one of the festival’s visual highlights is the Saturday Spectacle. We managed to bag a prime viewing spot by the lake to witness a fireworks display that would make even New Year’s Eve jealous. Also joining in the fun were glitter cannons, holographic displays, aerial acrobats and skywriters, along with an impressive ticket drop to finish it off. That’s right free tickets for next year – yes please!
While Secret Garden Party isn’t necessarily concerned with cramming as many big names into a lineup as possible, the eclectic rabble of headliners this year were definitely worth a watch. There aren’t many other festivals where you can see Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Public Enemy and Fat Freddy’s Drop in one place, but they were all pretty great.
One of the most surprising finds this year has to be the mysterious Sunflower Field. Hidden behind the door of a seemingly normal portaloo, if you were lucky enough to choose it then you were greeted by a large field of tall sunflowers as well as a ball pit and DJ booth. There was also a super secret afterparty there once everything else had closed, which we were very glad to have stumbled upon.
HEAD GARDENER Q&A
As well as the music and visual excitement, there were also some more relaxing activities to attend. This year’s Secret Forum held comedy performances from the likes of Justin Moorhouse and Joel Dommott, as well as a Q&A session with the Head Gardener. Where else can you have a nice chat with the man behind the magic?
FIT FOR A PRINCE
If a member of the Royal Family is in attendance, especially one coined the ‘Party Prince’, then it has to make this list. While a few members of our group were convinced they saw Harry at the time, we put it down to too much glitter in their eyes. Apparently he wasn’t up to anything too mischevious though, unfortunately.
Words: Jordan Porteous