About This Festival
Imagine a fertile garden growing along the English countryside. Rare flowers of every species thrive throughout the verdant hills. A serene lake shimmers nearby. This garden is colorful, creative and grows WILD. The seeds have been planted in your mind. Now all you need to do is reap the benefits of this Secret Garden Party.
Secret Garden Party - A Community
This is YOUR party, and in the wise words of Winston Churchill, "Some men change their party for the sake of their principles; others their principles for the sake of their party." You might just do both for Secret Garden Party!
Take the creative, DIY artistic element of Burning Man, slim it down, fancy dress it up (that’s costumes for you non-British folk) and set it in the lush English countryside and you've got the Secret Garden Party. This has become one of the most sought-after summer festival experiences this side of the Atlantic. It’s grown from the inaugural event in 2004 of less than a 1,000 to almost 30,000 gardeners. Each year has a theme, which costumes and camps are built around. For 2014, the theme will be “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” a tribute to shirking the notion of social and financial redemption (and apparently, Elton John). The interpretation is up to you.
Location, Location, Location
The Secret Garden Party festival is held on a lovely farm in Abbots Ripton near Huntingdon, Cambridge. The grounds include a well-utilized lake and other countryside assets that come with the gorgeous garden location. Of course, every lush garden needs to be watered, and as locals know, this means rain. Come prepared for muddy conditions with Wellies and rainproof camping gear. Once you've secured all the appropriate gear, very little can get in the way of your good times.
Sowing the Seeds to An Innovative Secret Garden Party
The Secret Garden Party was started in 2004 by Fred Fellowes, who was searching for something different to the mainstream British festivals. Much of the inspiration for this festival comes from the creativity of Burning Man. The founders make a pilgrimage to the Black Rock Desert every August to spread the good word about the Secret Garden Party and cavort on the playa.
Camping, Glamping and Tramping
SGP has been best described as a surrealist summer camp for hedonists. The closer you are to the grass-roots, the more integrated you are going to feel. The main attractions beyond the musical stages are the “action camps” where yes, all the action takes place. Expect almost anything here - from lingerie parties to spontaneous sing-a-longs. There is reportedly a “pool of naked liberation” and pig racing too. (These events are not mutually exclusive.)
Set up a nice camping spot for yourself and don’t get too tied to chasing eclectic gypsy music or electronic DJ’s as let your explorations of the grounds guide you. The Secret Garden Party is the English muffin of festivals: adventure awaits in the nooks and crannies.
If roughing it isn’t your style, the boutique camping options are quite out of this world. From gypsy wagons to charming tents it’s worth checking out if you’ve been saving up - Why not add a fancy camp to your fancy dress?
Expect the Unexpected at the Secret Garden Party
We don’t want to spoil too much for you, but we'll give you a couple hints. Take a swim at the lake and search out some of the SGP hot tubs located around the event. While it may be hard to miss it - don’t miss “the burn” where the lakeside construction of the year gets burned down. The fireworks display is awe-inspiring. The attention to detail mind-boggling and the sheer playfulness and creativity of the minds behind the production at Secret Garden Party is a joy to behold. You simply cannot believe that someone thought of all the wonderful aspects of the festival, features that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Smile, dance, cavort, explore, sing, dress up and undress at one of the UK’s best events.