Mud. Mud everywhere. I'm still trying to remove it 24 hours later. Secret Garden Party can be such a magical place in the sunshine and, in the brief Saturday reprieve from Mother Nature's dampest whims, that magic held sway. Even in the rain though this is a hell of a party.
This years Secret Garden Party was themed with the thought of childish things, which is a very fitting theme for SGP and it's yearly descent into playful childish joy. Ultra-sized children's wooden blocks, a building block floating palace and, of course, the fancy dress that is normally indulged in were just some of the things setting the scene. Sadly the proliferation of sludge did start to dull the ambience by Sunday afternoon and there were a large number of people leaving early on Sunday, with every crevasse and obsession liberally smothered in dirt.
In the intervening days though everyone was full throttle, the Great Stage regularly filling up for artists before emptying to the bar again when the music stopped and the rain moved in! On the Friday Lianne La Havas was very soulful and followed by the contrasting but brilliant Kate Tempest. Lady on the street style rap monster, she looks like one of us but she definitely has something more to say, and a very eloquent manner of saying it. Its also obvious that this festival means a lot to her and she enjoyed telling the Great Stage crowd about her exploits when she was on the other side of the microphone.
I also caught Hinds on the Wild Things stage and the crowd enjoyed them as well. We wondered whether anyone was going to watch them, as it was an empty sludge bath when we reached the stage; and then, the moment these 4 girls wandered out, the nearest bar emptied of all who resided, pouring drunk revellers into the mud.
Saturdays sunshine meant that the play-dens that are the Dance Off arena and the Games arena were in full flow, and the lades and gents of Lets Get Oglitterated (glitter provision extraordinaires) spent most of the day painting policeman's faces. The fireworks then kicked off a night of partying and frolics that only somewhere like SGP can provide, woodland glades and Toy tents providing music and magical little coves of drunkenness. The gay tent was rammed full of dance and fabulous partygoers but was just one of many places where the festival was in full swing.
Sunday. Mud. Mud and rain. A trickle of revellers drifting home across the day and a steady drizzle-fest all afternoon. Despite this Roots Manuva managed to pull an enthusiastic set of drunkards to the Great Stage with a slick set to liven up the grey.
Caravan Palace finished up a great weekend with their brand of dance friendly electro-swing to a packed out crowd, despite the drizzle and the people who bailed early nothing stopped the big finale.
Despite the damp Secret Garden Party still rocks.
Published on 30 July 2015 by Owen Tetley