After only experiencing the magic of Secret Garden Party for the first time last summer, it is safe to say I’m hooked and can’t wait to return in a few weeks. It’s impossible to really do the festival justice in words, but I’ll do my best and start by saying, remember when Alice fell down the rabbithole and into Wonderland? Well at Secret Garden Party, things are even crazier, more magical and guaranteed to capture the imagination like never before. A festival where the emphasis is not placed on filling the line-up with pop acts, Secret Garden Party pushes boundaries by bringing together amazing huge acts like last year’s Bastille and Faithless with much smaller up-and-coming and unusual acts. This year’s announcement of Public Enemy has more than got me excited for the main stage, sitting on those rolling hills and looking over the lake was one of my favourite memories from last summer and I’m sure these guys will provide the perfect soundtrack for this weekend of fun.The already fantastic line-up is packed with acts I just can’t wait to see with Fat Freddy’s Drop and David Rodigan ready to chill us out on those sunny afternoons, and plenty of brilliant dance acts lined-up for The Drop at night – I can’t wait to catch Sub Focus, Gorgon City and Kidnap Kid. I’m sure there’s loads more to come and I for one am pretty excited to see who will be playing the secret sets this summer after catching Nero and Chase and Status playing the Colosillyum – both incredible and on such an amazing stage. Over on the Where The Wild Things Are Stage, it will be great to see Jagwar Ma and Wolf Alice performing, this stunning stage is perfect for catching all those smaller acts and discovering some real talents. One thing Secret Garden Party is perfect for is stumbling across quirky and brilliant little acts playing at tiny hidden stages in the woods, and that is something every Gardener should make it their business to do during those four days.The buck doesn’t stop with music at Secret Garden Party, there’s so much entertainment I just don’t know where to begin, but I know last summer some serious highlights were the Paint Fight, swing dancing, the Dance Off, pig racing and the Wacky Racers competition. I can’t wait to rock up to all of these again, but know that there is so much more I have yet to discover and The Human Zoo is definitely at the top of my list with two wild homosapiens are held in captivity – I told you it was odd! And of course there is The Jackdaw Pub which I think will be right up my street with plenty of card tricks and secret poker matches against the Diamond Dogs – be scared guys, I’ve been practising my poker face! Guerilla Science should keep me entertained with some crazy experiements guaranteed to blow my mind and I’m looking forward to checking out the The Never Never Land Amphitheatre for a bit of culture. Whatever you do, don’t miss the fireworks. As if you could! It’s a huge and stunning display of pyrotechnics, music, fire, moving stages and much more that lights up the night sky and will leave you amazed. Don’t try and witness this through a camera screen, watch and be astonished by the beauty. They’re even better than the displays at Disneyworld in Florida!Of course, it’s impossible to go the whole weekend without some serious sustenance to see you through and I can tell you this is high on the list of piorities for the festival organisers, who book an amazing array of food and drink stalls. Last year I tried everything from ostrich burgers and lamb tagine to sushi and stone-baked pizzas made by an award-winning chef. There is plenty to cater for every taste and I’m sure even the fussiest palates will be happy with the flavours on sale, with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options available. With the cleanest campsites and toilets I have ever found at a festival, Secret Garden Party is never a hardship and is always a delight to fully immerse yourself in for the whole weekend. Even those with the biggest fears of camping in the great outdoors will be impressed by the stunning location, with gorgeous lakes for you to swim in and fantastic outside showers for you to freshen up. Last summer’s beautiful weather meant all of these were well-used, so let’s pray for more of the same in a few weeks! Tickets are all sold out, but those who have got tickets should keep posted to the website and social media channels for further line-up announcements.
Have you got tickets to Secret Garden Party this summer? What are you looking forward to the most? Or for those who went last year – what was your favourite part?