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secret garden partyNext weekend sees the return of the madcap, “glitter-not-litter” extravaganza that is Cambridgeshire’s Secret Garden Party. Boasting a roll call of eclectic acts including house veterans Faithless, Harley Cassidy previews the event.

How many festivals are situated on the grounds of a Georgian house next to a picturesque lake and river? If you think this is just one anomaly between Cambridgeshire’s Secret Garden Party and pretty much any other festival out there, then think again. Set aside from its mainstream counterparts, the annually held fest has been flourishing since 2004 when it was launched by Fred Fellowes in an almost two finger salute to the primary music festival. Increasing in popularity and size ever since, The Secret Garden Party now welcomes more than 26,000 party goers to its lush fields.

With previous headliners including Super Furry Animals, Lily Allen, Grace Jones, Jarvis Cocker and Gorillaz, it’s safe to say that the festival caters to an eclectic taste. Always colourful and never septic, think of The Secret Garden Party as an almost Through The Looking Glass experience. Entertainment is rife in the air with a walkabout theatre, boat ride, barefoot disco and treasure hunt added to the already bursting bow of innovative strings that lay the foundation of a truly one of a kind festival. Food and drink types need not worry either as scattered ale tents, cocktail bars and the wonderfully grandeur Soulfire Restaurant are all there to whet any festival goers appetite.

This year sees house veterans Faithless take to the aptly named Great Stage to headline alongside the ever quirky, anti-folk songstress Regina Spektor in what is sure to be a wild weekend. Other acts filling the incredible bill include art poppers Django Django, 2ManyDJ’s, Haudouken! and two big heavyweights in the current British chart scene – Bastille and Disclosure. Throw in those of the heavy hype machine including ’60’s infused blues rockers The Strypes, psychedelic tripsters Temples, Indie kids Childhood and the sparse electro pop of London Grammar and you have yourself a rather stellar line up. With various stages to enjoy a bevy of acts including the easy listening Living Room and the boat set Pagoda stage, there really is something to cater to everyone’s tastes. Here are a lowdown of the must see acts of the weekend:

Faithless – Everyone knows Insomnia. Whether you’re a first time round hardcore raver or bluesgrass enthusiast, at some point in your life you will have heard the anthem that arguably made Faithless. Its full version chiming in at around nine minutes long and featuring the sinister, baritone call of Rollo’s “I CAN’T GET NO SLEEP”, Faithless are worth seeing just to hear this track in its entirety live.

Temples – Noel Gallagher earlier on this year claimed that the reason him and Our Liam weren’t re-uniting anytime soon is because they were “too busy listening to Temples and Jagwar Ma”. If this doesn’t arouse interest I’m not sure what will but after listening to the neo-psychedelic offerings of the superb Shelter Song and Colours To Life it’s imperative that you make seeing Temples a must on that to-do list of yours.

The Strypes – If their Glasto performance was anything to go by, Cavan’s most talented teenagers are set for mighty big things. In a world of Indie, low slung guitar types, The Strypes’ sharp suited, harmonica wielding ’60’s soul is a force of nature in person. You should go purely to see guitarist Josh McClorey’s magnificent LG swagger whilst riffing like Hendrix on a good day.

The Wytches – Dirty riffs aplenty, Brighton’s The Wytches may bring psych vibes to the fore but not the hippy, peace and love thralls that most would expect. Cutting deeper into a darker sound and style, The Wytches sound menacing (a bad trip possibly?) making them a curious presence live.

Wolf Alice – Kinda Indie, kinda Britpop, kinda Grunge, Wolf Alice are pretty hard to pigeonhole as a band. Fronted by sure to be future fangirl icon Ellie Rowsell and blending nicety vocals with post-shoegaze riffs, Wolf Alice are heading to new heights as we speak.

Tickets are still available for an adult camping ticket which are available here. Be sure to check out the festival’s website for the full line-up, updates and any more information. Alternatively, follow the festival on their Twitter or Facebook.

All words by Harley Cassidy. More of Harley’s writing on Louder Than War can be found here. Follow her on Twitter as @harleycassidy.

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Psychedelia enthusiast, full-time Stone Roses fangirl and hugger of Liam Gallagher. My ears enjoy the sounds of Bjork, NWA and Temples.


  1. New festival aimed directly at twats
    THE Magic Fox Vintage Smoothie Boutique Urban Forest Pop Up Chill Retreat is to be Britain’s first 100 percent twat-friendly festival.

    If Alex James is not there it’s because he’s trapped under one of his own pigs
    As the festival-marketing season begins, the organisers of the new event claim to have concocted the ultimate pretentious weekend for utterly dreadful people.

    Festival ‘curator’ Tom Logan said: “My friends and I wanted to create something for ourselves – a right bunch of wealthy jumped-up media twats with a ridiculous sense of entitlement and legions of horrible mop-headed children, all of whom are called Mungo.

    “We would probably get punched at Latitude. Honestly, we’re that bad.

    “Magic Fox Vintage Smoothie Boutique Urban Forest Pop Up Chill Retreat is a combination of all the most annoying, smug, po-faced aspects of festival culture into a smorgasbord of heavily-branded twatness.

    “There will be deerstalker hats, depressingly nostalgic 90s dance acts – we’ll probably go with Faithless, who are now old enough to be considered ironic – and some fucking thing called The Mystic Dell.

    “We’ve got people with moustaches playing gypsy jazz records on a gramophone while the Wombles perform a burlesque routine, stupid fucking food stalls where you can buy a ‘hand-raised’ pie with an infantile name, and luxury woodland play areas where horrible designer-clad infants can kick frogs while giggling.

    “It will be a hybrid of Waitrose and The Wicker Man.

    “Also there will be macaroon biscuits. And people wearing fox masks, just prancing around aimlessly.”

    He added: “But the Magic Fox Vintage Smoothie Boutique Urban Forest Pop Up Chill Retreat isn’t just about twats. There’s also plenty for pricks, like a bicycle-power retro puppet eco-show that reworks Punch and Judy as an environmental fable.

    “There will be stalls. We don’t know what they’ll be selling but everything will be a tenner.”

    Music fan Emma Bradford said: “I’m going to spend that weekend in West London as it will have become temporarily pleasant.”

    from the daily mash


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