The Secret Garden Party, the UK’s largest independent music festival returned this year for its 16th iteration. Thousands of festival-goers flock to the picturesque Cambridgeshire countryside for 4 days of music and art.
The festival returned in 2022 after closing its doors in 2017 for what was believed to be for good. Last year’s festival caused a bit of frustration with festival goers finding problems with long toilet waits and lack of security, this year’s organisers returned determined not to let those complaints stick. The festival ran smoothly across the whole weekend, with more than enough space for the thousands of campers, 20 plus food trucks, hundreds of helpful stewards and hundreds of compost loos, enough comforts to make the weekend fly past.
The 4-day festival had a number of headliners with Fat Freddy’s Drop, The Libertines, Roisin Murphy, De La Soul and Fabio and the Grooveriders being just a few, personal standouts being Fabio and the Grooverider’s performance of a number of DnB classics performed by a full set orchestra, as well as Fat Freddy’s drop with the 7 piece Kiwi band closing out the main stage on Sunday night. As well as a number of stars headlining the mainstage, the Secret Garden Party also headlined two days of showers, turning the picturesque fields into sludgy pools of mud. For those who came unprepared, there were tents of clothing and accessories to browse through and add to your weekend wardrobe.
The festival hosted tens of thousands of festival-goers, with an extremely varied audience. The festival is open to all and as soon as the ‘Gardeners’ walk through the gates into the festival all judgment and angst are left behind. An audience was created from individuals across the country from the deepest points of south England to the most northern peaks, and the music on offer covered all who attended. The festival had 7 stages showcasing the best of emerging and established artists in the UK as well as a plethora of hidden areas and DJs. It wasn’t only music with a load of different arts and holistic events, such as welding, pottery, yoga and the power of imagination.
While the festival ended on Sunday night at 12 am, it was the Saturday that featured the spectacle with fireworks and drones filling the sky for one of the most impressive performances of the weekend, the spectacle being put on by the team behind Eurovision and the London NYE 2023.
The Secret Garden Party 2023 was an experience that all should have experienced and with the festival’s return it’s an experience that all will be able to experience in the coming years. The Secret Garden Parties revival last year was met with a lot of anticipation and while last year may have not met standards, this year definitely did and will only continue to improve. The festival also began a social enterprise upon its return with 65% of the profit being used for the rehabilitation of at-risk and disenfranchised individuals via the arts, Whats not to love?