The Secret Garden Party programme reads “Take a deep breath. It’s time to have fun and let the rest follow.” In the second of our UK summer festival series, n2k headed off to the Cambridgeshire countryside to join in the fun.
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Secret Garden is a festival like no other. Firstly it is a non profit event and has no corporate sponsorship at all!
The festival also has one important rule – participate in anything and everything. Most people followed the rule by dressing up in the craziest of costumes. From pirates to zebras to the body painted and mud caked (there was a mud wrestling pit), the festival was a perfect opportunity to let your imagination go wild.
Set in beautiful green fields surrounding a lake, the site itself is inspiring! This year the lake was also the setting for a massive pirate ship built by a group of fire performers and artists. With DJs playing there all the time, the ship was usually heaving, even though the only way to get on it was to row a little boat across the lake.
The organisers put together a crazy array not only of amazing music but also, art, plays, weird sports, open mic stages, a science area (ever wondered about the science of beatboxing?), an alternative healing zone and endless crazy shenanigans, all designed for the punter to participate in and add to the spectacle.
On Saturday afternoon we headed over to Where The Wild Things Are stage – just one of four uniquely named stages on the site, to see unsigned act Thomas Tantrum. Spotted bopping amongst the crowd were the band members of Peggy Sue (formely Peggy Sue and the Pirates ), who often support Kate Nash on tour. Listen to what they had to say about Thomas Tantrum.
The band come from Southampton and are already building a fan base. If you like a mix of indie rock, punk and syth lines, plus a really charismatic front woman – check them out.
Bonde Do Role
A group of MCs from Brazil, the name translates from Portuguese as ‘Joyride Trolley’. They mix up all sorts of Brazilian rythtms, including what’s known as ‘baile de funk’ with hip hop, rock, and electro pop.
Hyped up, energetic and funny, Bonde do Role proved to be the musical highlight of the festival for many people. As well as an amazing set the band also took part in a massive audience-band play fight using soft plastic multi coloured balls. In the end the band invited audience members onto the stage to defend them and throw the balls back out to the rest of the audience, as they continued to belt out their lyrics. Fun!
Last year one of the main singers – Marina left the band. The band then decided to run a competition on MTV Brazil, to find new members – as you do! Listen one of the new band members freestyling in Portuguese.
Probably the most mainstream act of the weekend but the crowd loved them, with Alfonso from the band claiming it could have been one of the best gigs they ever played!
The music might have gone off everywhere else but on Saturday at 5am, a whole lot of festival heads where still dancing with headphones on their heads – the silent disco is definitely a strange experience!
Burning of the ship
The pirate ship was burnt down at the end of the weekend with amazing fireworks going off as the ship sunk. Did they really have to do it though?
Set on the side of the lake, it was the place to be if you wanted a lake side view whilst dancing to everything from hip hop to electro.
It was a total scorcher. Three hour queues for the showers were well worth it.
Watch this space for video highlights from the Underage Festival.