Your Definitive Guide To Secret Garden Party Festival

Secret Garden Party 2017: everything you need to know about it.

Your Definitive Guide To The Secret Garden Party Festival

by Chemmie Squier |
Published on

Over Glastonbury Festival? Have you had it up to here with your work mate's Shangri-La chat? Well, you've come to the right place, you'll find none of that here, my friend, because this is all about Secret Garden Party. Glastonbury might have Adele but SGP? They've got a bloody lake and not just any old lake: one with a

and who can argue with that? Don't even get us started on the epic fireworks show on the Saturday night and the Mermaid School you can enrol in.

So whether you've already bagged your tickets or you're trying to decide whether to invest (yep, they're not sold out yet) here's everything you need to know about the festival.

What is Secret Garden Party?

It’s a blimmin’ festival isn’t it? Started in 2004 by Fred Fellowes as an alternative to more mainstream music festivals. Starting off with one stage and 1,000 visitors, the 220 acre site now has more than 15 stages and a capacity of up to 32,000.

When is Secret Garden Party?

It takes place on the last weekend of July and lasts for four days. This year the Secret Garden Party dates are Thursday 20th July to Sunday 23rd July.


Is it every year?

Well, the festival used to be an annual event but the upcoming Secret Garden Party 2017 is apparently going to be the last ever one. 'All good things must come to an end', Freddie Fellowes wrote on the festival website. Sad, ain't it?

Where is Secret Garden Party?

The festival is in Abbots Ripton near Huntingdon, England. Still NFI? Us neither. Turns out Huntingdon is in Cambridgeshire, in east England. And the full address is: Mill Hill Field, Abbots Ripton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE28 2PH, England

The actual festival site is on the grounds of a Georgian farm house and has it’s own lake, river and landscaped gardens. In other words, it's really bloody picturesque.

How much are Secret Garden Party tickets?

Well, there’s a couple of options when it comes to tickets. If you're on the ball and managed to pick up an Early Bird Weekend ticket that would have cost you £170. A standard ticket is £190 though, and they're still up for grabs so go and buy one before they disappear!

There's also the booking fee of £7 which is added on top of that. A £10 Litter Bond is automatically added to your ticket and upon entry you’ll be given two bin bags. If you give in two bin bags of rubbish then you’ll get your £10 back.

Can I still go to Secret Garden Party this year?

Yes, Cinderella shall go to the ball! Or rather, the festival. Early bird tickets are long gone but you can still get your hands on an adult weekend ticket for £197 which includes the booking fee. Don’t forget an extra £10 will be added on to your total so you’re looking at a total of £207.

Secret Garden Party Weather

Guessing what the weather is going to be like in over a months time is a fools errand because it is 100% likely to change before then. Alas we’ve looked it up on Accuweather (clue’s in the name) and, well, it could be better but it could also be worse:

Thursday 20st July: 23 degrees; partial sunshine.

Friday 21st July: 24 degrees; sun and some clouds.

Saturday 22nd July: 24 degrees; sun and some clouds.

Sunday 23rd July: 24 degrees; partly sunny with a shower.

In summary, as it stands you should be in for a delightful shower, but let's not throw away those wellie just yet.

Secret Garden Party theme

Every year there’s a theme: last year was 'The Gardeners Guide To The Galaxy' and the time before was 'Childish Things'. For this, SGP's final year though it’s ‘Sweet Dreams. Are Made Of These? And Who Are We To Disagree...’.

What exactly does that all mean, you ask? We're talking 'fame, celebrity, and a media that obsesses over both' apparently.

This year the SGP team pose a question. 'In this Strictly X Factor Love Island I’m a Kardashian #get-me-out-of-here social, instant, online world; what should we do? How much do we embrace this idea of the universal right to fame? And, if we do, should we all immediately start baking, blogging, dancing, cooking, singing and redecorating our little hearts out, in order to get 'there’? You know, that place down the red carpet and behind the velvet rope…'

Well, consider this your invite to go behind the velvet rope 'for the biggest VIP LOL-off you’ve ever seen.'

'This isn't a festival, it's a party', instructs the Secret Garden Party ethos. And the guidlines are as follows...

•Decide your own life, don't let another person run or rule you.

•Behave honourably at all times and respect the local law and officials.

•Do not take advantage of someone who is in a vulnerable situation.

•Do not allow yourself to become a stupid drunk and set a bad example for the treatment of other Gardeners.

•Always respect nature, do not leave rubbish where you are playing.

•You are in a community, pitch in and help.

•Try to stay clean.

•If you haven't come to learn, come to teach.

•When traveling, take your trip respectfully, take no personal chances & cause no problems.

•Do not allow other Gardeners to harm anyone, expose all abusers to authorities. People who intentionally cause harm to others are the worst people to infest any society.

•Help all who are lost, and try to induce them to return home.

•Look after your fellow Gardeners whenever and wherever needed, you may need their help someday.

•Spread love.

•This is a serious party

Who’s headlining Secret Garden Party in 2017?

Headlining the final SGP are Crystal Fighters, Metronomy, and Toots & The Maytals.

What's the rest of the line-up?

Right, there's a lot...

Zak Abel, Ray Blk and Jorja Smith will be there. As will...

Wild Beast, Peaches, Honne, Jagwar Ma, Rejjie Snow, Jeremy Loops and Tom Misch, Kate Nash, Mabel, Etta Bond, Be Charlotte.

You can find the full, very long, line-up here.

Who has previously headlined at Secret Garden Party?

You really want to know? Fine. It was actually incredibly difficult to track down the past headliner acts so here’s what we could find. You’re welcome.



Marina and the Diamonds

Mercury Rev




Mystery Jets



Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros


Django Django


Regina Spektor


Public Enemy

Fat Freddy’s Drop

Little Dragon



Public Service Broadcasting

Roots Manuva

**2016: **

Caribou and Air

DJ Shadow

Milky Chance

What do I pack?

There is an art to packing for a festival and it’s one that no one in the history of the world ever, has mastered. Which is why we created the ultimate festival packing guide: so you can be the first.

Where should I camp?

Unlike Glastonbury Festival where you have about a million camping options which require a work sabitical to get to, at Secret Garden Party there's only a choice of two: East Camping or North Camping. We’re told the North Camping is best for two reasons: it’s closest to the car park which means you don’t have miles and miles of ground to cover before you can pitch your tent, and it tends to be where the cooler kids are. Or so we’ve heard.

When it comes to festival camping there's a few simple rules you should never ever stray from. Firstly, don’t camp by the toilets: no-one wants the smell of three day old portaloos when they’re nursing a 5pm hangover and if it rains (which, sorry, but it definitely will), you’re in for a mega muddy time. Also, don't camp near paths because ditto the muddy thing and it's likely you'll get drunk fellow festival-goers falling on top of you whilst you sleep which is both incredibly annoying and potentially very painful. Finally, keep away from spotlights and generators because a lot of light and a lot of noise don't make for a sound night's sleep. Stick to those rules and you'll be swell.

If you're too proud to pitch or just want to treat yo' self, you could go all out and opt for boutique camping instead: Royal Safari Tents, Bell and Lotus Tents, Suite Huts, Tipis, Caravans and Yurts are still available.

What food can I eat there?

What can’t you eat there, that’s the real question. OK fine, we've heard that you need to check out Annie Mae's for their array of mac n' cheese flavours and Smokeshack do a banging pulled pork burger. For the more upmarket amongst you, this year they’ve even got a proper 80-cover restaurant with actual real life cutlery and glassware which former head chef of a Michelin star restaurant, Chris Gillard, will be running.

Oh, and obviously you can take your own grub in too but that bumper crate of baked beans and mini stove always seems like a far better idea before you actually get there.

Can you take alcohol into Secret Garden Party?

The most important of all the questions so we saved it until last. You can but you're limited to either 12 cans of beer, lager or cider per person or six cans and one bottle of wine per person (but this must be decanted into a plastic bottle). That’ll be no spirits then.

Like this? You might also be interested in:

Here Is Your Definitive Guide To Glastonbury Festival

How To Wash Your Hair At A Festival Whether You're Posh Or Poor

Festival Packing: The Ultimate Guide On What To Take

Follow Chemmie on Twitter @chemsquier

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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