The much-loved Secret Garden Party has announced this morning that 2017’s festival will be the last. Taking place in Abbots Ripton, Cambridgeshire, the event is one of the most celebrated festivals of the summer calendar, known for its creativity, meticulous attention to detail and hedonistic atmosphere.
It began, humbly, at the same site fifteen years ago, as little more than a small gathering with a few hundred friends. Since then, founder Freddie Fellowes and the other organisers have seen it blossom into a pioneering, multi-award winning festival, amassing an army of loyal ‘gardeners’.
“We have never compromised our principles and we never will”, says Fellowes in a statement regarding his decision to call time on the festival. “SGP has always been a beacon of what you can do within those terms and, as imitation (being the sincerest form of flattery) proves, it has set the bar for everyone else going forward. But it is exactly because of those principles, and the love of those who have made the Garden Party what it is, that we are committing this senseless act of beauty.”
“What better way to honour the love that has been given to this project and wholly demonstrate this principle than finishing now?” he continues. “This isn’t some principled self-immolation: this is opening it up for the future. So this summer will be the almighty send-off that the Garden Party deserves and whilst that is going to cause some tears to be shed, think of it more as ‘Dylan goes electric’ than our Altamont.”
Fans of the festival are likely to be encouraged by Fellowe’s teaser of a ‘phoenix’ which will be raised from the ashes of SGP, but there’s no doubt that the end of Secret Garden Party signals a sad day festivals in the UK. We’d recommend snapping up tickets to this year’s festival, which takes place 20-23 July, asap.