Gabby Young by Moon.
Our Sunday got off to a sleepy start, as it did for most Secret Gardeners. Bypassing the cleverly marketed Hendrick’s gin carriage in favour of a cup of tea, I wended my way to the press tent to once more charge my damn crappy iphone, and caught the soulful electro sounds of Belleruche, rather erroneously described in the £5 brochure as “blissed out hip hop beats”.
This lovely artwork was displayed in the Hendrick’s train carriage. Apparently the artist is a woman based in the Truman Brewery but they couldn’t tell me who it was. Does anyone know? Photography by Amelia Gregory.
Belleruche by Stacie Swift.
It wasn’t long before I was distracted by the nefarious lure of mud wrestling over in the aptly named Collisillyeum. To start off proceedings a small semi naked boy was encouraged to wrestle a large slippery man in nowt but pants – thankfully it transpired that this was his dad otherwise the picture below might look extremely dodgy.
After the couple had managed to drag mum into the mud it was time to pit some blonde ladies against a couple of brunettes before sending a load of curiously willing men into the arena, where many a bollock and boob was soon on display. Naturally my proximity to the action ensured both myself and my camera got well spattered in mud.
David Rodigan by Louise Sterling.
Back at the main stage DJ David Rodigan was the surprise hit of Sunday afternoon. The 59 year old gave us a guided tour through the history of reggae with all the enthusiasm of an overexcited puppy whilst the crowd jumped around in reciprocal glee.
Savoir Adore by Andrea Peterson.
Savoir Adore hail from Brooklyn, and showed typically American enthusiasm for Secret Garden Party. “We’re so excited – this is the coolest place.” Wearing standard festival glittery eye make up (I blame Bat For Lashes – even the boys are covered in it these days) their gorgeous brand of melodic electronica was met by a laconic audience. “I know how tired you guys are…” opined singer Deidre Muro, “but I invite you to stand up.” She didn’t have much luck, but this shouldn’t be equated with any lack of enthusiasm.
Horace Andy by Sine Skau.
Over in the main area it was time to subject my poor camera to another onslaught – this time a paint powder fight that bathed the happy dancers in a pastel fluoro glow before submerging them in the mellow beats of reggae supremo Horace Andy.
Last photograph by Tim Adey.
Thanks to a tip off from my boyfriend I caught the fantastic Gabby Young and Other Animals playing to a small crowd at the Chai Wallah tent. Gabby was dressed in an amazing ruffled paper and lace concoction accessorised with coloured false hair pieces; a dream to photograph and illustrate. Together with banjo and brass she creates wonderful big band indie folk you can dance to. A real discovery.
Gabby Young by Michelle Urvall Nyrén.
We stayed for the majority of headliners Mercury Rev, most notable for their well practiced stadium posturing. Ours was a quick midnight drive back to London but I hear at times there were dire queues to get both in and out of Secret Garden Party.
All in all this was another vintage year from the one festival that refuses to bow to corporate Festival Republic pressure. Long may it remain thus, for this is one grown up’s party that deserves to continue in perpetuity. I shall leave you with my remaining selection of Sunday’s highlights.
Interactive games in the theatre tent.
Best costume of the entire weekend? Even he had no idea what it was supposed to be.
Make up inspired by Leigh Bowery.
Doing the limbo in a feather boa.
A man in bikini, fat suit and rollers. Why of course!
Art in the woods.
Loved up, photography by Tim Adey.
Wheelchair disaster. Photography by Tim Adey.
Andrea Peterson, Bat for Lashes, Belleruche, brooklyn, Chai Wallah, Collisillyeum, David Rodigan, Gabby Young and Other Animals, Hendricks, Horace Andy, Louise Sterling, Mags James, Mercury Rev, Merrimaking, Michelle Urvall Nyrén, moon, Savoir Adore, Secret Garden Party, Sine Skau, Stacie Swift, Tim Adey
- Festival Preview: Secret Garden Party
- Secret Garden Party 2010: Saturday Review
- Secret Garden Party: The Festival Preview Series
- New for 2013: Amelia’s Award will launch the career of a talented Graduate Designer Maker
- Secret Garden Party 2011: Festival Review