So, everyone is back from Glastonbury, putting their pictures up on Facebook, reminiscing about the mad weekend and already getting ‘Worthy Farm withdrawals’… counting the 300 and something days until Glastonbury 2014. I decided not to be a part of that crowd this year though, I discovered something even better than Glastonbury… SECRET GARDEN PARTY! I’ve been a Glastonbury goer for many years now and experienced my first one at the age of 14 but after a few bad weather experiences and shin splints from walking around a festival almost the size of my home town, I decided to give something smaller and more personal a go… and I loved it!
Although I love my fashion, shopping, material things and home comforts (I’m not afraid to admit it), when I step into a field I turn into some crazy, bra-burning, love drunk hippy! And it seems the Secret Gardeners welcome this with open arms.
Some people will argue that Glastonbury is exactly the same, after all, it is the original ‘hippy’ festival but I’ve seen a change in recent years. Although you can still wander over to the green fields and the healing fields and find beautiful people who look like they’ve stepped out of a fairy garden, the pyramid stage and surrounding areas have always had a vibe I’m not a fan of… and it’s growing. I don’t want to be at Glastonbury and feel like I’m surrounded in a crowd at Reading…
Glastonbury was a popular mainstream festival long before I started going, I’m not going to give a lecture as if I’ve been going since the 70’s. However, I do feel the mainstream element is taking over the magical vibe that made me fall in love with the festival 10 years ago.
I’ve always been to festivals wanting an experience rather than actually having a list of bands I want to see. I once went to a Glastonbury and didn’t see any bands, but I loved the time I had there! I think I need to resign myself to the idea that Glastonbury isn’t what it used to be BUT it is still an amazing festival- ask anyone that just come back from it.
I’m not writing it off completely, my fiancée Lew has only been twice, loved it both times and wants to go again and I want to be a part of that too! I do truly believe that everyone needs to go to Glastonbury at least once in their lives. It’s just hard to accept that it’s not what it used to be and people who were going 10 years ago and before will understand this and I do feel for the people who didn’t have a chance to witness it. I especially wish I was a part of it back in the 70’s!
The reason I love smaller festivals so much, is because they feel so personal and when you’re there it feels like everybody is discovering things together. No matter how small a festival is, there is always a new part to explore every year and it’s never the same experience. It was Secret Garden Party’s 10 year anniversary last year and now has a capacity of 26,000 (150,000 less than Glastonbury) and the vibe there is incredible- something I didn’t get even at Glastonbury the first time.
I will continue to discover new, small and exciting festivals throughout the summers for many years and I am sure there so many brilliant things out there yet to be found. Maybe Glastonbury will never be the same for me again, but maybe that’s a good thing- I might actually see a band the next time I go?! I’ll get my hippy trips from SGP and the undiscovered little music fields of joy!!
21 days and counting ’till SGP!
Secret Garden 2012.