Arrests and Stinky Weather Can’t Dampen the Secret Garden Spirit

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Arrests and Stinky Weather Can’t Dampen the Secret Garden Spirit

From all accounts this year’s Secret Garden festival was a rip-roaring success despite the inclement conditions that threatened to hamper punters’ experience. Whilst the sodden ground and deluge of rainfall caused some of the festival’s stages to be closed due to safety concerns leaving some performers disappointed, most seemed unfazed and nothing could detract from the jovial atmosphere. The rain and stage malfunctions (the roof on one stage collapsed, almost collecting King Gizard and the Lizard Wizard drummer Michael Cavanagh in the process) couldn’t prevent SG goers from frothing on the frivolity of fancy dress or the absolutely stellar line-up that the curators of this year’s event collated. One regular reveller told us that “honestly the rain was a bummer because you couldn’t explore as much as you would have liked; but I think most gardeners still got the job done and had a fab time”.

Organiser Max Downes informed us that “the fact that the weekend was such a ball for everyone was because it was incredibly well prepared for prior to the event and also very well handled on the night, despite the trying conditions. But more than that we are so lucky that there isn’t a negative bone in the Secret Gardener’s body, and it showed on the weekend. Everybody embraced the rain, explored the site and celebrated regardless.” Although the creative costumes of the punters may have been saturated – and no doubt countless sets of car keys, wallets and phones went missing – nothing seems to matter too much in this forest full of zaniness.

It’s a quirky festival where the music seems to take a back seat. SG really turned it on though – definitely bringing it with their biggest lineup to date. This year’s bill boasted the likes of Canadian-producer/pokemon-master Ryan Hemsworth, local lads Cosmo’s Midnight, Palms, Elizabeth Rose and the Secret Garden DJ’s – whose self described skills involved “terrible song choices, no mixing ability, no charisma, and little talent to speak of”. “‘Awesome Tapes of Africa’ set was a definite highlight”, added our SG informant – “really unique and funky freshhh”. Roof, who DJ’d on one of the side stages at this year’s event, had nothing but praise for the organisers and the punters who ensured this year’s festival would not be forgotten.

“It was one of the wettest Secret Garden’s but one of the most organised ones! Adam lewis and the SG team did a bang up job… I dont think I could of asked for a better crowd! ( SO MUCH VIBE ) … Sure the security bailed and everyone got on stage and it got a little out of hand, but thats what makes a good party right? One of me best sets to date.”

Despite a heads up from organisers imploring attendee’s to “be smart, be cool” due to the fact that Police would be present at this year’s event and would be carrying out vehicle inspections upon entry, some guests took it a little too far with 10 arrests being carried out over the day and a number of cautions being dished out. With heavier scrutiny from law enforcement authorities and much tighter restrictions on booze than previous years, there was always going to be some troublemakers who would get busted. 91 people and 33 vehicles were searched, with possession of a variety of illicit substances resulting in detention. Apparently one bozo even brought his scales from home to weigh up his weed on campsite! Clever. Those who partied within the rulebook, or at least in a more surreptitious manner, had a super time, with festival organiser Adam Lewis adding “we’re glad that the overwhelming majority took our advice and enjoyed the festival in a safe and responsible manner.” Hopefully this sets a precedent for party goers to party safe at future Secret Gardens!

Heartfelt props are to be extended to the Downes family and the team behind the event for their extreme hospitality and generosity. They’ve once again proven why the event is vastly considered the best annual festival in the Sydney precinct (as acknowledged by the public in last year’s FBI SMAC awards). Bring on SG 2015!






Photos: CC The Secret Garden


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