Secret Garden Party is a festival for those who like to say goodbye to the yellow brick road, those who relish the journey, not the emerald city at the end. Secret Garden Party’s emerald city wasn’t found at the end of the yellow brick road, instead it sat in the middle of the Great Lake – the centrepiece of the party – which came burning down on the last night. Dance music was heralded by the Temple of Boom, a large space age barn that most of the time couldn’t hold its audience. The Beaded Space Pioneers journeyed back from the year 2017 to give us the weirdest and gravity defying games the universe has to offer at the Collosillyum.
Festivals are known to be a place to loose yourself, your inhibitions and sometimes even your mind. It is Whimsical Wednesday!  Join our Secret Garden Party at the Community Garden on 102 Ave in Fort St.
Joining the NEAT team as a Volunteer is a great way to get involved and support green initiatives throughout Northern B.C. 1lb of newspaper can be recycled to make 6 cereal boxes, 6 egg cartons, or 2,000 sheets of writing paper. Mill Hill Field in Abbots Ripton was full of sights to behold, decorated with comedic artworks, glory-hole boxes for hugs, large art installations made from hay, plus many many more.
Little Dragon, Public Enemy, Clean Bandit and Martha Reeves and the Vandella’s all brought the crowds to The Great Stage.
When Kidnap Kid took to the stage, everyone spilled out over the hills and far far away, dancing like there was no tomorrow. As the party’s best kept secret, this hidden gem of a dancefloor was a magical yet eerie setting.


It was here that Chase & Status played their secret special guest performance and also where we discovered the ET Phone Homo bar, with out of this world cabaret, Chewbacca in a bikini and dancing girls with more than just two breasts. However, the garden gave us the chance to find them again, by providing us with an exciting array of intriguing talks and debates from the rarest of renegade academics.
This year’s party was a kaleidoscope of entertainment, with almost too much to choose from. Take the Orgasmatree for example, artist Thomas Sale provided us a place to reflect and find shelter from festival life (and the sweltering heat) during the day, but at night, the playful installation became a social spot for gardeners to congregate. Public Enemy’s headline performance on Saturday night took us back to the 80’s and the spectacular fireworks display was the cherry on top of a retro-tastic night.
Tucked away in the corner of the lake stood The Pagoda Stage – a place to dance to some of the finest DJ’s around while stomping your feet inches above the water. Only here would you find the musical delights of Maxxi Soundsystem, a photo-booth for those ultimate festival selfies and the best place to play hide and seek. The voguing, dance routines and of course the drag queens, all brought an intergalactic feeling to the term gay bar.
The Forum hosted talks and workshops such as The Misfits’ Create Your Own Pop-Up Cult, Charlie Morley’s How Lucid Dreaming Can Change The World and Danny Kushlick’s What Will The World Look Like When We Legalise Drugs. Many went to bathe under the sky, including a certain Prince Harry you might know, and spent two blissful hours relaxing in luxury hot tubs. Emerging talent was presented at the Where The Wild Things Are, the stage that in years past gave us the likes of Florence & The Machine, The XX and Lykke Li, so if history is to repeat itself take note of acts such as Mausi, Kate Boy and Beech. For lovers of Science, the Guerila Science tent taught us that riotous rebellion is something to be championed.


The affordable experience began with a glass of sparkling wine and ended with either a Finnish sauna or extra hot shower, and of course in true Secret Garden style, no swimwear or clothes were allowed. Mausi, an electronic pop group had the crowd moving and shaking in front of the wooden vine clad stage, so much so that everyone who walked by, us included, had to stop and join in the party. Williams, Richy Ahmed and Citizen dropped were pumping and had many a passer by head-bopping along.
The other wooded bash happened in the Artful Badger Woods, set in the darkest corner of the garden. Zoe Cormier’s Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll talk drew in the crowds, learning about the hedonism of science and the science of hedonism. For those who weren’t into some R&R in a hot tub, jumping into the lake was the other alternative. Hosted by the Horned God of nature, Pan and his minion the Badger Shaman, we danced to electro disco funk, swing and psychedelic grooves. It was here that we were shown proof that the vagina really is a force to be reckoned with. Set in a natural hollow, DJ’s such as Waifs & Strays, Route 94, Ben Pearce and Skream set the beats and had us dancing till sunrise, stumbling back to camp just as the rest of the festivalgoers woke for breakfast. It was here, nestled between the trees, that we discovered the Green Fairy and her delicious Pernod Absinthe Bar.



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