Industry reacts to Secret Garden Party’s end

This summer’s Secret Garden Party will be the boutique festival’s last, its organisers announced late last week.

The event, which has been running for 15 years, was among the first to embrace a new kind of festival, programming different art forms across its weekend rather than only music.

Event profs reacted to the news on Twitter.

Founder Freddie Fellowes released a statement, saying:

“Fifteen years ago I started out with a set of ideas as to what makes a good party and the most perfect venue for it. But with no set idea of what the destination was for this venture the ‘festival’ was, at that time, the perfect medium through which to explore these ideas. But rather than getting too excited and telling you about the phoenix we are going to raise from all of this, it bears explaining why we are lighting the fire.

“Much has changed since our first Garden Party, when there was nothing else like it in the UK: Facebook, YouTube and Twitter had yet to be invented and no one knew what a boutique festival was, let alone glamping.

“Since then the Garden Party has defined and redefined outdoor events in the UK; we have done so as a collective of truly independent outsiders.

“We have never compromised our principles and we never will. 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? This isn’t some principled self-immolation: this is opening up it 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.

“Because after all you can’t be avant-garde from within an institution and lest we forget: the frontier always moves.”