Cambridgeshire festival Secret Garden Party announces this year’s event will be the last

After more than a decade of being at the top of the UK festival scene, this year’s Secret Garden Party will be the last.

The festival, which has won a host of awards since it started 15 years ago, will open for the final time on July 23 with Metronomy and Crystal Fighters headlining over the weekend.

The diverse line-up also includes rising artists like Anteros, Be Charlotte, Bonzai, Fickle Friends, Jorja Smith, Mabel, Pumarosa, Ray BLK, Rejjie Snow and Will Joseph Cook.

Freddie Fellowes, founder, said: “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.

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He added: “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.

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“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.”

This year’s event will run from July 20 to 23, and to make sure it goes out with a bang, organisers have created the theme ‘Sweet Dreams… are made of this?’

Taking a wry and humours look at the fame game, the theme asks if being a celebrity is all it’s cracked up to be, and whether it’s worth changing the world.

The only way to find out though, is to sample the high life, and The Secret Garden Party will let fans do jus that – from secret swimming sessions, boating and fine dining, to talks, debates, woodland parties and even mud fights.

Adult weekend tickets are £197, which includes a £10 litter bond charge and £7 booking fee.

Instalment plans are available in three parts, four parts, and five parts, with coach travel also bookable online from sites across the country including London, Reading, and Southampton.

Those aged 12 and under enter free, teen tickets are £137 when booked online, and parking fees are £22.

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