Observations: Hedonism or herbal tea? Choose your festival tribe
Friday 10 July 2009
If you've ever been to a festival and had an inner battle between the hedonistic, 24-hour party animal in you and the calmer, sensible side that tells you when enough is enough, then this year's Secret Garden Party might be for you. Held on 23 to 26 July at Abbots Ripton Hall near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire, the theme is the legends of Babylon and Eden, representing two sides of the human psyche.
City of Babylon will be a hothouse of decadence and wild parties from dusk till dawn: Bollywood dancers, live bands and a world-record limbo attempt in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon; the Pagoda, where the dance floor floats on the lake, and the Feast of Fools with Hammer and Tongue Poetry, jesting tattooists and flamenco round the fire. Across the lake, a sweeter Garden of Eden with dance meditation in the Artful Badger and acoustic sets in the Living Room awaits those keen to unwind.
When you buy a ticket, you automatically become either an Edenite or a Babylonian (you receive secret instructions in a tribe letter) and a player in bizarre events, such as sock wrestling and a dance-off. Each time you enter a competition you score points for your tribe. The founder of the festival, Freddie Fellowes, believes that it's about having a herbal tea in one hand and a martini in the other. "We thought of the different approaches to leisure that people take and the more we played with the idea we realised it had legs."
For once, you won't encounter the usual festival tribes; trendy parents with designer wellies and Cath Kidston tents; hardcore hippies getting stoned; teeny boppers jumping up and down or the arty set gathering around the literary stage. Instead, hopefully, you'll find your own ideal Babylon-Eden balance.
Geoffrey Macnab reviews American Hustle, also starring Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper
newsFormer soldier taped 33 of the animals to the floor and then stamped on them one by one
Michelle Nijhuis' daughter insists (s)he is, and she learnt a valuable lesson on gender in books
news Opponents claim it would stop performers such as Beyonce and Madonna appearing on TV
It takes a platoon of chefs, litres of brandy and rum, and almost 100kg of dried fruit
food + drink
Arts & Ents blogs
Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
Justin Bieber isn't retiring from music after all: Pop star says he was 'messing around'
American Hustle, review: 'Jennifer Lawrence is brilliant as the neurotic housewife'
Justin Bieber's mishaps and controversies
Is Bilbo Baggins a girl?
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 North Koreans are gasping for the truth: Let's give it to them
- 3 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 5 Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
- < Previous
- Next >