Only a few hours into day 1 of the Secret Garden Party Festival and the entire experience had already hit me like a ton of hay. Literally, people were climbing up 12 feet stacks of hay. The lad that set the trend off sat merrily atop the stack, his pupils huge and shiny, with his legs swinging like a little boy.
At 12.40 am I was in my sleeping bag, cocooned safely away from the mania that was 20,000 psyched hippy ravers. The atmosphere proved overwhelming; so many (ecstatic) people in one place. The weaving, pushing, dodging the crowds. Though I’m extremely fortunate it was a hippy festival I attended, and not some real hardcore raver fest.
I lay there feeling anxious yet intrigued- what will tomorrow bring? Thinking, I’ve already floated through an enchanted forest, peed with a random girl who had her boobs and nipple piercing out, and stared into a life size kaleidoscope inside a wooden shed.
So far, so good.
Day 2 and I became more accustomed to the crowds, having adjusted to a little ‘half-walk-half-side-step’ kind of walk to dodge bodies and get to your destination in good time.
In the meantime though, I became increasingly concerned about the hygiene situation, but I continued to embrace the atmosphere (not inside the portaloo) and tried not to think about it.
By the third day, I’d more or less forgotten how disgusting I felt and was fully embracing the amazing atmosphere: hippies, hay bales, greenery, water, forestry, delicious food (mostly organic) and lots and lots of bass music!
My friend and I also joined in a group Tai Chi/ meditation and Q & A session, which was rejuvenating to say the least. We literally floated back to the camp site as if on air. After all the bag carrying, walking and partying, it was definitely a welcome addition to the whole experience.
The land was divided into a few sections, mainly either full of spiritual types or raver types. But in the more relaxed part (I’m sure you can guess which), whilst enjoying a delicious chickpea and spinach curry, I actually overheard three people having a REAL spiritual conversation. This had never happened in my life, and for the first time ever I felt I wasn’t as mental as I often feel.
The highlight of the weekend was the paint party- a huge pit of ravers and hippies next to a lake, armed with (non toxic) paint, basically going wild.
It truly was an amazing experience, four days merged into one long, time-less party. A pure taste of freedom, where time didn’t exist as a concept, except for first thing in the morning- getting up early enough to get to the ‘fresh’ portaloo before the morning rush.