I am coming down hard. It's been four days since me and my amigos, my fellow festivalgoers - looking like eccentric mascots from some forgotten war, covered in feathers, glitter and neon as much as we are in mud and miscellaneous party crust - attempted to pack down my haggard eight man tent, a survivor in itself, having attended the same festival (Secret Garden Party) all of six years ago. We tried, mostly in vain and with all the enthusiasm of Theresa May negotiating Brexit to wipe the thick mud from the green nylon as lesser cared for tents numbering in their hundreds, abandoned to become someone else's problem, slump sadly and fill with rain or fly haphazardly across the fields, uprooted from their infirm moorings to finally come to rest in the hedge-line, quivering like sheep huddling together in a storm.
It looks like the party is well and truly over... but is it?
I'm not informed as to why SGP is going to shut it's doors after putting on what I can only describe very personally as the best festival I've ever been to - and I attest to this despite enduring the harrowing scenes described above and despite all the freaking rain that had turned the entire site into a mud bath come Sunday PM. The very same words come from the mouths of all the people I knew that went, and further still from the medley of like-minded strangers that I met on adventures throughout the days and long nights.
From the secret field of sunflowers to the madness of the Colosillyum (a stage designed like a gladiator pit that relentlessly churns out the fiercest beats known to man) and from the life saving Lido - it's magical powers of rejuvenation somehow thwarted all my hangovers - to the joy of the paint war at the main stage... it was just epic from start to finish.
It's a fact that festivals are now more popular than ever, and I believe they give a priceless experience whilst often actually proving to be value for money; if you were to try and see just two of the headliners at a festival on separate occasions you might come close to spending the same amount of cash. Festivals like SGP - Bestival and Shambala to name a few of my other favourites - have so much attention to detail not only in the programing of the artists but throughout entire experience. They are magical landscapes of fun, colour and sound that momentarily take you away from whatever the real world means to you; they are sheer escapism, these places where your inner child is set free to be it's truly weird and wonderful self. Places where dressing as a dinosaur, or as one of the power rangers, or just covering yourself with pink dildos and walking around like 'yeah what?' - is practically encouraged (Yes I actually did see this) and isn't it wonderful that with all the seriousness and heaviness across the globe and in world news we can remember, if only for a long weekend, how to be really silly.
I heard mumblings and rumours why SGP was coming to an end, that it cost too much money or that it had lost it's integrity, but I'm sure of it, after that weekend - a weekend for me that made memories that may even last a lifetime - SGP will be back. I won't be the only one eagerly anticipating what the SGP team do next.Suggest a correction