Gig Reviews

Secret Garden Festival – Sydney, 27th-28th February 2015

Walking into Secret Garden Festival feels a bit like walking into an 8-year-old’s fancy dress party. OK, so there are a few key differences — unless some of you started hitting the festival scene very early — but there’s definitely the right amount of superheros, clowns, face paint and fairies (and fairy bread!).

The creative team behind the festival spend weeks getting their craft on so that the whole farm, in a secret location on the outskirts of Sydney, is decorated with enough festive bunting, papier mâché, origami and fairy lights to put any professional party planner to shame. Add some games, live music and thousands of happy punters and you’ve got yourself a stellar weekend.

This year the costumes were particularly outstanding, with a strong homemade contingent including a washing machine (complete with laundry basket hat), to an entire fruit bowl, ninja turtles, snails, mermaids and everything in-between.

While this style of festival is about a lot more than just the music, a killer line up never goes astray. This year saw a bunch of up-and-comers take to the numerous stages, tents and tipis throughout the day.

Remi’s laid back tracks including Livin’, Sangria and XTC Party provided the perfect soundtrack to a stunning sunset. While he was impressed with the outfits, it didn’t stop him laying down a good old-fashioned dance challenge, heartily accepted by all. As much as some pretty cumbersome costumes would allow, anyway.

The Griswolds were 110% on board with the Secret Garden vibe, dressing as KISS for the occasion. Their cover of Vance Joy’s Riptide was a clear crowd favourite.

With their suave suits and 80s style, every Client Liaison gig is practically a fancy dress party. The stylish synth pop sensations took things to the next level with a guest appearance from Sydney’s Retrosweat dancers. Think aerobics, lycra, high cut leotards, a boom box and some serious thrusting.

We escaped the dance floor for a late night walk through the neon lights of China Town, exploring the incredible set up and art installations throughout the grounds. The team behind the festival go above and beyond to create a real-life wonderland.

After a long day of dancing, Japanese Wallpaper took things down a notch and delivered a delightful set of ethereal tunes on the Fern Gully stage to a jungle full of fairies and forest nymphs.

Humans began emerge from their costumes, a mere shell of their former selves. To be fair, no-one wants to be restricted in any way for Hot Dub Time Machine, who closed the main stage with an epic set of the best dance tracks from the ’50s through to 2015.

From here the party spills out into the campsite. Secret Garden is no place for sleep. With so many superheros in the one place, naturally they have a whole lot to catch up on.

Gallery: Secret Garden 2015 / Photos by Hayley Gibney-Palmer

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