I was invited to Secret Garden Festival to help a friend with the Concrete Playground photo booth on Saturday. Ahh the perfect excuse for a road trip! He said I could bring a friend along so naturally I invited my festival buddy, Emily.
We met early in the morning at Emily’s place, and began raiding her house for plastic flowers and other props to adorn our hippy selves with. Armed with some fake daisies from a vase in her living room and a raccoon beanie, we set out on our journey.
With only the name of a street and some vague instructions printed off Google maps, we were on our way! I had made a mix CD for the car ride just before I left the house, with xxyyxx, Toro Y Moi and How To Dress Well providing the soundtrack for our big trip out of the city.
The roads got longer and wider as we drove, and the street names become less and less familiar… After mastering what appeared as a strange ‘bendy loop’ on our map, we finally found the street we had been looking for. We spotted a sign that simply said ‘Shhh, this way’ and gathered from this that we were on the right track. We reached a 3-pronged fork in the road, and decided to go straight. The road got narrower and we realised that there was no way to turn back. The only person in sight was 10 meters away on a tractor, and we had no phone reception. After 10 minutes of driving, we realised we were definitely on the wrong track and quite possibly trespassing on private property. Emily took us ‘off road’ and managed to turn the car around. We laughed hysterically as we realised we had no idea where we were, and that knowing this didn’t bother us in the slightest!
We finally arrived at our destination to find a mystical garden of fun and frivolity. When we were told to ‘dress up’ we didn’t realise the extent to which this was required. Everyone was adorned in the most lavish costumes, most of which were hand made. We met geisha girls, gypsies, a bunch of bananas and far too many Hunter S. Thompsons to count!
We were greeted by Nick, who had set up camp in the back of his car. He took us over to the garden where he had set up a white paper roll for the photo booth. He handed me his camera, to which he had attached a flash diffused by an Ikea lamp! This massive bulb above the camera attracted quite a bit of attention. The photo booth was a whole lot fun. We ended up gaining a few new friends out of the experience!
Towards the end of the day, when what had began as a paper roll was now a few bits of ripped paper hanging from a stand, and the battery for the flash died, we packed up and set out on our own little journey through the forest. We danced, and danced, and danced, then ate a quiche jaffle with no cheese, and then proceeded to dance some more.
At 3am, when our feet were covered in blisters and we had no energy left to krump, we retired from the festivities. We ended up falling asleep in Emily’s car with some friends she’d bumped into along the way.
Needless to say, this was one of the best 48 hours ever.
Here are some of the beautiful people we met…