Nick Bartlett is one of the creative leads behind Secret Garden Party, the leading independent music and arts festival experts call ‘a serious party’. The festival is crashing off the scene this year, after launching into a greatly less competitive festival market in 2004.
But one last adventure for gardeners awaits this July, so we’ve probed Nick about the rumoured reincarnation of the festival next year, and asked for his top picks ahead of a SGP he’s calling ‘one last one to remember’.
C/T: What’s your cultural pick from this year’s festival?
Nick Bartlett: A new piece of Artwork from Robert Montgomery, He has a fantastic way of commenting on compulsory life and culture through beautiful poetic prose. This special commission will be part of his new collection and we are very excited to be part of this larger work.
Your trashy pick?
Special commentary from guest star Tony Buttons in the gladiatorial mud medley of the Collysillyium. The potty-mouthed Mr Buttons, an ageing moth-eaten teddy bear boy, half unicorn half drunken Jazz Hound, delivers rolling insults through tears of kindness as audience members battle it out in the infamous mud pit.
How did you prepare for this final SGP?
By multiple redesigns and delving into every possible tangent that could flow from this year’s theme. We have also unlocked the volts of the last few years and looked back on what was a real SGP moment and blended this into the festival design to give the gardeners one last one to remember.
Describe how it feels going head first into your last SGP.
Like a like a chef trying to put too much jelly into a tiny mould.
Should festivalgoers expect to hear word about a possible reincarnation next year?
This is the last one…
What challenges do you face reinventing the festival for next year?
Future festivals are all secret at the moment.
Is there a formula for success that you follow when putting together a festival?
The beauty of a good festival is that it gives its participants something they need with lashings of things they did not realise they needed.
How important are the bands playing SGP?
The eclectic mix of the show is the real beauty of SGP. The sum of its parts is greater than the whole. If you put more focus on any one of its many facades the rest just don’t fit.
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