Festival Preview: Secret Garden Party Christmas Voyage 2009

01 December 2009

Can’t wait until next year to get your Secret Garden Party fix? Missing the excitement of summer boutique one-day festivals during the drab winter months?

Well, you won’t have to wait until the summer for another opportunity to break out the fancy dress and boogie. The Secret Garden Party’s Christmas Voyage takes place on 12th December and promises to harness the eccentric delights of the festival into an evening of nautical-themed mayhem.

It takes place on The HMS Ulysses – or rather Limehouse’s Troxy, which gig-goers will know as a suitably breathtaking 1930’s art deco Grade II listed building, complete with chandeliers and large sweeping staircases.
Every crevice of this vast ‘ship’ will be bursting with eye-popping entertainment, and guests will be entreated to explore all the ballrooms, dining terraces, cocktail bars and hidden passageways have to offer.

Those who book their tickets early will be in with a chance of attending a pre-party at the grand Counting House pub, before being ‘ferried’ over to the Troxy when the main entertainment starts.

What precisely this entertainment will be is shrouded in a veil of delicious ambiguity, but guests can expect to be transported into the glitzy world of the 1920s elite, and then down into the joyous, frenzied atmosphere of the lower decks. Make sure you wear your dancing shoes in preparation for foot-stomping big band swing and mysterious ‘radical performances’. That’s not to mention the huge range of eclectic amusements – from Rats Shooting Craps and Badger Bar fighting, to good old magicians and conjurers. Secret Garden’s famous Dance Off Crew will be making an appearance, as well as the Bearded Kittens (who host the mud wrestling antics at the festival). If that all sounds a tad energetic, guests will be able to relax in Turkish baths, listen to explorers’ tales or even pop in to see the odd science experiment.

It goes without saying that guests are expected to arrive dressed in their finest, and in true Secret Garden Party-style a fancy dress theme (or two) has been suggested to inspire your imaginations – be prepared to board The HMS Ulysses as Silly Fillies and Dilly Toffs, Futuristic Pirates, Ancient Sea Creatures from the Deep and Naval Officers from the Bridge.

Whatever the entertainment might be, this is a Secret Garden Party, and that badge of quality means this this will be a party like no other, filled with the kind of frivolities and surprises that will be talked about for months to come. The Gardeners promise there will be a ‘grand finale to immortalise the voyage’, which (as anyone who has been to the festival will know) means there’s a spectacular treat in store. Hopefully they won’t, like this year’s summer session, actually burn down the boat. Like the festival, part of the joy of this Secret Garden night will be stumbling upon fantastic bands, DJs and performers you’ve never heard of before but who you’ll remember forever.

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