After 11 years of “forest discos”, quirky festival Secret Garden has announced this year’s shindig – over February 22 and 23 – will be its last. What started out as a “party for mates” on a property south-west of Sydney has evolved into an event involving hundreds of musicians, dancers and artists performing for thousands of punters. Organisers say they’ve known for a while that 2019 will be last drinks.
“We have always wanted to go out with a big bang and the stars have aligned for this year to be the perfect time to drop the mic,” said a festival spokesperson in a statement.
The festival only announces performers once all tickets have sold out and has become known for relying less on big-name headliners to draw crowds – though artists including Gang of Youths, the Rubens and Alison Wonderland have played in the past – and more on its reputation for throwing a killer party to sell tickets.
Punters are encouraged to dress up in costume – Saturday’s theme this year is “disco on a spaceship” – and organisers say it’s more about “a world where patrons participate rather than just spectate”.
In the 10 years the festival has been running it’s helped raise $500,000 for charities including Indigenous child health organisation Malpa and Camp Out, a camp for LGBTQI teens. All profits from the festival’s bars are put towards not-for-profits, and the drinks are cheap to deter people from bringing their own.
If you fancy checking out what all the fuss is about, or want to party at Secret Garden for one last time, extra tickets are now on sale.