THE Secret Garden Party was back at its non-secret location in Abbots Ripton for four days of music, entertainment, fantasy and fancy dress.

THE Secret Garden Party was back at its non-secret location in Abbots Ripton for four days of music, entertainment, fantasy and fancy dress.

The festival, organised by Freddie Fellowes, son of Lord De Ramsey, maintained its high standards for providing an attraction that goes beyond the usual music festival.

The land around Abbots Ripton Hall was transformed into a colourful display of flags, tents, marquees, funfair rides, food stalls, campsites and curiosities.

The centrepiece was arguably away from the main stage, where this year Marina and the Diamonds, Gorillaz Sound System and Mercury Rev performed.

In the middle of the lake a large blimp had been constructed, providing this year's island in the water where festival-goers could dance the days away - until Saturday night when the structure is spectacularly burned.

It is one of the rituals of this festival. Another is fancy dress. There were foxes, stilt-walkers, sumo wrestlers, Father Christmas and women in full bridal outfits, despite the temperature hitting 26C on Saturday.

The 17,000 paying customers also got a chance to take part in some of the other activities around the sprawling festival site. Human conkers, a cartoon confessional, water slide and other attractions were there to be enjoyed.

There is a higher brow side to the festival as well, with talks by documentary makers, scientists and one by a certain landowner, Lord de Ramsey.

A spokesman for the SGP told The Hunts Post: "This year's Secret Garden Party was, as always, a huge success, in terms of creativity, atmosphere and production. A big thanks goes out to all those involved and the local traders and community for their contribution.

"There were rumours the event was twice as big now as it was last year, but this is totally untrue.

"The capacity is around 17,000 and the new field used this year accommodated the extra people comfortably and also allowed room to produce many more activities and stages.

"There was so much going on this year, it's hard to find a highlight - rather you have to absorb the event as a whole and lose yourself in it."

On Monday, Huntingdonshire District Council was pleased with how the event had unfolded - just two noise complaints had been received by HDC at that time.

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