Successor to Secret Garden Party festival is unveiled as licensing application for ‘Mistress Mary’ is submitted

The Mistress Mary festival could return to Abbots Ripton this year. Picture: MISTRESS MARY

The Mistress Mary festival could return to Abbots Ripton this year. Picture: MISTRESS MARY - Credit: Archant

The organisers of the Secret Garden Party have unveiled plans for a new festival this year.

The website for the Mistress Mary Festival has appeared online. Picture: MISTRESS MARY

The website for the Mistress Mary Festival has appeared online. Picture: MISTRESS MARY - Credit: Archant

The firm Backwoodsman Ltd has applied to Huntingdonshire District Council for a licence that would allow it to host the Mistress Mary festival at Abbots Ripton Hall, in Abbots Ripton, from July 20-21.

Mistress Mary and Secret Garden Party are both references to the early 20th century novel The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Abbots Ripton Hall is owned by Lord De Ramsey, and his son, Freddie Fellowes, is a director of Backwoodsman Ltd.

In its application to the district council, the firm has requested a licence that would "commence on Saturday, July 20, and will cease to have effect on Monday, July 22".


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If granted, the licence would permit: "Films (indoors and outdoors); live music (indoors and outdoors); recorded music (indoors and outdoors); performances of dance; supply of alcohol from 12 (midday) on July 20 to midnight on July 21."

The licence would also permit: "Late night refreshment from 11pm to 5am the day following July 20 and from 11pm to midnight on July 21."

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The official website for the Mistress Mary festival is live but, as yet, tickets are not publically available.

The last Secret Garden Party festival was held in 2017, coming to a close after 15 successful years.

Speaking at the time, Mr Fellowes said: "We have never compromised our principles and we never will. Secret Garden Party has always been a beacon of what you can do within those terms and, as imitation - being the sincerest form of flattery - proves, it has set the bar for everyone else going forward.

"But it is exactly because of those principles, and the love of those who have made the Garden Party what it is, that we are committing this senseless act of beauty."

Anyone wishing to make representations about the licence application should contact Huntingdonshire District Council by May 3. Visit www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk for more information.

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