Eddy Says

Eddy Says: Boom shake shake shake the room – a new venue for a new decade of Secret Gardening

By | Published on Tuesday 13 March 2012

Secret Garden Party

This year the Secret Garden Party festival celebrates its tenth anniversary. Starting out as a private party, its lakeside setting, giant treehouses, magical feeling and great line-ups have seen it grow into one of the best-loved events on the festival calendar. Each year Eddy has programmed his own tent, and for the tenth year he’s going large with a new name, new stage, and a staggering line-up, which he’s announcing in full right here.

Is it really TEN YEARS since Freddie, The Head Gardener, came to my flat carrying a laptop loaded with pictures of people dancing around a huge fire, surrounded by sofas, random art and sculptures? Can it really be a decade since 800 of us gathered around a few treehouses and gazebos next to a beautiful lake in Huntingdonshire, and partied, in fancy dress, like it was our last weekend on earth?

Yes, it can. 2012 marks the tenth anniversary of the incredible and unique festival that is the Secret Garden Party, and as such, I’ve been breaking my balls, gardening in secret, to make this a line-up like none I’ve ever put together. I booked only artists that really wanted to be there, many of whom have previously provided a key moment at SGP or on my Xfm show, so we end up with a distillation of the past decade and a celebration of where we’re at now.

I had a few gutters and near misses along the way, as you always do. There are some agents for whom money is much more important than love, one in particular who turned me down flat for every artist I approached them for. And we also lost out on a few people who were keen but already had other commitments. Still, the near misses have been made up for by the hits, the ‘yeses’ and the overwhelming kindness of so many. Legends and new artists alike, who are all playing for a fraction of their normal fee, so our piece of canvas at this magnificent festival continues to punch way above its weight.

Speaking of which, my stage is now in a different tent, with a different name. We’ve had an annual problem with the Remix tent or Bubble – or whatever shape it takes – which is that people just don’t want to be in a dark indoor space when the sun is shining. This led to some incredible talent in the past just playing to a handful of people seeking shelter from the sun in the daytime. Traditionally, as the sun goes down, the tent fills up and becomes THE night-time destination of the Secret Garden Party. This year we’ve applied some thought to this conundrum, and I think we may have cracked it, with this.

You may recognise it as the Glade tent from Glastonbury. I have happy memories of the Dub Pistols performing live under this in The Glade. The height and the size of the apertures make it, almost, an outside space with a nice roof to reduce the UV rays and kiss goodbye to any raindrops. I’m now imagining it reverberate to the beats of Akira Kiteshi or Freq Nasty. Shock One may blow another hole in it too!

This reminds me, there’s so much to look forward to this year: Jacques Lu Conte’s first set with me since 1998 on MTV, Adam Freeland’s ONLY DJ set this year, Utah Saints back at the festival they re-united for in the first place, Monkey Mafia re-united as well, playing their debut SGP show, and the famous four-deck-mash-up set by Krafty Kuts and A Skillz with Dynamite MC.

You’ll be able to see former Sepultura sticksman Igor Cavalera drumming live over rampant electro and techno with his Mixhell project, and Scroobius Pip too, who I had to ask back because his tipping point set at dusk with Dan Le Sac, the year they broke, was one of my favourite SGP moments ever. And there’s also Hervé, Adam F and Mistabishi playing live and one more legend still up my sleeve. It’s wall-to-wall dance music royalty in there this year.

But it’s not just about the big ones, we have some stunning newbies in the shape of Maribou State, Ayah Marar, and live sets from the next Florence, Niki & The Dove, and Engine Earz Experiment, the best live dubstep act I’ve ever seen. Speaking of which, I have very high hopes of High Rankin’s live band too.

And I booked 2 Bit Thugs because one of my favourite SGP memories was their wide eyed, smiling faces on the Monday of the year they last played, and their embracing me and confessing they’d had not just their set of the year, but the best weekend of their lives. That is the essence of what I’m trying to achieve this year, to have everybody who’s lucky enough to be there have the best weekend of the year, the decade, or their life. Any of those would be fine by me!

So, my friends, with hand-on-heart thanks to all artists on the bill for being such good sports, and to the agents who could see that (to quote the marvellous Adam F) “some things aren’t about the fee” (‘Love Over Gold’ again), I give you the line-up for the all new, all singing, all dancing, home of all things bass, with a few lovely curve balls to keep things tickety-boo:

Jacques Lu Conte
Utah Saints
Krafty Kuts & A Skillz with Dynamite MC
Adam F
Scroobius Pip (LIVE)
Danny Byrd & MC Risky
Mistabishi (LIVE)
Niki & The Dove (LIVE)
Adam Freeland
Mixhell (LIVE)
Jon Carter
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly
High Rankin (LIVE)
True Tiger
Rack N Ruin
Monkey Mafia (LIVE)
Shock One
Freq Nasty
EddyTM & Majestic
Losers (LIVE)
Ayah Marar (LIVE)
Cut La Roc
Russ Cuban
David Dunne
Akira Kiteshi
Caan (LIVE)
Engine Earz Experiment (LIVE)
Maribou State
Afghan Headspin
Effect Mode & Illaman (LIVE)
2 Bit Thugs
Hiatus & Shura
Kry Wolf
Swifty B
Steve E Something
Disqo Conqrette
Rawkus Noize
Feeling Gloomy
CALM Auction Winner
MCs: Majestic, Krafty MC, Illaman, Bad Manners, MC Gaika

I’m pretty pleased with that list. Hope you agree. If you do, I’d get your skates on and buy your tickets now, because I have a feeling we’re on track to sell out in record time this year. I really want you to be there to witness what will be the pinnacle year of the best festival I’ve ever seen.

X eddy