Secret Garden Party 2009

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Secret Garden Party 2009

The Secret Garden Party festival took place last weekend (July 23-26) in the tiny village of Abbots Ripton, near Huntington, Cambridgeshire. Performances at the fancy-dress-themed bash came from the likes of Jarvis Cocker, VV Brown, Fight Like Apes, The Holloways and Noah And The Whale. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Added: 27 Jul 2009

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Secret Garden Party 2009

Now in its fourth year, the Secret Garden Party is one of the smaller festivals on the circuit, attracting around 12,000 revellers each year. The highlight of this year's event was a colossal, 'Wicker Man'-style bonfire on the Saturday night, during which a giant pagoda in the middle of a lake was put to the torch. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Secret Garden Party 2009

The Kooks were one of the bigger names on a diverse bill that included a number of female singer-songwriters such as VV Brown and Emmy The Great. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Secret Garden Party 2009

Kids are everywhere at Secret Garden Party. As are dogs, who roam freely round the site. Childrens' activities this year included a circus school, doodle den and a kids' disco. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Secret Garden Party 2009

Jarvis Cocker in a less than graceful pose as he headlines The Great Stage at The Secret Garden Party on Friday (July 24). The former Pulp man stuck with tunes from his solo project and kicked preceddings off with 'Chihuahua'. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Secret Garden Party 2009

Anything goes at Secret Garden Party: there's even a Suicide Olympics, where lunatics throw themselves over 6ft pianos just for the hell of it. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Secret Garden Party 2009

Unlike Britain's other fancy dress festival, Bestival, there is no set theme at Secret Garden Party: revellers are encouraged to use their imagination. However, we noticed that flowery headgear and garlands were big this year, perhaps reflecting the growing style influence of Florence And The Machine. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Secret Garden Party 2009

A couple of punters enjoying a dirty weekend at The Secret Garden Party (July 24-26). Mud wrestling was one of the many activities the guests were encouraged to take part in at the weekend. Thankfully, the mud was not naturally occurring: aside from a downpour on Thursday night, the sun shone throughout. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Added: 27 Jul 2009

Photo: Andy Willsher

Secret Garden Party 2009

Phoenix onstage at Secret Garden Party on Friday evening (July 24). The French band were watched by a luridly dressed, up-for-it crowd. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Secret Garden Party 2009

The XX give fans a taster of their forthcoming album at Secret Garden Party. The London four-piece have been busy on the festival circuit - they played Latitude the previous weekend (July 16-19). The band are also preparing for the release of their debut album 'XX', which is set for release on August 17. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Secret Garden Party 2009

Set in a 10-acre landscaped garden, bordering a river and lake, Secret Garden Party is known for its excellent food, as well as a dizzying range of playful activities such as skinny-dipping, bubble wrap popping, sock wrestling, twilight maypole dancing, silent disco, raft-building, body painting and karaoke singing. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Secret Garden Party 2009

Official Secrets Act were one of many bands to enjoy the beautiful weather at Secret Garden Party, held in Cambridgeshire last weekend (July 24-26), despite weather warnings suggesting a downpour. Team Waterpolo, Slow Club, Golden Silvers and Dan Black also stepped onto The Great Stage during the weekend. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Secret Garden Party 2009

We're not too sure what's going on here but it could possibly be a human game of chess... Photo: Andy Willsher

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Secret Garden Party 2009

Secret Garden Party is the only festival NME has been to where outdoor swimming is encouraged. On Saturday afternoon the lake was packed full of punters splashing about in their pants in a bid to escape the hot weather. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Secret Garden Party 2009

More mud wrestlers. They'll regret that when they sober up... Photo: Andy Willsher

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Secret Garden Party 2009

Secret Garden Party's main stage by night. One artist who caught the mood was VV Brown - her upbeat set attracted an ever-growing crowd, with the entire field dancing wildly to her recent hit, 'Crying Blood'. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Secret Garden Party 2009

On Saturday night the entire festival site was a blaze of fire. Chinese lanterns were released into the sky, dancers twirled flaming sticks, and a pagan-style procession weaved through the crowd - all in preparation for the gigantic bonfire and firework display that erupted at 10.30pm. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Secret Garden Party 2009

Jarvis Cocker headlined the whacky event on Friday July 24 - and embraced the spirit of the festival by launching giant balloons into the crowd mid-set. Balloons of another kind - ones filled with nitrous oxide, or laughing gas - were a common site at the bash. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Secret Garden Party 2009

More medieval-themed revelry at Secret Garden Party. One of the bars served mead late into the night, while jesters and fiddlers cavorted round a bonfire, surrounded by punters sat on hay bales. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Secret Garden Party 2009

Secret Garden Party ended with a bang when fireworks were held over the very lake festival-goers had been skinny-dipping in during the weekend, on the last night of the festival (July 26). Let's hope no-one was still in the lake at the time... Photo: Andy Willsher

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Secret Garden Party 2009

One of the rarer breeds to be found at Secret Garden Party last weekend (July 24-26). 12,000 revellers packed out the small-scale site, for its fourth sell-out year. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Secret Garden Party 2009

A triumphant punter pictured after winning a mud-wrestling contest and before heading to the festival's lake to wash off the remains. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Secret Garden Party 2009

Emmy The Great played on the last day of the festival (Sunday July 26) at The Lake Stage, which was beautifully crafted to look like a pirate ship. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Secret Garden Party 2009

Legendary blues guitarist Peter Green was another artist to play the festival's Great Stage on Sunday (July 26). The founding member of Fleetwood Mac played a set of both solo and Mac songs, backed by a group of musician friends. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Secret Garden Party 2009

Noah And The Whale joined Jarvis Cocker, Rodrigo Y Gabriella, Emiliana Torrini, VV Brown, Phoenix, EMF, Slow Club, Bombay Bicycle Club and Screaming Lights for the eccentric bash, held in East Anglia's idyllic countryside. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Added: 27 Jul 2009

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