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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Secret Garden Festival Has Announced That Its 2019 Forest Disco Will Be Its Last

After ten years of otherworldly over-the-top parties, the festival is sadly calling it a day.
By Lauren Vadnjal
January 10, 2019
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Secret Garden Festival Has Announced That Its 2019 Forest Disco Will Be Its Last

After ten years of otherworldly over-the-top parties, the festival is sadly calling it a day.
By Lauren Vadnjal
January 10, 2019
  shares

Every February for the last ten years, Secret Garden Festival has taken over a forest outside Sydney, turning it into a magical natural wonderland with a 48-hour extravaganza of music, drag, food and art. It's always a banger. If you've been, you might have found yourself dancing on a cosmic suspended flying saucer dance floor, partying with drag queens at Camp Queen, getting a smooch at the kissing booth or even getting married. But, like all good ones, the party has to come to an end sometime. And for Secret Garden, the time is this year, with organisers announcing that the 2019 festival will be the last one ever.

The announcement, which was made to gardeners in a Facebook post this morning, confirmed that 2019 will be the festival's last outing. According to the team, the decision to call it has been in the works for a while — and it's bowing out while everyone's still having fun.

"I always knew Secret Garden wouldn't be around forever — in fact, it's gone on way longer that I thought it would," says founder Clare Downes, who started the festival on her family's farm back in 2009. "I really wanted to ensure we go out on a high. A big bang finale."

The Kissing Booth at the 2015 festival.

Clare says the Secret Garden team has "achieved what we set out to achieve". Over the years, the festival has created a legendary safe space for Sydneysiders to escape into nature for a weekend of dancing, dressing up and spending time with mates. Plus, any profit that the festival makes has always been donated back to charity — which, after the last ten years, adds up to almost $500,000.

While this is definitely the last Secret Garden to be held at the Downes Family Farm, the team has said the the festival "may reappear in some form in the future".

But the good news is that there's still one more party to go — and it's set to be all-time. We can't tell you what to expect for the festival's upcoming iteration — as is custom, the lineup won't be announced until tickets sell out and most of the other details remain a secret until the moment you arrive — but the theme has been dubbed One Last Night in Paradise. Costumes are mandatory, and, considering it's the last one ever, you can expect that the Secret Garden team will go all out.

Secret Garden's last ever festival is happening over the weekend of February 22–24. You can snap up tickets here

Published on January 10, 2019 by Lauren Vadnjal

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