Calvin and The Secret Garden Party

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by WOW Talks on 10 August 2011

That’s the difference between me and the rest of the world! Happiness isn’t good enough for me! I demand euphoria! – Calvin (of Calvin & Hobbes, not Calvin the 16th-century Protestant reformer)

Born in America in 1985 and syndicated throughout the world, Calvin & Hobbes would’ve loved a good English countryside knees-up. The adventurous six-year-old boy Calvin, named after French Protestant reformer John Calvin, cavorted with his anthropomorphized tiger, Hobbes, in the suburbs, expounding upon happiness, euphoria and environmentalism, among other fuzzy, green topics.

What better way to describe the UK’s most eclectic and creative festival, The Secret Garden Party? The official quote of the 2011 event is quite apropos, for the festival is truly a celebration of the joy and ecstacy found in art, music and cultural identity.

Participants are known as Gardeners, first-timers Virgin Gardeners. There is something close to Eden about the bucolic setting, with the rolling hills in the distance and free-spirited people on the loose, making impromptu murals, playing music, wrestling in glitter or just enjoying a pint in what is hopefully sunshine.

The festival is unique in that it has zero corporate sponsorship, a relatively low cost, a dedicated following (as of press tickets are already sold out), and a focus on the power of community and grass-roots good times.

We brought WOW Talks to the Garden this year, and tapped into the zeitgeist of what makes this festival so powerful and different from flock.

With a plethora of musicians and creative types, we had a field of talent to pluck from, and brought the best speakers to ask the most intriguing questions to the crowd. This year’s theme of Origins and Frontiers was reflected in our lineup, as we pondered the quote chosen by the festival’s organisers:

Where do we come from? Who are We? Where are we going?
– Paul Gaugin

WOW Talks encourages people to explore, lead and create.   How can we truly create, and make the world a better place, if we don’t know both where we are coming from and where we are going?  We asked these questions and more at The Secret Garden Party, with some of the festival’s most intruiging performers and artists.