Secret Garden Party 2024: A paradigm shift to support emerging artists

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In a revolutionary move for music festivals, the UK’s renowned Secret Garden Party has announced its commitment to supporting grassroots artists by opting out of featuring major headliners in its 2024 lineup.

This decision aligns with their participation in the “Drop a Headliner” campaign by Chai Wallahs, emphasizing the Secret Garden Party‘s longstanding role as an incubator for independent and emerging talent over its 20-year history.

For the 2024 edition, SGP is set to feature over 350 artists including notable acts like Unkle and Crystal Fighters, alongside a myriad of emerging performers such as Chinchilla, Franky Wah, and Carly Wilford. This diverse lineup is complemented by various collectives like Chai Wallahs, The Living Room, and Noiganica, who will host dedicated venues showcasing a range of grassroots music. This new festival model reallocates funds typically spent on headliners to support a larger number of artists and provides a platform for new talent to gain visibility and grow.

Secret Garden Party founder, Fred Fellowes, has emphasized the festival’s commitment to being a “breeding ground for talent,” questioning the traditional allocation of large budgets to just a few headliners. His approach is about fueling a broader spectrum of outstanding acts, thereby redefining what festival-goers can expect from their experience – focusing more on discovery and innovation in the music scene.

Read this next: Martin Garrix unveils Ushuaïa Ibiza residency for 2024

The festival’s bold strategy comes at a critical time as the UK festival scene faces significant financial challenges, with more than 100 festivals at risk of disappearing due to soaring operational costs. SGP’s initiative highlights a potential shift in the festival industry, aiming to support a more sustainable and diverse musical ecosystem and challenging the dominance of major corporate-backed events.

As SGP 2024 gears up to return to its roots with the reintroduction of iconic areas like The Lost Woods and The Pagoda, it promises an intimate festival experience that breaks down the barrier between artists and audiences. This setup fosters a community-driven atmosphere, allowing festival-goers to immerse themselves in music and a variety of creative expressions including art, sculpture, and immersive performances. This holistic approach underlines SGP’s philosophy of nurturing creativity and building a vibrant, inclusive community of artists and attendees alike.

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