The word was, of course, that SGP would be overrun with public school types. Being whacky, and annoying. A posh people's pretend festival. As if by magic, on the first morning, Sophie from next door asked if I had a cafetiere. She was there along with friends Jess and Leanne. It would have been easy to write the festival off there and then. Except that the night before, I'd got in - late - and walked around the site. I barely spoke to anyone, simply because the whole thing was mesmerisingly beautiful. The lake, the grounds, and the never ending curiosities. (The other beautiful thing is the people. Blimey. One game at SGP you might get tired of is "spot the ugly person". That could takes *days*) By the time the following morning came around, the cafetiere request was easy to shrug off. As it happened they were great neighbours. They shared a guilty smile when I said thought it was going to be posh people hell hole, and to their credit they'd borrowed a knackered old live-in ambulance and weren't shy of getting stuck into partying. I spent the next day or so wandering around. The name - these days at least - is a bit misleading. It's not small. Not in any sense. To loop the whole thing, not stopping, must take about two hours. With destractions, there's a full day of never seeing the same thing twice. It's now at 26k from what I've read. And - I believe - they're leaving it at that. Good call. The big thing is stuff to get involved in. There's loads of it. Everywhere you look. Take a boat ride, go swimming, play giant jenga. At one point I passed a sign for naked knitting. ("Women's 4pm, Mixed 5pm"). There was an amazing venue called (I think) the Badgers Set, hidden away in some trees, running over multiple levels. Everywhere there seem to be new things to find. I passed "Pootopia" (compost toilets) which had turned into Madonna hits cheese rave. And then the Collisilleum. An epic straw built venue with some hoofing DJs until - umm - 4am was it? 5am? With about 1000 people lined up the steep rake, all facing into the pit, dancing their arses off. It made the usual festival "dance tent" look like utter rubbish. It was the night though that, erm, the very very lovely people who attend gave me some very very lovely droogs. So I didn't sleep. And then was called to go and take some photos of Arcadia's latest creation... the human crossbow. Despite being verrrrry tired, I managed to make it over to see them firing one of their main men off the back of a truck into the lake. (Photos to follow). Things like that seem to be typical of SGP. They get away with all sorts of things that you wouldn't think would allowed these days. Is it a bit pricey? Well, I don't think it is. There's a BYOB limit (hideously enforced last year apparently, but better managed this year). They say they have to do it, to pay for all the stuff that's laid on. I can believe it. And draught 5% beer (San Miguel) or cider (Aspalls) at £4.10 - whilst not cheap - certainly beats £4 a *can* at alot of the Bestival bars, and is only marginally more expensive than Glastonbury (although that has unlimited BYOB). Any gripes? Well, I can't remember seeing water points. And the sound on the main stage when I went to see Blondie was a bit rubbish. But then easily made up for by the very epic burning of the stage in the lake. What festival sets fire to a stage? On the Saturday? And such a beautiful stage too, a giant insect. It's something you watch and think "these people are mental". And that makes you smile - alot. For me, if Glastonbury didn't exist, Secret Garden Party would be the best festival ever. Full stop. The end.