SECRET GIGS AND SECRET FESTIVALS

SG01

24/06/2000

Burnham-On-Sea Beach

SG02

09/07/2000

Loch Leven Scotland

 

SG03

29/07/2000

Lady Bower Reservoir, England

 

SG04

02/09/2000

St Agnes Head, St Agnes, England

 

SG05

03/02/2001

Hellfire Caves, Wycombe, England

 

SG06

28/07/2001

Batsford Manor, Batsford

 

SG07

17/08/2001

Sherwood Forest, Sherwood, England

 

SG08

15/09/2001

The Experiment

 

SG09

22/09/2001

Leeds Town Hall

 

SG10

15/08/2004

Bradley Wood Campsite, Brighouse

 

SG11

26/08/2004

Leicester Square, London

 

SG12

29/08/2004

Ratho Adventure Centre, Edinburgh

 

SG13

03/09/2004

Shepherd’s Bush Green, London

 

SG14

21/09/2004

Majorca

 

SG15

25&26/09/2004

Custard Factory, Birmingham
Granary Wharf, Leeds
Sefton Park, Liverpool
Angel Of The North, Gateshead

 

SG16

26/10/2004

Big Brother House

 

SG17

16&17/12/2004

The Caves, Edinburgh
Carnglaze Caverns, Cornwall

 

SG18

23/03/2005

Les Clarkson’s House, Cardiff

 

SG19

10/11/2013

Lumb Lane Mill, Bradford

 

SG20

14/12/2013

Police Boxing Club, Halifax

 

SG21

06/04/2014

Picturedrome, Holmfirth

 

XTCN22

06/09/2014

The Secret Festival

 

XTCN23

05/09/2015

The Secret Festival

2/9/2016

The Secret Festival

                     Saturday 14Th December, 2013 at Halifax Police Amateur  Boxing Club,

 

                                        Review of #sg20, Saturday 14th December 2014

Let me go back a few years, over 7 in fact, to Friday 22nd September 2006. Embrace walk on to stage at the LCR at the UEA in Norwich, and greet the crowd with arms aloft, Danny McNamara grabbing the mic and ushering the sobering words “splitting up?? We’re not fucking splitting up” (the previous day it had been reported in various media and by Chris Moyles on Radio 1 that the This New Day tour was to be their farewell tour). Whilst he admitted the band would be taking some time away from the limelight, his reassurance of the band returning in the future was enough for me.
 

The tour finishes….. One year goes by.. Nothing.. Another, then another, still nothing.. Still listening to their music regularly, hankering for a return.

4 years go by, still no word, the website still up and running to some degree, but no word from the band. Then a glimmer, 21st November 2011, a blog from Danny McNamara saying the band were in the recording studio and would be returning soon, a big whoop whoop from me!! Another appears on the 2nd December, raising expectations of their imminent return. 2012 was going to see their return, I was certain of it. The years pans out with nothing apart from Danny McNamara’s quite emotional blog of 19th June. Disappointed?? You betcha, but still full of hope and expectation for the next year... hell if the Stone Roses can successfully return after 16 years, then I was sure Embrace could after 7.

By now I’m using social media, especially twitter, to follow their fortunes, adding band members to follow their movements (makes me sound like a stalker I know, but the band had such a huge part to play in my life I felt it necessary!!), as well as adding other fans to my ‘following’ list (most notably @thegoodwillout, @bettygaze, @Nelbel101 being notable for their exuberant following of the band, seeming as nutty about the boys as me).

 

Secretgig.com appears and I sign up. Finally the boys are doing something it seems. An awesome video appears, dark, mysterious, with an epic soundtrack. New music. At last. Word spreads quickly across social media, twitter seemingly being the place to be. Instructed to follow this character “Al White, @thewhitealien”. Much of my spare time, however little of it I have, is spent following his every move, changing profile pics to his instruction, carrying out his every instruction in the hope of getting tickets for the return. Days go by. News of #sg19, the boys return filters through. “Fuck it” I thought, not selected. Envious of those lucky gits who got to see them play in their return. Envious once I see the set list they are playing. Reading the reviews on social media made me full of anticipation, full of joy yet full of envy. I needed to be there, I wanted to hear new material. After the year I had had, I needed something good to go right for me.

Then I get told to be ready for the invasion. #sg20 was imminent. Cue changing profile pictures on facebook and twitter. My family and friends who follow me on both sites wonder what on earth I am up to. I now resemble a paint-covered face. Instructions are made. Followers carry them out. This was beginning to resemble a cult!! The #embracefamily begins to form, each with their own opinions of where, when, what. We get told to hold fire, news was imminent.

Friday 22nd November arrives, my phone on in the works office, and for once I had my tones on. I had an inkling that day that something was going to happen; I normally leave it on silent. It starts going ballistic at around 10am, I check it at 10:20 – members of the #embracefamily saying check your email, check your email. Checked. “Shit, holy shit” I thought, tickets on sale, the #invasion is imminent. I quickly grab my wallet, not being so nervous about getting tickets for something since the Roses return the previous year. It goes through, and I get the email I hoped for. “Your tickets are attached”. Holy shit, I’m going I thought. The world stands still for a few seconds. A tear of joy, my heart pounding like crazy. One thought running through my head, “IM OFF TO SEE EMBRACE AT ONE OF THEIR FAMED SECRET GIGS!! HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!” Quickly on the phone to my new partner, an Embrace virgin who was laying in a hospital bed at the time recovering from an operation, to give her the news, a little yelp of joy from the other end of the phone!!! Then I read the small-print!! The ticket price includes for your own safety, safety goggles, protective mask, protective clothing, make sure you wear old footwear and clothing because it will get messy. What on earth have I just signed up for?! At that moment I didn’t care one jot. Best news still, the other members of the #embracefamily have got tickets too! These other like-minded fans of the band were going to be amongst the crowd too. Fantastic news.

A date. Saturday 14th December, in Halifax, Yorkshire. A date and location as such. No other details. Discussions amongst the family now turn to what the message about getting messy means; general consensus is that it involves paint and a lot of it! More and more of the people added on facebook and twitter (at the bequest of this alien fella who was starting to take over everyone’s lives) start making plans for the day of the gig. A pre-gig meeting at a pub; fantastic idea. Flash gig in Halifax town centre before the gig sounds bonkers, but hey, why not! When in Rome and all that. Plans afoot, the 3-week wait flies by and the day of the gig arrives. Family members now attain family numbers to their twitter domains. The family is taking shape!! More instructions follow. Red glow sticks and red lights to be worn under the suit, along with bringing along a picture of something you are or were obsessed with. What on earth?! This was going to be some night!

Saturday 14th December 2014. The day was finally here. Old shoes? Check. Old clothes? Well, I wasn’t going as a scab, but hey, they were respectable! Embrace play list on the mp3 for the 4-hour car journey from Norwich? Hell yeah! Kristi and myself set out, music playing, full of hope, anticipation and excitement, yet still with that nagging doubt in my head. What the hell was going to happen tonight! The journey takes no time at all, flying by, 4 hours worth of Embrace on random play in the car really setting me in the mood for the days events. We arrive at the pub, a sense of anticipation increases. Normally I’m very nervous in these kinds of situations, walking into a pub in a town I’ve never visited to meet and be with people I’ve never met before in my life. Not something within my sphere of comfort, in fact so far out of it, it is unbelievable. Yet, the contact I have had with people on social media, the fact that it is a shared experience, that everyone in there is there for a common reason makes me feel at ease. These were people I “knew” but had yet to meet. Approaching the pub, a face turns to me, “you’re Steven aren’t you? Welcome.” “Christ” I think, “somebody knows me!” I turn around, and am greeted with a handshake by a familiar face, someone who I haven’t met yet know. Gus Fielding (I believe)! More introductions and greetings follow. Izzy and her husband. Liz. Linelle. Darren and his fantastic tattoo! Craig. Alan. Julian. Gill. (Apologies to others I recognised but didn’t say hello should I guess come at this point but to be honest I’m utterly useless at putting faces and names together!) The pub is packed to the rafters; the feeling is more like home fans getting ready for the big game than a gig, everyone in it together for a mutual cause. New people introduce themselves, Vanessa & her husband up from Colchester, secret gig virgins like us. I sit back and just take it all in, just wanting to get to the venue and get it on.

The pub empties into the pouring rain of a cold Yorkshire evening, people wandering across to the adjacent shopping precinct. The flash-mob performance! 5pm, the precinct is dark yet there are some people still mulling around. The music starts, people start singing. Myself and Kristi walk on over and join in. I look around, suddenly there are, I guess, 75-100 people all stood outside Carphone Warehouse belting out “All You Good Good People” at the tops of their voices. What an experience, shoppers looking on with either looks of amazement or disgust, but do we care?? Not one bit!! Proudly we sing on, and then it ends, and we disperse leaving the shopping centre in peace. Was it any good? To be honest, to an outsider, it was probably a shambles. But to us brave souls who stood in the rain singing away it was the least we could to do to spread the word of the return of Embrace on the night of the gig, and anyway, do you think any of the participants cared about the views of the non-believers?! Not one bit!

On to phase 3 of the day, the gig itself. Chucking it down with rain as we arrive at the boxing club, Kristi and I dress ourselves in the lights and attach the glow sticks to ourselves. The queue to get in is snaking around the building, and it seems to take an age to get in. Through the windows to the club we can see red lights; those already in are wearing the protective clothing. One thing goes through my mind whilst waiting, that this is going to be something we are unlikely to have experienced before and more than likely, ever again. We get in after what seems an eternity and put on our protective clothing. To the outside world we look, well, bloody ridiculous to be honest!! To the increasing numbers inside, we are all now one and the same, all now equal-no brand names, no one more fashionable than the other, no-one with more expensive jeans on. Each and everyone of us now wearing identical boiler suits and masks. I think to myself, if only my kids could see me now, they would ask me “what on earth do you look like dad?” But in that moment, I felt like a big kid, full of childlike anticipation, like a child waiting for Santa on Christmas eve (to be honest, the look of the Santa who was at the gig would scare the heebie jeebies out of most kids; lycra and Santa outfits really shouldn’t be mixed!! [Apologies to the said person, i'm only joking, you looked fab!!]) The obsessional picture is put on the wall, mine being the toy dog I walked around everywhere when I was younger, Kristi’s being that of The Care Bears. The room where the gig was is behind us, separated only now by red lighting on a thin curtain adorned with handprints. We go through. A boxing ring, lots of red lights and a crowd full of expectancy at what was to come; but still no sign of what was to make us messy!!

Again, what seems like another eternity. The room fills up with more and more people wearing identical suits. “This is looking more and more like a cult meeting” I think to myself. “What if it is just a huge hoax by the band to see how much control they can have over their fans” is another thought I have. Then the lights go down and the crowd cheers, a mixture of anticipation and fever erupts in the room and they enter the room. Danny. Richard. Steve. Mike. Mickey. All dressed in white. None of them looking a day younger than the last time I saw them over 7 years ago. Then the music starts and the crowd erupts at the first chord of the new song ‘Protection’. Love the new sound, a frantic drum beat pounded out by Mike, a smile as big as a Cheshire cat on Steve’s face, Rik’s guitar sounding as crisp as ever, Mickey’s keyboards perfectly accompanying everything. Danny’s voice and presence hold the crowd. First impression? Wow, loving the new sound. Another new song follows, that being ‘In The End’, another that holds the crowd’s attention without any fail. Instantly the band have the crowd right where they want them, right in the palm of their hands. The third song, their third new song, ‘Refugees’ is in my opinion, THE stand out new track of the evening, a Richard-led track that fits perfectly in the back catalogue; a perfect melody, perfectly written piece of music that, if was put out into the big wide world immediately would be instantly grabbed by the music press as a piece of genius; (whether it will be because it is by a band who have been in existence for close on 20 years is debateable). All parts of the band seem in perfect harmony together, almost like the 7 years they had been away were only 7 weeks. Refugees is greeted with huge applause, the band seeming almost humble in their acceptance of the crowds applause. Then those words we had all been waiting for; “We’re fucking back” Danny announces. Thunderous cheers from those present, huge applause greets this news. A fourth new song, ‘at once’, is greeted in much the same manner as the previous 3, with thunderous rapture, the bands new sound sounding fresh, darkly mysterious, yet with those typical Embrace undertones of smooth harmonies and tight nit musicianship. In essence, it feels like the band has never been away, only evolved with the times, re-adapting their sound. The 5th track of the night is greeted with a massive cheer, Ashes. The last song I had heard them play live, way back in 2006 (in fact I sung it so loudly back in 2006 that I lost my voice for a week!!), reverberates around the room, the bass line pounding out, Rick’s backing vocals accompanying Danny’s lead impressively. The crowd goes absolutely ballistic, singing in complete harmony with the band, almost to the point where the vocals are drowned out. It sounds refreshed, it sounds almost like a new track, somewhat more soulful almost than previous live incarnations of the song that i've heard. Kristi turns to me and smiles, as someone relatively new to the band, she appreciates the song greatly (as I can tell by the grin on her face!!). By now glow sticks are held high in the air, creating an incredible sea of red above peoples heads, lights flashing and beaming under the boiler suits to create a fantastic image. But still nothing to get messy with at this point. Danny asks the crowd to split into 2 and an entourage wheels down the centre of the venue, handing out paper cups, with the instruction to not do anything until instructed; the band burst into “all you good good people” The crowd goes absolutely banana’s at the first few bars; face masks and goggles go on in anticipation. I look down into my cup and swirl it round. Paint. At last!! The band continue, Danny completely controlling the crowd; the song reaches the bridge and Danny lifts 2 cups above his head, the crowd doing the same. Richards backing vocals kick in and Danny gives the sign – up go several hundred cups of dry paint, up into the air, creating a multicoloured mist against the red-lit backdrop. Momentarily i’m blinded, not able to see anything through my goggles, the sound of the band continuing through the haze. The end of the song is greeted with huge rapture, a combination of cheering, whooping, and laughter as people begin to dare to take off their goggles to look around. One word describes how it would look to an outsider… carnage! But to everyone in that room, it was what we had been waiting for, almost being perfectly normal. I look down at my shoes, my blue Converse trainers now looked a lovely shade of pink, my hands covered in dry paint, the protective clothing smothered in a haze. I turn to Kristi, hers looking much the same; an excited laugh and hug follows as the band burst into ‘Looking As You Are’ (if I’m honest, not one of my favourite tracks, but even still it sounds pretty good, certainly refreshed). Two new tracks follow, Quarters and I Run, both of which sit perfectly in the Embrace back catalogue, both of which I now look forward to hearing once they are released. The band at this point are visibly having more and more fun in the ring, any nervousness they may have had to start with definitely having dispersed in amongst the red mists. They are having as much fun as the rest of the people in the auditorium, lapping up every bit of applause, every cheer, every whoop from the crowd like a band who know they are playing to a devoted following. The 2 new songs are followed by Natures Law (which again has never been one of my favoured Embrace tracks), which unlike LAYA (which sounds a little tired if I’m honest, my own opinion, no-one else’s!!) sounds phenomenal, almost like a brand new track. You could use this if you wished almost as a stereotypical Embrace Track, starting off quite melodic, building up to a crescendo at towards the back of the song as all 5 members come to the fore. Danny’s vocals getting stronger as the gig progressed sounded particularly impressive during this track, strong yet unassuming. ‘Someday’ follows, again with the crowd being split into 2, more cups of paint being handed out throughout the crowd. Goggles on again, mask on again, only this time the mask isn’t quite as clear as previous!! The keyboards of the start of the song reverberate, sounding fantastic, the chorus being sung like it was the bands last hurrah, Rick’s backing vocals sounding impressively strong during this track. As the song heads towards its ever-so-slight-mid-song-break, cups are raised in the air again, and a countdown progresses, which as it reaches its end signals the release of yet more paint; the band bursts into the finale of ‘Someday’ amidst a sea of dust floating around the arena, the crowd erupting with delight for both the end of a hugely impressive performance of the song, but also (I guess anyway) for the fun factor of being absolutely sodding covered in paint! A massive cheer erupts in the arena, coupled with a mixture of laughter and whooping as people being to survey those around them; the red lights of the glow sticks dampened ever so slightly by the lingering dust as the band play the familiar intro to ‘Gravity’, which perhaps gets the biggest sing along of the evening; it’s a song, for me personally, that I now struggle to listen to but, like pretty much every other ‘old’ song they have played tonight, sounds revitalised, almost like another brand new track. It is greeted with a massive cheer, pretty much everyone in the room singing to their hearts content; some bands I have seen seem almost bored of playing their “biggest” tracks (James (Sit Down) & Radiohead (Creep) being 2 examples), almost being loathe to play the songs that most of the crowd want to hear. Not a chance tonight with these boys though, it feels almost like a greatest hits sets interspersed with sprinklings of the future. Song 14 of the night is ‘Thief’, which to my ears has a complete different sound to the rest of the new tracks and yet despite it feeling almost simplistic in its nature, its sounds absolutely phenomenal in its execution, an almost deathly silence greets it as the crowd appear to be transfixed by its brilliance. It reaches a huge crescendo, the band finishing on what appeared to be a massive high as they get up from/put down their respective instruments, waving and thanking the crowd as they disappear from the boxing ring in which they had been playing. The crowd bellows for more, unsure as to whether they would reappear for an encore; the lights don’t come on so there’s hope. After a couple of minutes they reappear, beaming with the biggest smiles you could wish to see; their white clothing now tainted with the red paint that lingered around the room. Danny announces that they are going to be playing a song they haven’t played before live but it’s an old one. My mind races, and then is put at ease as they play the opening bars to ‘Maybe I Wish’. Embrace are right in front of me, playing Maybe I Wish. Am I hearing things correctly? Too effing right I am! Lyrically it is up there with the finest they have written, yet this beautiful song was hidden (if that’s the correct terminology) as a b-side to the Ashes single. Those who know the track sing along at the top of their voice; personally a tear runs down my face as the song progresses, Goosebumps over my arms at its beauty. I would have paid just to hear them sing this one track, it is that beautiful. It reaches a perfect peak, the crowd now appreciating its brilliance, the band obviously enjoying playing it judging my the huge smiles on their faces; whether the band played it to find out who knew their full back catalogue or not, I don’t know? To be honest at that point I couldn’t care less, as the lyrics say “happiness take my hand”, and boy was I happy, ecstatic, elated, overjoyed ( I could use more superlatives!!). If the gig was to end with this then I would be happy but it didn’t. Fireworks closes the set, again, it sounds totally new, yet sounds so familiar. Perhaps it is because I haven’t heard it live in 7 years that it sounds so refreshed, but boy did it sound good. As the last few notes are played, the noise from the crowd soars, louder than at any other point during the gig; the applause seems to go on for an eternity as the band meet at the front of the stage and bow to their crowd. They seem almost humbled by the whole experience; Humbled yet thrilled and excited would perhaps be more apt. I personally stand in awe, just taking in what I had witnessed in front of me for the last 75 minutes or so. One word. Just one word can describe it. Wow. That is it. Just wow. Kristi, an Embrace virgin before tonight turns to me with a big smile on her face. I know what she is thinking just from the look on her face. Amazement. The lights come on as the band leave with the crowd still cheering ecstatically, and for the first time we can survey the full impact of the paint. Holy crap! Each and every person is covered from head to toe in paint dust, the air still heavy with it, Goggles are blurred, mask is thick with paint dust, the pristine white suite now a lovely shade of pinky/orange; lights still glowing as are the glow sticks. The applause dies down and pretty much everyone in the room takes a collective deep breath to take in just what happened. And a huge smile, if it wasn’t already there, now appeared on every one of the faces in the room.

.

EMBRACE ARE BACK    (Ringer)

 

As Embrace get set for their biggest ever show in Leeds this May, one fan in particular is going to be a tad more excited than all the rest, as the band are to play a secret gig in one lucky sod’s house.

Big-hearted ‘Brace are always keen to make things a bit spesh for their legions of fansnot only with secret gigs, but also with their massive forthcoming show at Millenium Square’s ‘A Glorious Day’ event in Leeds on May 28.

Singer Danny McNamara said, "We’ve always wanted to put on a big open air gig in Leeds but we’ve never been in a position to do it before. We want to make it a really special day and one to remember for our fans."

And SG 18, the next in the series of secret Embrace gigs, will be the band’s warm up to the open air extravaganza.

But you’ve got to be in it to win it, as they say, (well THEY probably don’t say that, they’re far too cool.) You have to enter a competition to reap such prizes. Previous winners have attended these cloak and dagger affairs at all sorts of venues, such as The Big Brother House and the golden sands of Palma, Majorca for starters.

"But how can I win a secret gig?" I hear you yelp. Well, I'll tell you. You'll need to visit Embrace’s imaginatively titled secret gig website: secretgig.com. So there.

CHART-TOPPING pop band Embrace played a free "secret" show in Sefton Park yesterday.

The band appeared in an army truck in front of hundreds of fans.

After playing a 30-minute set they signed autographs.

Fans had been told about the concert on the internet and were given balloons to release for the last song.

The group played acoustic instruments and used only small battery-operated speakers for their performance.

A spokesman for the band said: "They wanted to do some concerts to celebrate their No1 album."

Rebecca Thrope, 23, from Sheffield, said: "It was an amazing gig."

                                                                              SECRET FESTIVAL 2014

SG#22 Our last festival of the season by Jessica, October 9th 2014

The last festival of this year’s season for us was to be one that we knew the least about. In fact, we knew virtually nothing.

My husband has been a long time fan of the band Embrace, and this wasn’t to be the first time I’ve been dragged off on an Embrace related adventure.

To give you a bit of background; Embrace have recently released their 6th studio album after a gap of around 7/8 years. This album wasn’t so much a comeback, they hadn’t split up, but was an end to a period where they tried to produce something they were happy to share with their fans.

A snapshot of my husbands Embrace music collection.

Throughout the Embrace’s history their relationship with their fans has been one that has created a devotion on both sides. Many bands now carry out secret gigs as a way of rewarding their fans, Embrace have been doing it since 2000. 20 secret gigs in that time they been held in far flung places such as Batsford Manor, Sherwood Forest, Leicester Square, Shepherd’s Bush Green, Majorca (where the band flew half a dozen fans out), the Big Brother House, and even one in a fan’s own back garden.

My husband has always viewed these secret gigs enviously. In the early years missing out on the clues that we hidden among the depths of the internet, to the modern day of social media and the latest incarnation of the secret gig. He had an invite to SG#21, but life has moved on from the carefree days and so he had to pass up his chance.

Embrace have grown up since the early days, and so have their fans, and with that sprung up an idea for their biggest secret gig yet. SG#22 was to be a festival, a family friendly festival, and my husband wanted to go. The tickets were bought in June, £120 for a family of four, and that was it. We were set to go Menko once again.

 

What followed was a period of nothing. The date was set, 6/9/14, but where was it? What did we need to take? I’m pretty savvy when it comes to festival preparation but not knowing anything was killing me. We didn’t hear anything until 2 weeks prior, and that was just to say “wear something that displays what is good about the world”, and things went quiet again.

 

 

The venue was announced 3 days prior to the event. Knebworth Park. Wow, that’s a place that has hosted some significant music events in history, Rolling Stones, Oasis, Robbie Williams to name a few. Now we knew the location but we were still sworn to secrecy, the band requested that we turn off location services on our phones so that if we posted on social media the location would still be kept secret.

Still I was driven crazy by it, I’ve never been to Knebworth house before and as I mentioned before there was barely any information about it, I’m a planner, I like to write lists and organise everything and know what’s there but I knew nothing…
I work on Friday nights so I left the husband to organise everything, to buy food and drink and to pack the car. We set off in the morning on our journey, as we got closer you could tell who was going, people had stuck SG#22 posters in their car windows, or used tape to create the 5 tally marks on the album cover.


We were all directed into a field and waited for what would happen next, we were told not to arrive before 1130 am but now it was nearer to 12.

Like most people we started to unpack our cars and load camping gear on to our trolley. Some of the volunteers came along checking tickets and giving out wristbands, at one point I heard a commotion, the gate at the top of the field and Danny McNamara (Embrace’s lead singer) stood grinning widely and waving, everyone cheered, the festival was now open!

The pub

We were instructed to move into the car park which caused a little confusion among fans as it meant we had to pack up the cars, but no one was annoyed like they may have been at other events, they just shrugged and got on with it.
Once we were in the official car park, we unloaded and after a very short walk we stopped to set up camp. The area was small with probably around 1000 people camping, In total the attendance was around 1500. There was a stage set up, a bonfire ready to go (the local fire service were staying to supervise the fire) a few food stalls, a bar and most of the most unique parts, the fans tributes to former Secret Gigs, we didn’t really see much of them as the time we chose to look at them was when the band was looking round so it was very crowded.

I loved how much effort and passion was put into the tributes by the fans, and the band looked genuinely impressed and flattered by their attempts. You could feel a lot of love in that field, the atmosphere was electric, you rarely get that from the first year of an event, it usually takes years.

It’s the people that made it, these passionate fans who have supported and adored the band from the start, fans who have met up over the years at various gigs and festivals, fans who have made strong and lasting friendships.

I was pretty impressed to see that they had thought about children having something to do, there is a massive adventure playground which is a short walk from the main site, the children loved it but the only negative was that we missed out on SG#23 which took place in the woods as an acoustic set!

There were clues around the site which we totally missed (Due to having too much fun in the play area and the sleeping bag debacle where the husband had forgotten our sleeping bags and I sent him off to the local town to buy a double!) But it was exciting to hear about it from others.


To further the intrigue the line up was secret, they had titles such as extra special guest and top secret guest. They were… Dave McCabe from the Zutons, performing with Ian Skelly from The Coral, Gomez, Magic Numbers, Embrace and Beached Boys. Now these are the sort of surprises I like!

 

I felt very safe in the environment, and was happy to let the children play away from us as long was we could see them, however our daughter did get a little confused when running around with her new friend and got lost. Embrace stopped mid song (Follow you home in case you’re wondering) to do a call out to me to find her by the fire engine!

I felt a mixture of embarrassment and shame but was very grateful to the band for stopping to let us know. She was happy as larry having made friends with the fire fighters and a friendly couple who had found her, I couldn’t thank these people enough for looking out for her.

SG#22 was the last festival of the year for us and the most magic in terms of intrigue, friendliness and atmosphere. Even the state of the toilets in the morning didn’t put a damper on things and in the queue we were all having quite a laugh about it.

There wasn’t enough toilets but hey, it was the first year, it was one night only and no one seemed to mind too much (especially not seasoned festival goers such as us!) and even I will give them the benefit of the doubt for that.

If Embrace decide to do this again I am sure they will listen and respond to feedback from their fans, more toilets, maybe a kids area for next time…

SG#22: The Secret Festival has been nominated in a number of categories in this years Festival Awards.

.

                                                                                          SECRET FESTIVAL 2015

 

So secret festival 2015 was at Lotherton Hall east of Leeds. 

It was an amazing weekend. Fab people fab music. What a weekend. One that will live long in the memory of all who attended. 

Embrace did a 45 minute sound check on the Friday night. We had cakefest followed by a DJ set fro Danny and a beautiful little set from the amazing Oliver Pinder...... 

                                                                   SECRET FESTIVAL 2016

This was once again at Lotherton Hall Leeds. It was another epic weekend. The heavy rain all day Saturday didn't stop people from having a brilliant time.  The atmosphere was once again very special. All those in fancy dress were invited up on stage for the last song of the night. Love Is A Basic Need.

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