Parting is such sweet sorrow. Co-founder and UK director Jen Wong writes a bittersweet goodbye to our birthplace and spiritual home, Secret Garden Party.

History of Boom Bang & Blast at Secret Garden Party 2017. Image by Andrew Whitton/FANATIC 2017.

Guerilla Science made its first foray into the curious world of music festivals at Secret Garden Party ten summers ago… Last week, SGP’s favourite renegade researchers bid a fond farewell to our birthplace with one last programme exploring how truth really is stranger than fiction.

In our efforts to revolutionise how people experience science, we have assaulted people’s senses, opened their eyes, and blown many minds over the years. All through a simple invitation: to come and explore how spectacularly amazing reality is.

Talking dirty at the Guerilla Science tent, Secret Garden Party 2014.

Since 2008, over 200 researchers have ventured out of the lab and into new realms for science with us, generating a legendary Guerilla Science programme of ‘renegade research.’ From pitting Physics against Chemistry to blowing shit up, space yoga classes, catching conspiracy theories and debating consciousness, aided by our favorite giant brain and fire organ karaoke – it’s all been a total hoot.

Dr. Kate Marvel at the Guerilla Science tent at SGP 2008.

We have been so lucky to work with an army of awesome and stalwart collaborators over the years – Phil Cairns, Ed Bracey, Rose Gray, Ben Allanach, Vaughan Bell, Steph Bickford Smith, Joe Allberry, Ben Revell, Mel Davies, Ragnar and Jess – just to name a very few – THANK YOU. A special mention must go to the amazing Tim Maynard with his mesmerising menagerie of charming cold-blooded creatures and our favourite chemistry hero Dr Szydlo.

Getting friendly with Tim Maynard’s Mini Zoo menagerie. Image by Giles Smith/FANATIC 2017.

Looking back at all we achieved is a testament to the true openness and constant curiosity of all the gardeners and the amazing and fundamental support SGP have given us over all these years.

Goodbye and a heartfelt thanks to the wonderful Secret Garden Party. You have helped make our dreams come true, and we can’t wait to see what you evolve into…

And a very special thank you to the Gardeners who crowded our tent with excitement and wonder from 2008-2017.