SCREENING (World Premiere): 05 November 2021 at 18:40

London - Rio Cinema

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Q&A with the director and the Head Gardener

Dir. Dylan Harvey, 2021, UK, 72 min

That Was a Serious Party (TWASP) is a feature length documentary that tells the life story of THE SECRET GARDEN PARTY music festival which started off as a small rave in a field with a few hundred people and ended 15 years later as a massive 35,000 capacity 4-day event. The film comes from a unique insider’s angle and focuses on the festival experience, highlighting bacchanalian stories, psychedelic adventures and lifts the curtain on how all this was facilitated. TWASP is an irreverent, funny, poignant celebration of music festivals in all their chaotic, muddy glory.

That Was a Serious Party does not shy away from the more taboo or uncomfortable aspects of the culture, exploring issues such as a festival’s duty of care in relation to mental health after the suicide of one of the festival’s most loved characters.

But aside from these issues, the fact is everybody loves a good party and this is the feelgood story of a really great one. While there have been a lot of films over the years made about music festivals, none of them have captured the essence, the colour and the mayhem that makes them so incredible.
That Was a Serious Party is a mix of archive footage, user created content, filmed interviews and cartoons by the veteran cult comic book artist Pete Loveday. All accompanied by a banging soundtrack from the likes of; Desmond Dekker, Leftfield, Baxter Dury, The Orb, The Egg, Adam Freeland, Dark Sky, Crystal Fighters, Psychemajik...and many more.

Event supported by the BFI, awarding funds from the National Lottery.