An independent festival held on a farm in rural Herefordshire, jam packed with music, crafts, theatre, cinema, food, workshops, comedy and the wild eccentricity every good festival should have, Nozstock is VERY high on my list of ‘Must Do’ gatherings.
Nozstock, The Hidden Valley has nine stages set around a ramshackle Tudor farmhouse. At the heart of the site is The Orchard Stage set in a natural auditorium on the side of the gently sloping valley where you can expect to see a brilliant mix of bands from all over the world. Alongside the farmhouse is The Garden Stage providing a more eclectic lineup, turning electronic by sundown while The Cubicles, set in a converted cowshed, pushes out tub-thumping bass to the early hours. The Dingle, meanwhile, is host to much of Nozstock’s alternative art activities; a theatre, cinema, pop-up workshops, secret venues, circus, poetic encounters and a dedicated kids area.
Looking through the line up, I’m totally spoiled for choice and I know that whatever I planned to do my Festival legs would soon take over – this one looks like a perfect meandering marathon, one where you abandon all pretence at organisation and planning and just spend your time discovering ALL THE THINGS.
My favourite, favourite bit of festivals is always the circus and cabaret and I know those wandering legs of mine would eventually lead me to the Velveteen Valley for…
‘When the sun goes down over the farm, the bright lights of the Velveteen Valley sparkle and shine in the Bantam of the Opera. Once the clock strikes twelve we bring you two nights of decadence and delight.’
Way back in the 80s, when I was but a whippersnapper and a festival newbie, I meandered back to my tent arm in arm with my beau (now Mr TS) in the early hours and encountered the unforgettable sight of a young Chris Lynam, strutting his stuff on stage with a firework sticking out of his bottom, it was a bonkers introduction to the wonderful world of festival cabaret – Chris will be onstage in the Velevteen Valley and I’m sure he won’t let us down 😉
I think you’d also find me in The Village, having a go at Blacksmithing or beating some copper, maybe working some willow or creating with clay; heavenly.
I like that Nozstock is home-grown and hand-made, something which has evolved from a gathering of family and friends who wanted to party 17 years ago to become “A rural slice of English eccentricity” (Russell Howard) and “The best festival of its size in the UK” (Phil Jupitus and The Blockheads). With a sizeable group of grass-roots supporters helping to create the themed environment each summer, painting signs by hand and building original artworks from scratch this is the quintessentially British festival – a little bit eccentric, a lot of fun; full of wonder, curiosities and a touch of magic.
I know my lot would love it!
Nozstock – The Hidden Valley takes place from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th July 2015 at Rowden Paddocks, Bromyard, Herefordshire, HR7 4LS. Tickets from £105 available here.
This is a sponsored post – we were offered the opportunity to go to Nozstock and I’m gutted that we can’t make it, I’ve spent hours today perusing the line up and the website! If you go do come back and tell me all about it!