Review: Nozstock festival

Review: Nozstock festival

Ravers at The Coppice stage.

Disco Panther on the Orchard Stage on Saturday.

NozSlam underway.

Lost Tuesday Society at Nozstock.

Stilt walkers at the festival.

Revellers enjoying Friction ft Linguistics on the Garden Stage on Sunday.

Performers at the festival.

First published in News by

IT started 17 years ago as a group of friends, strumming guitars around a campfire at a garden party.

And now Nozstock plays host to around 5,000 revellers eager for a slice of the Bromyard festival’s well-known “eccentricity and intimacy”.

Many visitors spent last weekend in the “rave cave” with “whompin’ basslines” while others just soaked up some classic rock’n’roll – proving there was something for everyone.

Despite the festival welcoming more people each year, organisers say it still retains a "small, friendly, feel” that makes it stand out.

Festival founder Pete Nosworthy said: "It started as 50 people and a local barbecue and then we had a band and it became 100 people, then 500 people and this year there are 5,000 people here.

"I think people like the organic-ness of it all. It's very home-made.

"A lot of the festival goers come to us because they want something smaller and more intimate than the larger festivals."

And at Nozstock there is an emphasis on welcoming families, with plenty on offer for the little ones.

It also pays homage to the exciting range of food and drink on offer throughout Herefordshire, with plenty of local ciders, ales and food to be found around the site.

"We do try as much as possible to offer it to Herefordshire people and keep everything as local as we can," added Mr Nosworthy.

Organisers hope to offer day tickets to local people next year.

And it won't be long until heads come together to start planning for next year's festival.

"We have about two weeks off and then we really need to start planning," added Ella Nosworthy.

"By October we're booking in artists. It's always scary when we do the first line-up release and we think, have we done it right? "But similarly the best thing is seeing the reaction when people have a great time."

A regular feature of Nozstock is its themes. This year saw the site undergo a transformation to emerge as ‘Jurassic Farm: The Land That Noz Forgot’.

"We have had an idea about dinosaurs for a while,” said Miss Nosworthy.

“We always have ideas about six or seven themes and then our decorators will discuss what they could do before we pick a favourite. We have some incredibly talented artists."

Not only had every part of the festival been given a prehistoric makeover but there were performers who’d taken on cavemen roles to be found around the site – just to really hammer the theme home.

Describing Nozstock as "eclectic, friendly and intimate", Ms Nosworthy said that people often describe their experience as having been invited to a friend's house for the weekend.

While there’s plenty of alternative entertainment – films, comedy, NozSlam (which saw four poets compete for the prestigious title of inaugural NozSlam champion) and plenty of craft workshops – the music is the hook for many.

This year’s eclectic line up, including the “king of drum n bass” Andy C, Roots Manuva, Eddy Temple Morris and psyctrance stalwarts Tribe of Frog, had something for everyone.

"The first time Andy C came was really exciting,” said Miss Nosworthy.

“He was like our first celebrity. We're also really excited about Roots Manuva – he's an international artist so he will be really good. My mum is so excited about him coming that she's made him a quiche.”

The Bandstand stage was also the perfect place to spend a few hours taking in some alternative indie and rock’n’roll.

Performances by Welsh rockers K E Y S, Houdini Dax, the Lost Tuesday Society as well as haunting vocals from Sophie Jamieson were all well received.

So whether it’s indie, rock, trance, dance, hip hop, dub step, rap or drum and bass you’re into – or anything else for that matter – you’ll probably be in luck at Nozstock.

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