Nozstock The Hidden Valley 2012 – Aaron Child
Music – Little Britain by Dreadzone
Amid the emerald fields and raggle-taggle farmhouses of Herefordshire’s ruralest countryside lies Nozstock The Hidden Valley.
Like the very best of festivals, Nozstock was founded by a fun-loving family, their extended relatives, friends, acquaintances and pretty much everyone who had a guitar to play or a joke to tell. It was a hazy, optimistic time at the turn of the millenium, when life felt simple and summers were long and full of amusements. The Hidden Valley has successfully retained this homely, welcoming nostalgia, but have woven it into a delightful amalgamation of performance, art, electronic supersounds and good old-fashioned guitar-strumming and drum-bashing, thanks to some great advice and not a small dose of audience participation and feedback. Now an established, leading family event in its 14th year, Nozstock is a sonic escape boasting eight main stages of entertainment with surprising sights and intimate, secluded areas of theatre and discovery to be unearthed.
When its visitors down tools and hand themselves over to Nozstock’s crew, safe in the knowledge that their hedonistic needs will be met, they discover there’s a small world of frivolity to find, all scrupulously programmed by the festival’s founders, the Nosworthy family and their eclectically informed friends.
The festival’s ethos is about bringing play to everyone, in whatever form it can. Nozstock believes in the value of not only entertaining, but in participation and contribution. It’s an ever-changing event with a clear agenda; to invite conversation, interaction and serious recreation. Above all, Nozstock The Hidden Valley is a blissful family festival that caters to all ages with activities that little ones can enjoy as well as entertainment for teens, students, seasoned festivalites and grandparents.
Nozstock’s main arena, The Hidden Valley, is landscaped around a ramshackle Tudor farmhouse which sits on the side of the Valley in the centre of the festival site. It’s nestled against The Garden Stage, which hosts an array of eclectic bounce-inducing artists with an electronic turn post-sundown. The Orchard boasts the bigger names and good rollicking party bands as the Bandstand offers experimental electro-acoustica from diverse and unsigned artists.
The converted cowsheds include the Cubicles, sub-thumping drum ‘n’ bass and dubstep, to be found aside the Bullpen, knees-up housey beats and alternative dance. The Coppice’s luminous sounds from veterans of psytrance Tribe of Frog are the blissful converse to the Bantam of the Opera Theatre which explores another world with live performance, workshops and after-dark experimental cabaret while Laughing Stock bills prime-time comedians and up-and-comers, providing raucous chuckles and proper belly rumbles.
Shenanigans for the mini-festivaler occur off the beaten track and over the bridge where the Dingle is programmed with workshops aplenty and theatrical splendor, where opportunities abound to get interactive and remember how to play like only kids know how.
With arts & crafts for all ages, folk diversions and dance workshops, there’s entertainment and participation on offer, whatever your energy levels!
You can also catch a late night short film or music video from the mesmerising screenings on offer in the Cinetent, dabble in the intriguing world of sound art, or grab some delicious local fare and a cocktail and take a tour round the site, letting your curiosity get the better of you.
In essence, Nozstock The Hidden Valley is your chance to romp throughout a weekend of guilt-free debauchery and indulge in a medley of eye-opening encounters, all with the permission of Farmer Noz and his ever-patient cattle.
Ever wondered, ‘Who is Noz?’