Now deep in the midst of the festival season there’s no doubt that for many of you reading this there is a festival which you’ve been unsure about committing too, whether that be down to an uncertainty of the unknown or just the straight-up financial doubts the festival season tends to create. Once upon a time for us, Nozstock was one of these events cast into indecision, but having experienced it first-hand back in 2011 we’ve returned annually, and can’t wait to be revisiting this year to give our review of the weekend. With just over three weeks to go until the boutique festival commences within the idyllic Herefordshire countryside, we wanted to ensure those currently the grey area of “shall I or shan’t I” are provided with the full low-down of what will be happening over the jam-packed weekend before allowing you to dismiss the thought entirely.
From what initially began as a gathering of fun-loving relatives stemming from the Nosworthy family, founders of the fast-growing boutique festival at the turn of the new millenium, Nozstock has grown into an event which today attracts a worldwide audience. Intent on showcasing only the finest of Britain’s non-commercialised music genres; reggae, ska, hip-hop, grime, drum n bass and more across it’s seven performance stages the event also hosts comedy shows, interactive workshops, an “enchanted glade” childrens area and is also embellished in exotic food and market stalls; key to fulfilling the hedonistic needs of urban and rural festival-goers alike. The Nozstock experience is truly one like no other, specifically suited for those with a passion for upholding the traditional festival traits it has a grasp of the vital value of a strong community-like mentality, accommodating all ages and engineering a unique atmosphere which surely is the prime factor that makes Nozstock different to many other UK festivals. As the event’s creative director Ella Nosworthy puts it to us:
“I think there are a few things that have contributed to making Nozstock special. Above all the friendliness on site. You make friends at Nozstock and you feel like you’ve been invited to someone’s house for the weekend. It has a unique atmosphere. I’m told it reminds people of how festivals used to be – a different world for the weekend. It also helps that there is such a range of music types at Nozstock. It caters for everyone and that was always very important to us – right from the first festival, as we as organisers all had such varying music tastes. I think the small size and intimacy of the event help as well. Nowhere is very far away and you can get much closer to the acts at Nozstock than any other event. 2014 is definitely shaping up to be better than ever. The line up is massive – across all the stages and there are more little extras thrown in this year – it’s about so much more than the music – there is plenty to do and find.”
The announcement of potentially their finest line-up to date reveals that this year Nozstock shall be showcasing the supreme talents of many globally successful drum n bass acts, including the likes of Amoss, TC, Linguistics, Traumatik and a return of Andy C’s legendary RAM Records label. The event shall also sport the lyrical might of some of UK hip-hop’s most notorious acts, including Roots Manuva, The Mouse Outfit, Split Prophets and performances from the High Focus and RLD record labels. Aside from these there are also many other genre’s which shall be performed over the weekend, be it rock music from the explosively outspoken Sonic Boom Six or “East-London Reggae” from The Skints. UK hip-hop veteran Ben Hughes aka Dr Syntax shall be revisiting the festival for the third time this year, and spoke to us to reveal what he enjoys about the Nozstock experience:
“Nozstock does a good job of showcasing hip hop. The SIKA stage has brought in some acts you don’t necessarily get at many festivals, and it’s good to see a bit of hip hop on the larger stages too. I’ve been twice and I’ve always loved it – it’s pretty eclectic for such a small festival, which stops it being too niche. I much prefer a bit of variety. Also there’s loads of good beer at the bar.”
This rings true of the other stages which vary in their diverse presentation of each distinct act. The main stage is the Orchard Stage, which has previously hosted seminal performances from the likes of Dreadzone, Alabama 3 and this year presents Roots Manuva, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Molotov Jukebox and more. Nearby lies the Garden Stage, perfectly positioned on the hillside which overlooks the farm’s lake and has notorious for spanning all genres from electronica to blues music. Appearing this summer are Sonny Wharton, the Craig Charles Funk And Soul Club as well as Shogun Audio’s head honcho Friction featuring alongside Linguistics. One of the resounding achievements of Nozstock however has been its involvement with the renowned SIKA Studios stage, performed in the Bullpen which annually brings some of the most exceptional nationwide talent to the fields of Nosworthy Farm. Nozstock traditionally provides exciting themes which SIKA studios are all to happy to showcase in their own unique fashion. The Bullpen Stage Manager tells us why SIKA studios fits the event so perfectly:
“Nozstock is all about true organic home grown music so it was natural that SIKA studios fitted in perfectly by bringing just that and a lot more to the already amazing festival. We select our acts for this festival very specifically as we know they have to come with that positive vibe, leaving their ego at home as it just wouldn’t work at Nozstock. This in turn brings a unique vibe and experience to all the bullpen visitors who get submersed in that years uniquely themed décor… Ranging from the SIKA Hip Hop Squat with the artist performing inside a massive TV to the wild western themed SIKA Courtroom and Jail where the audience were on trial by the DJ judge who would sentence them to go to into the jail if they didn’t rave hard enough to his filthy selection of beats and MC’s. From putting that extra effort into the décor/theme/act selection it really adds to the already new, unique and positive vibe of the area providing something for everybody fresh from the depths of the UK underground scenes.“
Hopefully we’ve done our bit to convince you how truly unmissable the explosive weekend is panning out to be. Tickets are going at a fast rate but there is still a limited amount of Adult tickets still available from the Nozstock website. Our advice is to not hesitate a second longer and to come and join us in celebrating another weekend compact with incredible musicians, pure hospitable vibes and blissful sunshine all rolled into one – it really is a no brainer – head over to their website and order your tickets now: www.nozstock.com