Nozstock has just announced its vibrant and diverse collection of arts, theatre, performance, workshops and food and drink highlights taking place this summer, as the festival enters its 17th year in July. Set on a beautiful working farm in Herefordshire, Nozstock embraces a vast range of sounds and styles, flowing from family-friendly festival by day to electrifying party by night. Bespoke venues spread across the idyllic rural location host a true odyssey for all the ages, alive with a unique magic and energy that flows across the weekend.
Ella Nosworthy, one of Nozstock’s founders, says: “The arts side of Nozstock is the last piece of the festival really, and as we are now counting down the weeks and days toward the end of July this is when we really start to get excited! It’s a really important part of the festival which is away from the music and comedy, where we can really engage people with a wonderful range of interactive, experiential and experimental fun and games for everyone.”
As well as a series of amazing stages, spaces and environments built in and around the farm, Nozstock features inspiring and wondrous entertainment of all kinds for young and old - and everyone inbetween! – taking place day and night, with some old friends returning and lots of new faces making their debuts.
By day, the Bantam of the Opera will again be filled with a weekend of strange occurrences, enthralling theatre, jaw-dropping circus, side-splitting poetry, mesmerizing puppetry and more moments of magic than any sticks can be shook at. Puppet masters The Fetch return for the 5th consecutive time, Hummadruz is a psychedelic spectacle accompanied by music and incorporating circus, dance, puppetry, illusion, acrobatics, street dance and acting, and the lyrically poetic sparring of Nozslam returns too – with no Vogon poetry in sight!
When the sun goes down over the farm, the bright lights of The Velveteen Valley will sparkle with two nights of decadence and delight to savour. Aurora Blaze has produced two bespoke sci-fi themed performances based around Star Wars and Men in Black, Chris Lynam makes a comeback with pyrotechnics, acrobatics, outlandish operatic and orchestral overtures, flying sousaphones, high energy satire, glamour and glitz comes from Allure Cabaret, and vaudeville-inspired rejuvenated folklore from Beyond Pages. Plus Owen Niblock returns with his weird and wonderful comedic observations, alongside Florence Fontaine, Oh! Carolina, Ursula Dares, Vicky Lee and Iris West.
The Enchanted Glade Kids Area is a friendly, warm and inviting environment for both parents and little ones alike. All are welcome to get creative, be amazed by spell-binding stories, sculptures and entertainment, or roll the sleeves up for an abundance of physical hands-on fun. Build a rocket, climb aboard the geodesic climbing frame, play with swing boats, do drama games, some hula hooping, make a clanger whistle, watch the Sealegs Puppet Show, get involved in Space Crafts Central and go on a crazy ball.
Interactive musings take a fresh twist this year with a new ‘secret’ area harking to the dark, surrealism of Twin Peaks and offering something a little unsettling. Join The Clik Clik Collective as they launch The Cabinet of Lost Secrets with time travel, secret peephole performances, weird and wonderful installations, sonic splendour and terrifying activity. Can you find your way to the Black Lodge? Plus suppliers of delicious cocktails and tasty home-cooked food, The Chicken Cow Cafe bring some fresh performance magic with The Black Hole. This vortex of fun will see visitors space-hopping, ‘drag’ racing, Elvis-spotting, laser-dancing, gambling on ‘alien-sh*t bingo’ and learning the many wonders of our Solar System.
Festival walkabout offers a surprise round every corner, with mind-bending performances from artists who weave, wind, twizzle and sizzle their way through the weekend. Expect plenty of surprises from a whole host of wild ones, including a few highlights: wizards of fire Ballz Out Circus Troupe, morning ravers The Fabulus of Unicorns / Morning Gloryville, Arty Farty presenting Organised Mess, Troupe Presents: The Dead Moon, a folk musical, 'Looppop' with Suzy Conrad, live looping beatboxer, giants abound with Puppetual Motion, street dance and acrobatics from Ras King Bobo 1, Shambles Ensemble present: inTENTse (those tents have legs!), OtherBrother Theatre Company present: RSVP, a wonderful one-man party, 8-bit inspired bass music from Dubtendo, purveyors of cleanliness and glitter, the Scrubbers who will have Nozstock in raptures, plus carnival freakishness from Circo Inferno.
Head to Wrong Directions Cinema presented by MASH to be entertained, amused, confused and inspired. Open throughout the whole weekend, this is an audio-visual sanctuary for the weary traveller. A full programme of films throughout the weekend includes epic features Metropolis and the uncut version of The Empire Strikes Back, as well as a host of AV treats, documentaries and experimental videos.
Nozstock also features all manner of crazy entertainment throughout the day across the site and the Nozstock Village. This includes a folk jam, Yeleni Healing Zone, My Ella Sustainable Textiles Workshop and a craft area packed with workshops including Hammered, Coppersmithing with Dan, Jewellery workshop, Zoe’s Willow, Crunchy Cobs, L for Leather, Know Working With Chalk, Mushroom Paul, Eastnor Pottery and The Flying Potter, Lots of Pots and a rousing finale to the whole weekend with a spectacular fireworks display. There is also the Welfare Tent for chilling when the time comes.
All of the dancing, partying and having lots of fun leads to thirsty and hungry people! Nozstock’s focus is on locally sourced produce, from health conscious to more indulgent appetites, with a wide range of taste-bud tantalising choices. Happy Herefords return with utterly delicious burger goodness, plus there’ll be wood-fired artisan pizzas, flavourful veggie and vegan treats, flagship fish and chips, burritos, paella, noodles, hog roast, curries, crepes, fresh doughnuts, organic ice cream, a plethora of breakfast loveliness from croissants to your full English fix, plus strong coffee, stronger tea and an array of ways to start the day.
Nozstock The Hidden Valley has nine stages and is set around a ramshackle Tudor farmhouse. The Orchard Stage is set on the side of the gently sloping valley; alongside the farmhouse is The Garden Stage, which provides a more eclectic lineup, turning electronic by sundown, whilst a converted cowshed, The Cubicles, pushes out sub-thumping bass to the early hours. The Dingle hosts much of Nozstock’s alternative art activities; a theatre, cinema, pop-up workshops, secret venues, circus, poetic encounters and a dedicated kids area.
Nozstock is truly home-grown and hand-made – quite literally in fact, 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 and a lot of fun, full of wonder, curiosities and a sprinkling of magic.
Nozstock The Hidden Valley
Friday 24th – Sunday 26th July 2015
@ Rowden Paddocks, Bromyard, Herefordshire, HR7 4LS
Tickets from £105 – children 12 and under go free www.nozstock.com/ @Nozstock
www.facebook.com/nozstockthehiddenvalley / @nozstock