I think I could happily live in a tent. Covered in glitter, slightly dusty and traveling the British Isles one family festival at a time.
I just love it, I love everything about it and the freedom it offers for the kids. Fending for yourself, battling the elements, the music the activities and the general happy euphoric vibe you get from being somewhere with so much colour and positive energy.
This year we’re off to try out a new festival for us – Nozstock: The Hidden Valley. Lying in the rural Herefordshire countryside are 9 eagerly awaiting stages of entertaining family fun. Converted cow-sheds, workshops and interactive theatre-fun are just the tip of the goings on at this family festival.
And like all good family festivals there’s a fun-loving family behind this one too. The annual fully working farms ‘do’ has grown significantly over the years and celebrates its 21st year in 2019.
I’m incredibly excited to be an ambassador for Nozstock this year and as one of the perks I was able to ask a few questions about how Nozstock came to be so successful.
Q. When does the planning start for Nozstock?
A. Honestly? About ten minutes after the gates shut on last years! You never really stop. Even during the festival you are making notes on what to do differently next year. Typically we finish clearing up and then planning starts in earnest by September. That’s when artist applications open so the website and application forms all need to be updated and of course budgets have to be in place by that point. We start building things on the site by early May.
Q. What does a typical working week look like for a festival organiser?
A. A typical week involves A LOT of emails to be honest. During festival season I’m pretty much chained to my computer!
Q. What’s your favourite act that’s ever played at Nozstock and why?
A. It’s hard to pick just one! A personal favourite for me would always be Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer because I’m a huge fan. But for the festival overall I think the first year Andy C played will always be a special memory. Partly because he was late and had to get petrol off a local to arrive here (local just happened to be a big fan and couldn’t believe who was on his doorstep!) but also because having Andy C was so exciting for the whole crew. It was the first time we felt like a ‘proper festival’ like we had really achieved what we had been working towards for years and had finally ‘made it’ as a legitimate boutique festival who could attract that level of artist.
Q. Do any acts request riders if so what the weirdest request?
A. A few years ago a DJ asked for a selection of fridge magnets and a framed picture of our local town in his dressing room. We’ve been asked for inflatables, star wars toys, all sorts!
Q. Which character from The Wizard of OZ would you play and why?
A. I’d be Toto. The most underappreciated character in the whole thing in my opinion!
Q. What changes have you made to make the festival more environmentally friendly?
A. We are part of the Association of Independent Festival’s Drastic on Plastic campaign which is aiming to eliminate single use plastics at our events by 2021. It’s a target we are working hard to reach, so that has been our main focus recently. We kicked it off last year introducing reusable cups to the bars and joining the final straw initiative to ban plastic straws from our festivals. There’s plenty of positive changes that can be made and we work closely with gocarshare to encourage car sharing to site.We also promote the love your tent campaign to stop tents being abandoned at festivals and we support the grown in Britain ethos when sourcing our wood.
We also introduced an eco bond two years ago to reduce litter on site. 2019 will be the first year we will have a solar powered stage on site, which is in our craft area. We are really excited to be adding that to the family festival.
Ready, Steady, Camp!
I’m already dusting off my camping stove and getting the camping essentials together for what’s going to be an amazing few days at the end of July.
Tickets are still available but going fast. To book or find out more about Novstock check out their website.