Noz is an ex-dairy farmer who grew up in rural Herefordshire, enjoying the protein-filled life of feeding his cows and driving his ramshackle tractors. An avid music-lover since the day dot, with a gregarious family and loads of friends and friends of friends, the farm has always been a major party spot with people coming across the country to enjoy the beauty of the area and to have a proper hoe-down in the barns and gardens.
As the big annual party, jokingly named Nozstock, grew year on year, Noz realised he was holding a festival by accident. The crew decided it was time to form a committee, sit down and make plans to make it a ‘real’ festival. Years later, Nozstock The Hidden Valley is going strong and despite being a ‘real’ festival with some major acts, it still retains that garden party vibe and feels as intimate as if you ended up at a rave at your mate’s house.
Noz and his kids have hugely wide-ranging tastes in music and it’s this mix that leads to the diversity in programming plain to see at the festival. With his son’s penchant for bass-heavy sounds, his daughter’s indie-pop leanings and his own mixed bag of guitar-based and electronic appreciation, the bill across Nozstock’s six music stages has repeatedly offered something for everyone. With a philosophy of all-inclusiveness, how could it be any other way?
The committee of friends and volunteers bring more to the festival, not only through programming but with decisive choices made with an eye on their own festival experiences, good and bad. Tweezing out the most original ideas and waxing lyrically until they reach fruition, they provide key entertainment for their own enjoyment as much as for the Farm’s visitors.
Stages are hosted by Nozstock, MASH cinema, Spare Room Arts, Electric Ballroom and psytrance collective Tribe of Frog. Key committee volunteers also run all our major areas -the Bantam of the Opera Stage, Wrong Directions Cinema, The Cubicles – and programme the walkabout activity on site. Volunteers also hand-pick the food stalls providing the tastiest treats over the weekend. This means that everyone who is working for the festival is doing it for the love of it and because they get a kick out of providing a quality experience for the punters.
The festival prides itself on its in-house development; keeping an eye on goings-on in the industry but going their own way, making decisions based on experience and keeping to the Nozstock ideals – good value, high quality interactive fun for every walk of life… If you haven’t been to the farm before, it has to be seen to be believed.