The Sunken Yard & The Supper Club

 

Nestled in the rolling hills of the Hidden Valley, obscured by a heady cloud of powder paint and dust from dancing feet, stands the Sunken Yard; a world away from reality…

Prepare for paint fights, party games, music and more, The Sunken Yard have got party jams and games a plenty… not to mention more paint than you could shake a piñata stick at!

After their epic all-day sessions at Noz ’17, these connoisseurs of a good time are back, bigger and better than ever, to take up residency as key players in their new adopted land; and this year, for the first time, they are curating a cuddly late-night disco into the early hours.

That’s right, The Sunken Yard will be staying open all night long!

Join them after their outrageous daytime shenanigans at their new ‘Supper Club’ and fulfil all your Funk, Soul & Disco needs, with DJs on rotation until the small hours. In need of some late night hip shaking? Grab the person next to you, roll down the hill and enter the infamous sunken love shack!

Photo by Alex Avery

Explore more of the entertainment on offer here.

2018’s Live Acts – Orchard & Garden

Whether you’re into rock or reggae, folk or funk, want to dance until your feet give out or sit back and soak up the sounds, we’ve prepared a feast of innovative acts to wet every appetite.

To celebrate 20 years of Noz in style we’ve sourced some serious live acts encompassing an eclectic mix of pop, ska, folk, funk, hip-hop and R&B, plus a whole lot more…

Here to grace our stages are:

Goldfrapp, providing iridescent and intriguing synth-pop since 1999; The Selecter with their anarchic passion, led by iconic frontwoman Pauline Black and co-fronted by original member Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson; We Are Scientists who describe their own style as “rock music of the thoughtful, sometimes epic, often loud, vaguely danceable, implicitly humanist variety”; Dub Pistols, whose motley crew have added a much-needed swagger to the U.K. dance scene; The Blockheads, a New-Wave English rock band whose lyrics provide a combination of poetry, earthy humour and deadly-accurate observations of British working-class life; Honeyfeet, with an infectiously danceable groove, guttural passion and impeccable style; Electric Swing Circus, a live six-piece fusion of saucy swing and stomping electro beats; Kiko Bun, who’s crafted a refreshing and contemporary sound based on the re-emergence of reggae, soul and golden era hip-hop; Slamboree Soundsystem, a collective of multi-skilled, revolutionary performers and musicians that put energy, passion and pure insanity into their unique immersive stage experiences; Spunge, ska-punk rockers with an an amalgamation of influences including The Clash and Sublime; The Lovely Eggs, a surreal-psych, punk-rock duo with a fierce ethos; Oh My God! It’s The Church, a raucous, interactive parody of a Deep South Pentecostal church brimming with the best soul, blues and disco tunes; Mad Dog Mcrea with songs of adventure, drinking, love and life, to traditional songs of gypsies, fairies, legless pirates and black flies…

And that’s just to name a few! We’ve also got:

Mr Tea and The Minions / Mad Apple Circus / Buffos Wake / Jalen N’Gonda / Harvey Causon / Childcare / Catholic Action / Collette the Dots / Normanton Street / Seas Of Mirth / The Stiff Joints / Pengshui / Smiley & The Underclass / Rachael Dadd / Alabaster De Plume / Lazy Day / Samsara Collective / Yama Warashi / Verbal Highz / The Whipjacks / Feelgood Experiment / Fliptrix / Taskforce / Verbal T & Pitch / Gardna / CW Jones / Old Baby Mackerel / Almatic

…and to top it off, a Saturday Night Ska & Skank Party, all about the rocksteady rhythms and infectious 2 tone sounds.

Get familiar with them all here or head over to our Orchard and Garden stages to check out the individual line ups.

 

Interview: Macka B on how it all began, his new EP and more…

We caught up with British reggae artist, performer and activist Christopher McFarlane aka Macka B to discuss the beginning of his career and what he just can’t do without at a festival.

How did your career start? 

My career started on Sound Systems in Wolverhampton playing in Youth Clubs. At first, just going to the record shop at weekends and bringing home music to play on the sound was enough for me. Carrying boxes and being part of the sound system was great. At home I  used to practice on the microphone but I wasn’t confident enough to do it in public. One day we set up the sound at a local youth club and I was left to watch the sound while the others got something to eat. Thinking everyone had gone, I picked up the microphone and tried it out. They hadn’t gone yet and they ran back saying ‘we didn’t know you could chat on the mic’. So from then I had to keep chatting on the sound.

What three things can’t you live without at a festival? 

Music, water and vibes.

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at Nozstock? 

Smiling faces.

What music are you working on right now? 

Working on a new EP vintage style riddims.

We’re a big fan of your health is wealth video series…whats your favourite vegetable? 

Callaloo.

What is your favourite memory from performing? 

Performing at Jamaica’s Reggae Sunsplash for the first time and getting a great reception.


Macka B will be performing on the Orchard Stage, click here to find out who else is on the line up.

A history of Nozstock #20YearsOfNoz

Nozstock

With 116 days to go until we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we look back at the past 20 years of Nozstock. From the very start we have provided a platform for young artists to flourish and showcase their work to the world and we’re proud to have brought acts from all over the globe to our humble Herefordshire. Everyone loves a rags-to-riches, small-town-boy-turned-good, underdog tale, but how exactly did our little BBQ of family and friends supping tinnies on the front lawn turn into a fully-fledged festival with eleven stages and sights and sounds to please every eye-and-earhole?

The Orchard Stage has had innumerable musical giants treading its boards in its time but every year revellers and performers alike big up the Garden Stage as having that certain je ne sais quoi; perhaps, like the early Britons building their stone circles, they can sense that something magical happened here once upon a time. And indeed the Garden Stage is where it all began! Growing right off the tumbledown farmhouse that actually houses our Noz family year-round, like a wonderful wart; it was in 1998 that the first Nozstock took place, and the proto-Garden Stage was where its first acts played, with friends and family enjoying the odd BBQ sausage and the strains of Farmer Nosworthy’s supergroup, Electric Shepherd (Papa Noz on guitar, his son Rob Noz on bass, Darren, main stage manager on vocals, if anyone’s interested). Perhaps everything that came to pass in the intervening years can be blamed on Dad’s unquenchable thirst for rock-stardom: perhaps it was simply meant to be.

Our farmhouse acted as a green room, with the Shepherds climbing through the kitchen window to get on and off stage and avoid the hordes of adoring fans. We were all pretty spurred on by this taste of ‘fame’, Nozstock began in earnest and indeed 1999 was the year the festival got its name (a pun on Nosworthy + Woodstock – geddit?).

In 2000, Richard Bayliss aka DJ Dex joined the party, as Farmer Noz invited him to spin a few records after Electric Shepherd had played their set.  The dancefloor was what is now our crew canteen- such as it was back then – filled instantly, and DJ Dex has played at every Nozstock, Noz-party and Noz-wedding ever since! DJ Dex was pivotal in expanding the festival beyond the Garden Stage and, with it, beyond the boundaries of genre.

2003 saw Nozstock’s first dance arena born, The Cubicles.  Noz regulars had been soaking up the drum ‘n’ bass, dance and hip hop in what is now our crew kitchen and faster than the DJs could dish it out, and so – like a brand new volcanic island being spat out by a tectonic plate – the Cubicles were formed out of our converted cowshed. Our overgrown garden party was still a ‘by invitation only’ kind of event, though the invite had spread from friends to friends of friends to friends of friends of friends (with tickets still including a free burger!). Until…

2005 was very much a game changer for the us as a family: Mama Noz stood in the farmhouse kitchen making cucumber sandwiches for everyone who had come to join the fun, she looked out the window and realised that what her family BBQ had morphed into a thousand people sitting in the yard. It was make or break time for us as a festival: do we get license, do we open our gates to the masses, or get out the industrial sized broom and shoo the revellers off our front yard, threatening to burst our football next time they kicked it over their fence? We chose the latter. 2005 was also the year the Orchard Stage opened for business, though any seasoned Nozstocker may be surprised to learn it began as a humble little acoustic stage rather than the scene-stealer it is now.

The friends who had previously come over to eat burgers and have a muddy jig found themselves becoming stage managers, decor queens and marketing wizards practically overnight. DJ Dex, roped in as a booker, found that initially asking agents to let their artists play in a converted cowshed in the middle of the countryside was a bit of a tough sell. Once the acts had seen the farm for themselves – and felt the energy radiating from the Nozstock crowds – they would play on late into the night, running over their allotted times and practically begging to come back the next year.

It’s a testament to Nozstock’s chameleon-like nature that just about every Nozstock veteran has a different answer to the question “who’s the best artist you’ve ever booked?”. For some, it was DJ Friction’s first year; for others, Andy C stands out as the sign that Nozstock had really ‘made it’ as a festival (turns out he’s just as addicted to the Cowsheds as you all are, as he’s since become a firm friend of the festival and Nozstock regular); and who wouldn’t feel an almost godlike power at being able to book your favourite childhood artists like Jurassic 5, Roots Manuva or The Buzzcocks to play in your own flippin’ front garden? Lucky 2015 attendees may even have caught a glimpse of Mama Noz in the wild when – temporarily freed from her duties as chief of all things ticket and finance related – she got onstage with life-long favourite Martha Reeves and her Vandellas to showcase Herefordshire’s finest dance moves.

With the main stages sorted, we realised the time was ripe to scratch some of our more eccentric itches and give the people what they didn’t even know they wanted; namely, an amalgam of craft, theatre, burlesque and general absurdity to rival any primary school art teacher’s supply closet. And thus Wok’s bridge was erected across Bluebell End towards the Dingle, which opened in 2007 and is now home to the Wrong Directions Cinema Tent, Little Wonderland kids’ area and – apple of Phil Jupitus’s eye – The Bandstand, to name but a few.

By 2008 the farm was starting to fill up – not only with revellers, but with artists, stages and structures and we started to know what we were doing, well at least we felt like this. With the cowsheds and milking parlour already full to the brim with dance and drum ‘n’ bass, Tribe of Frog made their home in the group of trees at the bottom of the hill leading down to what is now known as the Coppice: among the shrubbery and UV butterflies, they have been delivering psytrance and good vibes to the Nozstock masses ever since.

The years have passed like grains of sand through an hourglass (occasionally torrentially muddy sand, through a rainy hourglass, admittedly). Although Nozstock has been well established for the last ten years, the festival and the site itself have never stopped evolving, like some many-headed hydra which can only be appeased with a serious dose of revelry.

In 2011 Sika Studios were welcomed onto the farm to take over the Bullpen and make the area their own, including a very memorable takeover from High Focus records in their inaugural year. In 2015 the Cabinet of Lost Secrets burrowed their way into the farm and into our hearts when their secret underground lair opened for business, leaving festival goers bewildered, bamboozled and desperate for more… The discovery that Rowden Paddocks had once played host to a real live circus and is the final resting place of its pachyderm performers prompted the most recent addition to the farm, the Elephant’s Grave, home to reggae by day and handpicked house and techno by night.

The non-believers among you may say that’s that: surely there’s no room for more stages, hidden areas or unexpected experiences on our overflowing farm. And to those doubters we say: we will party on the beaches, on the hills and in the fields, we will party in the streets. When there is no room left on the paddocks, we’ll build stages in the trees; we’ll be the first to play dubstep at the core of the earth; we won’t rest until the Nozstock flag flies proud upon the moon… you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Written by – Anna Stewart – Nozstock The Hidden Valley

Nozstock The Hidden Valley 2018 line up

 

Nozstock time, mistletoe and wine.

With only 20 sleeps until Santa visits it’s about time we got in touch with all you Nozstockers. If you’re stil looking for the perfect present for your festival partner-in-crime or a favourite family member then look no further than one of our Tier 1 tickets!

Nozstock

We’ve extended their availability to 18 December, so make the most of this festive spirit, and bag ’em quick. Tier 1 tickets will transfer over to the next tier on 18 December.

Remember, Nozstock is for life, not just for Christmas…

Get me a ticket

 

Vote for us in the UK Festival Awards

Calling all Nozzers! We are busy planning, plotting and preparing for #20YearsOfNoz. But this week, we’ve had some exciting news, we are up for some awards and are feeling the love from you all!

The UK Festival Awards takes place every year celebrating the best within the industry and this year we’re lucky enough to be nominated in three categories – “Best small festival, best family festival and the grass roots festival award.”

You know how much we love you, and we know how much you love us, so, if you have five minutes head over to the UK Festival Awards website and give us a vote! Give us your vote here. Voting closes on October 23rd.

If this wasn’t exciting enough our Sunday night closing festival firework show is up for the Mindblowing spectacle award!

We have also made it onto the shortlist A Greener Festival Award 2017. 

With only 281 days to go until the gates open we long for your return. It’s going to be incredible. #20YearsOfNoz