Interview with Ant TC1: from his first DJ show at 14, to managing Metalheadz

Manager of Metalheadz, co-founder of Dispatch Recordings and well known for his high energy DJ sets and dark productions, Ant TC1 is no stranger to the Drum ‘n’ Bass scene. This year Nozstock will be playing host to one of the most innovative and respected labels in the dance music scene, none of other of course than Metalheadz. Fresh back from living in Thailand, we caught up with Ant TC1 who will be representing for the Headz alongside Dillinja, S.P.Y, Randall, Amoss, Octo Pi  and Scope on Friday night at #Nozstock2018

So, what have you been up to recently?

I’ve pretty much only just moved back to the country, just getting used to being back here most of all and climatising. I’ve got 2 shows this weekend coming up and need to get some practice in and shake the rust off beforehand, can feel the nerves creeping in!

So, let’s start from the beginning. I’ve heard you’ve been DJing on pirate radios and in clubs since a very young age?

Yeah I turned 40 in Feb and I started falling in love with rave, jungle and as it’s now more commonly termed Drum & Bass at the age of 13 so back in 1991. Hearing Grooverider mix records together from a Fantazia live event mixtape in 1992 was what cemented my passion for only thinking about music 24-7 and wanting to learn to DJ and anything else I’m now doing today in relation to the music I still love a lot. I handed a demo in to a pirate radio station owner via a friend to get my first ever DJ show on pirate radio aged 14. I passed it over via a friend as I didn’t want the radio station owner / manager to know my age, I remember him laughing when I first showed up with a bag of vinyl ready for my first ever slot on the station but he let go at it, he was just shocked at my age really.

Since then you’ve made quite the name for yourself in the scene over the years and that all started off with yourself and Hidden Agenda launching Dispatch Recordings, right? Tell us a bit about that.

Yeah it was mostly Jason from Hidden Agenda, he’d moved to Leeds and I already had a residency at D.O.P.E (a weekly D&B night in the city that ran from I think 1994 onward), we met there, struck up a friendship and realised we were both into real similar music (swerving towards the deeper stuff at the time). I was already a massive fan of him and his brother Mark (who is now sadly no longer with us) as the Hidden Agenda duo, I just tried to not let on too much and be all fanboy about it. He asked for my help in setting up his own imprint and the label just grew into it’s own thing really over time, eventually Jason decided on a relocation back up north and wanted to take day job stuff / career more seriously as he’d recently had his first child, so rather than close the label I decided to carry it on with Jason’s full blessing.

What then got you into producing?

I’m not gonna lie, I had what I felt were strong ideas towards making music but was always petrified of approaching making music, it all looked so daunting and too complicated, I lacked confidence, just like I did in my DJ’ing for the first 2 years even though I can now look back and see technically I was OK at least (at a young age really I guess) for way longer than I felt I was personally. Eventually I met an old friend Graham (AKA Stress Level) who was starting out on musical production at the time, he had way more technical know how than me and taught me the basics, I always felt our first collabs were way more me simply adding to his own productions and I felt some unease at even having my name next to his on a finished track but through experience and his teaching I got a lot more involved. Next thing, after dedicated weekends working on our sound we sent out demos and got stuff signed pretty quickly, next thing we were having music played on radio 1 and both DJ’ing all over Europe and the rest of the world (which was something neither of us had really had the opportunity of doing much of previously other than the odd local shows at the odd night).

How did all of this then lead onto you managing Metalheadz?

Long story short, I started working on Headz events for Goldie. One day he called me and asked me to run the label, he liked what I’d done with Dispatch and said he liked working with me all round. He told me that he felt I genuinely loved the music, understood it and put it first above anything else so I was the person he felt comfortable offering the role to. I accepted, crazy feeling at the time and now, I had 2nd copies of the first Headz singles on my wall as a teenager, never would have imagined one day managing the label.

So you’re booked for the Garden Stage at Nozstock this year alongside Dillinja, Randall, S.P.Y, Amoss & more…how do you think that’s going to go down?

You’ve got some real varied artists on, it’s a great line up, everyone is gonna offer something different and all of those artists are strong faves of mine, I think people are gonna have a blast start to finish, I hope so anyway!

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

Jaffa Cakes, a spare back up tent and of course, the music.

What can we expect from Metalheadz in the rest of 2018?

We’ve got heaps of events worldwide, the label is showing no signs of slowing down, singles and EPs most weeks and albums from Blocks & Escher, OneMind, Goldie, Agzilla, we’ve got Lenzman, Jubei and Commix well into progress on their 2nd / follow up albums also.

Tell us about one of your favourite festival sets?

I’ve been lucky to play many over the years now, Outlook festival is always a good one, good memories of playing in the ‘Moat Arena’ to an almost ‘bumper sized long corridor’ arena full of people down the side wall of an abandoned fort. There’s something really unique about looking out at the crowd from the performance area.

Thanks to Ant Tc1 for taking time out of what sounds like a very busy schedule! We look forward to seeing him in July.

That Nozstalgia Feel

Now this is a story all about how Nozstock appeared on the Bromyard Downs, we’d like to take a minute if you’ve got one spare, to tell you all about how Noz over these past 20 years has fared.

Banging throwback tunes aside… people have you heard?! It’s our 20th birthday – and we thought it only right to travel waaay back through all the great times of old.

That’s it folks, the official 2018 theme is Nozstalgia and boy o boy are we excited.

We all reminisce about the good old days, and this year we’re going to bring ALL the good old days bang smack into one weekend. The best of the past, and some of the worst (Yeah Baby, Yeeah!) we’re talking about frosted tips, ¾ length trackies and mullets.

Our humble roots stretch all the way back to ‘98 and what a time to fondly remember. You just know our decor team will go all out on this one: from your favorite cartoon characters, TV and film, to retro games, toys and famous legends of the past. This all will culminate of course in a stellar line up that picks up on our very favorite acts from previous Noz appearances and the last few decades of musical innovation.

NOZ HQ, we hear you ask, but what does that mean for my amazing festival costume? Well we’re expecting big things from ya costumes this year Nozzers, and we reckon you’ve got some pretty great scope to play around with too. We wanna see Scooby-Doo, Pokemon and if there’s not an Inspector Gadget walking around site, we’ll be very disappointed… Nanananana! Where ever in the time-space-nostalgia continuum you choose to get off, we have faith that you’re going to look and feel radical. Double denim, neon rave, acid-house, ra-ra skirts and MC Hammer pants… You remember something you loved? You got your outfit. Excellent.

Our brains are reeling with smashing times gone by, but what about you? What are you Nozstalgic about? What do you think fondly of? Let us know!

Interview with Sonny Wharton

Ahead of Whartone Records takeover at Elephants Grave this year we caught up with head honcho, Sonny Wharton. 

1)         Can you walk us through the career journey you’ve been on?

It’s been quite a surreal adventure to be honest – as a DJ it started by winning a good ol’ fashioned mixtape competition and becoming resident at Manumission and Renaissance in Ibiza and then things seems to snowball quite quickly playing shows all over the world, guest mixes for Radio 1 and international residencies in Barcelona, Seoul and Stockholm. As a producer things really picked up speed when I signed to Skint Records with Fatboy Slim naming me as his ‘Producer of the year’ and Carl Cox championing my record ‘Raindance’ whilst Radio 1 made it their ‘Tune of the week’… all sounds quite mad really when I try to write it down on here!

2)         What piece of advice would you give DJs just starting out?

It’s tougher than ever so try and stay focused on what you want to achieve and don’t deviate from that plan – quality over quantity counts for a lot so choose your gigs, releases and alliances carefully as these will ultimately shape your path as an artist moving forwards.

3)         What’s the biggest influence on your sound?

Its tough to say as I’ve such a broad taste in music but I guess predominately it’s the 90’s rave era that always plays a big part of everything I do.

4)         Whartone Records are returning to headline Elephants Grave 2018. What makes Nozstock special? Why do you keep coming back?

Nozstock IS special and I feel proud to be part of such a great festival year on year. Everyone involved really puts their heart and soul into making it an amazing event and this is clearly evident across the weekend when you look at the attention to detail across the site. This will be my tenth year and to host the Elephants Grave Arena is something I’m looking forward to massively!

5)         What are your 3 most essential things for a festival?

Good tunes, Good vibes, Good people

6)         Who is your DJ pick for the future? Who is one to watch?

Tricky one to answer this as so many wicked new artists coming through right now. Gotta go with my boys OC & Verde though as they’re really on fire this year – already tipped as Pete Tong’s ‘New Names For 2018’ they’re off to a flying start!

7)         Get Nozstalgic for us…give us your best festival memory / best moment of your career so far (whichever you prefer)

Soooo many great festival memories over the year and several at Nozstock (including a stage invasion during my set on the Garden Stage!) but last summer I got to play main stage at a festival called Beats For Love in Czech Republic supporting Fatboy Slim and playing tunes looking out at 40,000 people as the sun was going down is something I think I’ll struggle to top!

Follow him online…

www.facebook.com/sonnywharton

www.instagram.com/sonnywharton

www.twitter.com/sonnywharton

 

 

Metalheadz, DJ Mag Bunker, Black Sun Empire + more to takeover The Cubicles

 

“I’d never heard of Nozstock but I remember speaking to Andy C years ago and he said he was playing, so that triggered something. Festivals like this, those kind of un-sung hero’s… it’s hard for them. I was told, you can f****** play anything here because the crowd, they get it. The first three tunes I thought, let me see how they react, and they really f******* reacted to the deeper side of the music. Sometimes I struggle at festivals because I wanna play underground and play on the edge. I don’t want to compromise the music. It’s always a really good test (of the type of crowd) when you can play a lot deeper.” (Goldie)

Now with 20 years under our belt it is without question that drum ‘n’ bass holds a special place in our heart. Since the very beginning we’ve championed this sound with some of the UK’s drum ‘n’ bass pioneers coming to perform down on the farm.  We assure you that 2018 will be no exception…it’s going to be unmissable.

*Please be upstanding* Kicking things off and one of our three Orchard headliners we have English D&B duo, Chase & Status, performing a DJ set alongside MC Rage. Having formed in 2003, the same time our official D&B area, The Cubicles, was born, it seems fitting to have them take centre stage at this years festival, we’re more excited than ever before. Do not miss this one Nozstockers!

After two epic live stream sets last year from Levelz and Uncle Dugs, DJ Mag Bunker are back and this year in The Cubicles. Catch them collaborating with Metalheadz ready to bring you a bag of bass heavy tricks.  On Friday night they welcome respected and revered producer Dillinja, Remidy MC, Hospital Records most eminent producer S.P.Y as a special guest, the man with 25 years’ experience under his belt, Randall with M.C Trafic plus support from Dispatch Recordings’ Amoss, Metalheadz head honcho Ant TC1, and our special guest and long standing Nozstock veteran, Octo Pi, and homegrown local talent Scope. There is only one place we will be spending our Friday night.

On Saturday, Black Sun Empire represent the finest in dark and tech fuelled alongside another killer line-up featuring Mollie Collins, our very own Nozstocker Modify Perspective, returning legends Uncle Dugs & Billy Daniel Bunter and a special set from one of our favourite producers, Bladerunner ft. Carasel. The Cubicles are looking stronger than ever before just get us in them cowsheds!

Sunday sees a takeover of mammoth proportions on The Garden Stage but we can’t reveal much more then this yet…all we’re saying is if you love D&B we’ll be giving you over 6 hours of it closing 2018’s festival with an almighty bang.

Catch live performances from Goldfrapp, Macka B, The Selecter, Dub Pistols, Electric Swing Circus, Kiko Bun, The Lovely Eggs, Oh My God! It’s The Church & many more… The theme for the 20th anniversary is Nozstalgia – anything from Gameboys and Ghostbusters to the Karate Kid and flared jeans. The festival takes place across an idyllic working farm set in beautiful countryside.

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.

The Garden Stage 2018

Charlie Rimmer - crowd at Garden Stage

Photo: Charlie Rimmer

Nestled between our ramshackle Farmhouse and the Orchard Stage is the Garden Stage. To celebrate our 20th anniversary we’ve programmed a line-up full of internationally acclaimed party starters ranging from Funk and Hip Hop all the way to Drum & Bass alongside some of our long-serving Nozstock veterans. Believe us when we say you’re in for a treat… dust of your dancing shoes for this one.

At the top of the bill, with no need for an introduction we have the voice of a generation, one of Hip Hop’s innovators, the man himself: Grandmaster Flash. Hailing from South Bronx, this guys a true originator, he’s been in the scene since the early 70’s, when he developed a series of groundbreaking DJ techniques still followed religiously by selectors across the globe to this day. Known for his timeless dance floor classics such as ‘The Message‘ and ‘White Lines‘ and with an extensive back catalogue of records, sampling anything from Chic to Blondie and known for his electric, high energy live shows we can’t wait for the Grandmaster to grace the Garden Stage!

After the previous show they have put on for us, there was no way we couldn’t get Krafty Kuts & Chali 2na back to the Garden Stage for 2018. If you caught their set last year you’ll know.. if you didn’t then make sure you get to know! Expect nothing less than big breaks, funky samples and lyrical genius. Krafty Kuts has been a pivotal part of the UK breaks scene for a while now, with DJ sets full of energetic productions and technical turntablism he never disappoints. Joining him will be Chali 2na, hailing from LA and best known for his world famous Hip Hop group; Jurassic 5, Chill 2na is recognised for his quick delivery rapping style and energetic stage presence. The combination of these two artists creates the perfect recipe for a Nozstock party.

Next up it’s the legend: DJ Marky. With a career spanning over two decades, the Innerground Records head honcho is a veteran party starter and certainly knows how to bring the vibe. He’s been igniting dance-floors worldwide with his signature sound for years now and is showing no sign of slowing down. Producer of beat Drum ‘n’ Bass classics such as ‘Lk‘ and the more recent ‘Silly‘, he’s flying the flag for the Brazilian D&B sound and his sets are bound to put a smile on anyones face. Joining Marky will be none other than MC GQ another true veteran of the Jungle scene, known for his unmistakable and unique flow he’s been holding down races since day one and isn’t one of the most respected MC’s in the game for no reason.

Now it wouldn’t be the Garden Stage without some UK Hip Hop and this year we have the Crème de la crème of the scene, headlined by Taskforce and Fliptrix. Taskforce are some of the UK Hip Hop originators, responsible for helping develop and influence the UK Hip Hop sound we know today. Fliptrix is again a pivotal figure in the scene best known for tracks such as ‘The High Way’ and ‘See the Sun’ as well as being the founder of one of the most important labels in the game, High Focus Records.

Verb T & Pitch 92 will be joining the Hip Hop crew showcasing their latest album ‘Good Evening’. Pitch 92, producer for Manchester crew; The Mouse Outfit alongside long time High Focus don Verb T was always going to be a wicked link up, if you haven’t heard it already we suggest you check it out here. Another showcase that we’re really excited about is Pengshui, a new crew made up of Prav (Foreign Beggars), Illaman and Submotion Orchestra’s Fatty, the combination of these three dons is something we can’t wait to see. Supporting will be some of the scenes best upcoming lyrical geniust including; CW Jones and his Bone Dry Records crew, boom bap four piece Verbal Highz and spoken word maestro Natty Speaks.

Joining the D&B crew we have one of the most sought after production duos in the Jungle/D&B scene, we’re talking of course about Serial Killaz. Having been in the scene for well over ten years now these guys have a stockpile of tracks each with their signature reggae influenced sound as well as collaborations with Rebel MC and Ms Dynamite and remixes for the likes of Skream and Toddla T, representing the new school, expect things to get heavy when Serial Killaz step into the dance. Representing the old skool will be Uncle Dugs B2B Billy Bunter, two kings of the Jungle and pirate radio scene, these two are both encyclopaedias of all things Jungle so make sure you don’t miss it Nozstockers.

Pretty much every sunday night headline set on the Garden Stage will go down in history and remains a highlight for Nozstockers far and wide. So this year we’ll be celebrating 20 years of D&B smashers by inviting some of our favourites to join and celebrate Nozstock turning 20 in style. Expect a big line-up….

Topping off the bill will be Nozstock regulars Sonny Wharton, Octo Pi and Dex alongside some special guests still to be announced!

Joining us all the way from London town it’s Kiko Bun, bringing his contemporary and refreshing sound focusing on Reggae, Soul and golden age Hip Hop he knows how to rock a dance floor and his rhythms have been infiltrating the mainstream music scene for a while know. As well as Kiko with have Gardna, a certified microphone controller will be bringing a set that blends all reggae flavours from Dancehall to Drum ‘n’ Bass, him and his label Boom Sound have been nicing up dances all over the UK and beyond in the past couple of years so trust us when we say it’ll be a lively one. Speaking of amazing vocalists, Collette the Dots will be joining the Garden Stage party, having featured on tracks with Skeptical, DJ Marky and many more D&B kingpins, Collette Warren is a big name in the scene, her and her eight piece band have transformed her tracks into a full live show and we can’t wait to see the outcome!

If you like your live dance music acts then you surely know about the live D&B enigma that is the mighty Slamboree Sound System. If this is the first you’ve heard of Slamboree then make sure you don’t miss their set at this years Nozstock and expect live dance music like you’ve never heard before, circus acts, pyrotechnics and special effects galore. Slamboree’s immersive, theatrical show is nothing less of a spectacle and will be sure to leave the hairs on the back of your neck standing up.

As always, Saturday night is all about the Ska Skank and this year we have guests including the Stiff Joints, ska-punk rockers [Spunge] and many more still to be announced so dust off your Dr Martens and get ready for a proper Ska party.

 

Also joining the Garden Stage lineup are a handful of bands and DJ’s that we just love and we hope you will too, ranging from the soul-hop crews; The Feel Good Experiment and Almatic alongside Yama Warashi, Rachel Dadd and Alabaster DePlume as well as DJ’s Chris Tofu and Revrt.

Orchard Stage 2018


Photo: Chloe Soffe, 2016, Orchard Stage

Guess what? There is only 78 days to go until the kingdom of Noz comes alive with 10 stages filled with sensational sound. We are just itching to see all your lovely faces!

You’ll find the Orchard Stage (our main stage) right in the middle of the farm and the line-up this year is…well, we wouldn’t want to brag, so you can see for yourself here.

To get you in the Noz spirit, you can listen to our Orchard Stage playlist on Spotify.

Here is a glimpse at who will be on the Orchard this year…

There is no introduction necessary for these DnB kings. First emerging in 2003, Chase & Status have risen to royalty status with their cutting edge beats and production techniques, resulting in achievements like spending 35 weeks in the UK top 40 with their album ‘No More Idols’ which subsequently gained double-platinum status. Previous Glastonbury headliners, Chase & Status continue to blend a multitude of genres to achieve their distinctive and unstoppable sound.

Next up and Ooh La La La La La, what a treat…we have the celestial synth surfers, Goldfrapp headlining the Orchard this year. Melting the boundaries of genre since their nascence in 1999, Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory have received vast critical acclaim, their third album Supernature (2005-06), including top five track “Ooh La La”, gained platinum status in the UK and was nominated for the Grammy for Best Electronic / Dance Album. With an ever-progressing sound, we are excited to be one of Goldfrapp’s 5 confirmed UK dates this year. It’s going to be special.

Following their divinely raucous performance on the Orchard Stage in 2017, we welcome back a congregation so funky, so soulful that it’s, well, positively unholy…it’s Oh My God! It’s The Church. Described as ‘nothing you’ve ever experienced before, yet as familiar as your Grandmammy’s biscuit tin’, this is a church service that must be experienced to be believed. So come and let the holy water wash over you and repent in this blessed disco party. Also a guaranteed party, we welcome festival legends, Electric Swing Circus who will be gracing the main stage with their swing / jazz / electro fusion

From Maryland to Liverpool, Jalen N’Gonda is a formidable talent, with his own sell out shows across the UK and beyond and we can’t wait to see him play in the heart of the festival. With previous support slots for industry giants like Laura Mvula, Martha Reeves and Lauryn Hill we implore you to come and soak in his soulful voice and bluesy arrangements (and hopefully the sun… fingers crossed).

Coming to Nozstock for the first time, Childcare are a band rapidly gaining recognition across the UK. After releasing their debut EP in April 2017, Ed, Emma, Rich and Glyn have since gone on to do a headline tour and support Bastille along with receiving extensive radio play of their three singles ‘Omega Grey’. ‘Film Club’, and ‘Kiss’. Head over to the page to find out how the band got their name.

There isn’t enough space on this lovely little page to give you details of all the Orchard Stage acts, but you can find details of them all here.

Also on the line-up: Mad Apple Circus, Smiley and the Underclass, Harvey Causon, Lazy Day, The Whipjacks, Seas of Mirth, Catholic Action, Mr Tea and the Minions, Samsara Collective, Buffos Wake, The Lovely Eggs, The Selecter, Dub Pistols, Gemini Jets, Macka B & The Roots Ragga Band, We Are Scientists, Mad Dog Mcrea, Honey Feet, The Blockheads

Drastic On Plastic

By 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish, 38.5 million water bottles are used every day and 91% of this plastic is not recyclable. So…this year at Nozstock we are joining the Association of Independent Festivals campaign and going drastic on single-use plastic!  So cover yourself with guilt-free glitter, and get ready to refill.

I’m sure we both agree that festivals use a helluva load of plastic so here at Nozstock we’re doing our bit to help reduce the amount we use through three simple steps…

  1. Our bars will only serve drinks in our Nozstock branded goblets. These will cost £1 to buy but when you bring the cup back you get a new one!
  2. We will be joining the AIF campaign and getting rid of plastic straws across the site, something that has been on our minds for the last few years.
  3. AND plastic water bottles will be cut drastically meaning you guys NEED to bring a re-usable water bottle!

More plans about how we’re keeping it green this year announced soon!

More acts announced for #20yearsOfNoz

Nozstockers! Feast your eyes on our 2nd wave announcement and make sure you bag yourself a ticket to the best party of the summer – www.nozstock.com/tickets.

The Orchard hosts some amazing artists performing this summer. No stranger to festivals around the world, our first new headliners We Are Scientists have cemented their status within the rock genre – from Brooklyn to Bromyard, this is going to be really special. Next up, The Blockheads,  true UK legends, bringing their electric funk, rock, punk and a catalogue of hits down to the farm. Joining them we have Honeyfeet, a band unlike any other, with an infectiously danceable groove, guttural passion and impeccable style. Completing The Orchard Stage we have Jalen N’Gonda‘s tender soulful voice, a joy to behold, and Mad Dog McCrea will be providing a unique mixture of folk rock, pop, gypsy jazz, bluegrass and shake-your-ass music.

The Garden known for providing it’s usual eclectic mix of urban sounds and acoustic musings, and our second wave line-up will be doing exactly that. Recently described as a mash up of Basement Jaxx and The Rocky Horror Picture Show performing at The Moulin Rouge, Slamboree Soundsystem return to The Hidden Valley and we welcome Spunge to join our 20th Anniversary Ska and Skank party as one of the leading acts in the ska scene, whilst master junglist Uncle Dugs  and hardcore legend Billy’Daniel’ Bunter will bring the noise. Being blessed as a wordsmith has allowed Gardna to approach the music game from a fresh perspective, CW Jones brings a feast of flavours and Verbal Highz blend a heady cocktail of punchy boom-bap production, infused with complex, tongue twisting lyricism. There’s also Feelgood Experiment, Natty Speaks, Almatic, Revrt and Old Baby Mackerel.

In the bass-reverberating Cubicles, Mollie Collins’ sets feature beautiful liquid vocals over brutal jump-up basslines, alongside drum and bass heavyweight Dread Recordings’ Blade Runner ft Carasel and there’s a welcome return for Liquifyah’s head honcho Modify Perspective.

In Laughing Stock, we are very excited to announce the socially and politically-charged Reginald D Hunter as Saturday night headliner. Reginald remains on a constant quest for the truth, with his razor-sharp comedy always capturing the mood of the world. Tony Law takes in time-travelling dogs and focuses on the absurdities of everyday life. Paul Sweeney‘s musical musings and inimitable moustache are framed by his bone-dry wit, and experienced Nozstocker Rich Wilson is returning to the farm with his razor-sharp suits, timing and delivery. In 2017 Harriet Dyer was selected for the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe ‘Big Value Showcase’, proof that some of the darkest things in life can also be the funniest.

In a post-coup land whose citizens have been left to piece together their own rules of engagement, incredible practitioners of theatre, circus and craft work have moved in to make The Altered State the new epicentre of play and surreal expression at Noz. Brand new for 2018, by day expect the unexpected – games, workshops, drama, poetry, impromptu paint fights at the Sunken Yard – and by night party on with fire shows, disco tunes and madcap roaming performances. .

Over to The Dingle now, and representing the very intimate Bandstand, we have Weirds, are a fully immersive, musical experience and Scottish born singer-songwriter Kerri Watt, providing a dose of celtic charm. They are joined by Johnny Smyth, Josh Ace, Boatbar to Hamburg, Von Horn, Bone Dry Records Showcase and True Strays.

The sublime Cabinet Of Lost Secrets have been getting in on the action too. There’s soul and hip-hop from Normanton Street, Seas Of Mirth bring their sea shanty sound, Mango Factory are a grooved-up, funk-Latin-soul band; Ask My Bull crackle with an infectious energy and Almatic effortlessly meld styles including neo soul, folk and breakbeat. They are joined by Swansea Laptop Orchestra, King Solomon Soundsystem, Razzomo, Mohawkestra alongside the usual range of oddities and secret surprises.

Finally, after an amazing debut in 2017, Elephant’s Grave have announced a huge line-up as they welcome takeovers from the premier online dance music authority Data Transmission, award winning immersive party purveyors Rumble In The Jungle, Subwork and Emotion. DJs announced include Paul Flynn, Kid Cut, Ron Mexico, Kelvin 373, Gardna, Leo Sampson & Clifford Junior ft Natty Campbell & Shumba Youth, Tenz, 160ft Deep, Delirium, Oberon and that’s just scratching the surface…

Not to mention some amazing workshops keeping your mini ‘uns busy in Little Wonderland and a whole host of games and silliness (would you expect anything less?)

Nozstockers, we cannot wait. And this is just a taster of the fun. Head over to our line-up page for more exciting artists waiting for you in The Hidden Valley and we’ll see you in 86 days!

 

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

 

2018 LINE-UP ANNOUNCEMENT

Well it’s here, the long awaited 20th anniversary line-up for you to get your highlighters at the ready and mark off your must sees …. #20YearsofNoz

*drum roll please*

Headlining The Orchard on Friday night is one of the most successful acts associated with drum and bass, electronic floor fillers Chase & Status. On Sunday it’s the turn of electronic pop duo Goldfrapp who have been releasing iridescent, intriguing pop since 1999. Friday night also welcomes The Selecter, a 2-Tone ska band featuring a racially diverse and politically charged line-up, not forgetting Barry Ashworth’s motley crew the Dub Pistols taking up pre-headlining duties on Saturday. Electric Swing Circus is a six-strong fusion of saucy ’20s swing and stomping electro beats, and The Lovely Eggs are a lo-fi psychedelic punk rock band. Next up are the The Stiff Joints, a ten-piece ska army with a raucous infusion of ska, punk and reggae. Oh My God! It’s The Church make a welcome return to save all you sinners’ souls, not to mention pirate shanty band Seas of Mirth, Latin grooves from Mad Apple Circus, peerless pop masterpieces from Catholic Action plus the best ska and Balkan inspired beats from the likes of Mr Tea and The Minions and Buffo’s Wake.

Over in The Garden, rap royalty Grandmaster Flash brings his incredible party-rocking acumen to the stage. Speaking of legends, Chali 2na, founding member of hip-hop supergroup Jurassic 5 returns to The Garden alongside Krafty Kuts; the multi award-winning DJ and undisputed King of Breaks. Nozstock fave DJ Marky returns with full-tilt club beats to headline our special Sunday night 20th anniversary drum ‘n’ bass party alongside one of the most sought after production duos in the industry; Serial Killaz.  Don’t miss reggae artist Kiko Bun, who’s surfing a dubby resurgence all the way to the top. There’s also the cream of the UKHH scene; Fliptrix, Taskforce, Verb T & Pitch 92 and Pengshui. To cap it all off don’t forget Saturday nights special ska and skank party. Come ready to move to some serious rocksteady rhythms.

In the bass-pulsating Cubicles, DJ Mag The Bunker in collaboration with Metalheadz brings a bag of bass heavy tricks on Friday. They welcome respected and revered producer Dillinja,  Hospital Records most eminent producer S.P.Y. as a special guest, Randall makes a welcome return to the farm, also Amoss, Ant TC1 and special guest Octo Pi. On Saturday, Black Sun Empire represent the finest in dark and tech fuelled drum and bass alongside Audio, whose dilligency and creatively has garnered some serious respect.

Elephants Grave returns for a second year of scrub-a-dub sounds in the daytime with Ital Sounds, but after dark, we welcome some true house grooves from Whartone  with ‘Kukushka’, headed up by Sonny Wharton alongside Dom Kane, Dirty Secretz, Luke Stanger and House Meanz House.

If the best of the UKs up and coming talent crop is more your thing The Bandstand is the place for you. We welcome Frauds, Average Sex, Heavy Lungs and Jeremy Hugget’s Swing Zing with plenty more to come.

If you prefer your Nozstock a little more weird and wonderful then look no further than The Cabinet of Lost Secrets where 7 Suns, The Pink Diamond Revue and The Imaginary Hat will enthrall and entertain. If thespians take your fancy we have everything from Roisin Crowley Lintons spoken word show through to Hummadruz‘s U.V extravaganza. Not to mention fun, games and crafts around site; try your hand at archery, learn a new skill at our blacksmiths forge or join conniseurs of a good time Sunken Yard for a paint throwing party.

And this is just a fraction of the fun at Nozstock 2018. We have soooo much more to share with you so please head to our line-up page for a full list from our first wave of artists and grab yourself a ticket here.

More announcements coming soon, but in the meantime get planning that Nozstalgic outfit! Head over to our Pinterest page for inspiration. Anything from flared jeans to Karate Kid, from game boys to ghostbusters and yes…even double denim…

Nozstock The Hidden Valley 2018 – first line up announcement from Nozstock The Hidden Valley on Vimeo.

All things green in 2017

Every year at Nozstock we aim to reduce our environmental impact and 2017 was no exception. With the introduction of our eco-bond scheme and resuable cups site wide, combined with the best ‘rubbish’ team going our cows got to return to the farm in just under a week after all of you went home! So…credit where credit is due, a big THANKYOU to all Nozstock revellers, staff, volunteers and traders your efforts are commended!!

AWARDED ‘IMPROVERS LEVEL’ AT A GREENER FESTIVAL AWARDS 2017. 

Nozstockers as if we weren’t already delighted enough with our 2017 awards, we have only gone and bagged ourselves another. A Greener Festival assess all aspects of sustainability issues at the festival, including transport, energy and waste, and our overall carbon footprint. Nozstock achieved an Improvers level Award which recognises the huge efferts that have been made to make our festival cleaner and greener. We are all fired up with plans to build on this for 2018.

CELEBRITREE AVENUE

It’s Nozstock tradition that every year we choose someone from our wonderful line-up to plant a tree on our Celebritree Avenue in partnership with Trees For Cities. So this year Beans on Toast rocked on down to celebritree avenue and got his hands dirty! Special thanks to everyone who chose to donate to trees for cities during the ticket buying process.

Beans on Toast being Beans on Toast thought he could get away without a photo of this most entertaining moment but not on our watch! This might have resulted in him planting the same tree twice but we assure you it made us laugh!

HOW MUCH DID WE RECYCLE?

Our first year doing the eco bond was a real success. Hundreds of people brought bags of rubbish and recycling to the eco bond exchange, where our boundlessly enthusistic tribe of bin divers helped recover as much recycling as possible. This made a huge difference and helped us recycle nearly 40% of our rubbish on site!

Local refugee charity People in Motion were also able to salvage half a tonne of reuseable camping gear, tents, sleeping bags and non-perishable food that you guys donated or left on site which was shipped out to help refugees across Europe. Huge thanks to everyone who helped by keeping their campsites tidy, especially our glorious winners of 2017’s clean campsite comp! Seperating your recycling from their rubbish might seem like hard work but we were really impressed with the amount of you that did this! Good work Nozstockers!

PLANS FOR 2018

#20YearsOfNozstock is on the horizon and we can’t wait to show you what we’ve got up our green sleeves for 2018!