‘A festival with a stellar music line-up that is both intimate and hugely atmospheric’.

The gates are closed for another year, the cows are back in their fields. We are busy nursing tired feet, recharging radios and packing up the fabrics.  What we can’t stop talking about is what an incredible time we had for our 20th anniversary.  Thank you all so much. Here’s a selection of our favourite reviews to help you relive your best bits…

Efestivals

Plutonium Sox

National Student

Earth Based Fun

The Travel Magazine

Travelynn Family

Mini Travellers

Tired Mummy of Two

 

Thank you for joining us for our 20th birthday!

Well, that was emotional!

A huge thank you to all our incredible crew, artists and most importantly, to you the audience for, frankly, what was the most spectacular Nozstock yet. We were left speechless by the beautiful people being lovely, the stellar talent, purely inspired decor across the site, hilarious encounters, dreamy visuals, sonic wonder, and all round vibe of delight. It was proper magic, so thank you everyone, for being a part of it and making it a sell-out year!

We’re still absorbing the events of the weekend, re-calibrating and already hatching plans for 2019. Dates have been set for Thursday 18 – Sunday 21 July 2019, and super early birds are already on sale so snap ’em up quick before they run out. 

Spend 10 mins filling in our survey and you could win a tasty £150 to keep your festival season afloat. Nozstock is yours so tell us what we did right and what we could do better. And watch this space and our socials – YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – for reviews, photos and the all important first line up announcement for 2019.

We might be saying goodbye to our year of Nozstalgia, and it’s a bittersweet departure, after such a year of beastly-good entertainment, but rest assured, we’re full of beans for 2019… a year goes by quick, and we’ll see you again in a field real soon…

Nos da, Nozstockers!

Photo: Conor Irvine

 

Weekend tickets now sold out. Sunday tickets available on the gate.

Well Nozstockers our 20th edition has proved more popular than ever before. The campsites are humming, Chase & Status killed it on the main stage last night and we’re ready for Grandmaster Flash to headline this evening. If your reading this from your tent then drag yourself out immediately The Hidden Valley awaits…(if you’re reading this from your computer at home…don’t worry you can still join us – Sunday tickets are available on the gate for £50. These are limited so get here nice and early the gates open at 10am.

#20YearsOfNoz #Noztock2018

What will you discover at the Department of Cultural Affairs?

Resting in the wacky, creative, theatrical world of Altered State, lies The Department of Cultural Affairs, focal point for all things theatre, culture and discussion. Come and enjoy psychedelic UV wonders, be left in awe by poetry, meet a lover dressed as an animal or possibly save a life or few.

Take a wonder and witness the spectacle of Hummadruz’ UV show, a truly unique visual treat that will take you on a journey of psychedelic beauty and intriguing stories. Come along on Friday at 22:00 to gain a memory that will last a life time.

Experience something refreshing and leave inspired from the words of the people of Bristol-based Milk Poetry. They have been nurturing home-grown talent and providing quality spoken word since their beginning in 2015, and their events have been praised as “one of the best spoken word nights in the UK” by Picador Books. Hosting their showcase is founder of Milk Poetry, Malaika Kegode. Get involved in their showcase of spoken word open mic, writing workshops and headline spoken word artists on Saturday at 14:30.

Looking for a lover? Soulmate? Or new best friend? Dive into this unusual spin on speed dating, the Love Gurus and their loyal Love Police bring you, Animal Attraction They’ll take you back to your animal instincts as you toss off your human shell to dress up as a member of the animal kingdom and have a boogie. Be sure to release your inner beast on Saturday at 21:00.

Saving the lives of people with blood cancer and other blood disorders, Anthony Nolan are going to be joining us at Nozstock on Saturday at 16:15 to talk about stem cell research. If you’ve ever wanted to become a stem cell donor or simply want to learn more about it then come along and chat with some of the donors themselves and learn of their experiences. You’ll also be able to join in a game of ‘Make me a Match’, a fun experiment designed to get you interacting with each other to try to find your perfect match.

Alter Your State of Mind

Venture into a world filled with the unexpected and unrestricted at Noz this year! The Altered State has been taken over by the some of the most fearless theatre, circus and craft aficionados who are ready to show you everything they’ve got. With games, workshops and impromptu paint fights by day to fire shows, disco tunes and madcap roaming performances by night…you never know what might just alter your state at Nozstock 2018.

There is a method to the madness of The State and for this Noz it has been themed the Department of Cultural affairs. The Department of Cultural Affairs will take the focus for all things theatre, culture and discussion so be prepared for drama, theatrics and, of course, a bit of magic.

Bringing that magical spark to this rebellious land will be the master of theatrical chemistry, Andrew Szydlo. Andrew dabbles in mysterious molecules and electrify elements to teach the whole family a few lessons on the magic of chemistry. If science doesn’t turn your wild world around, Michela Reghellin certainly will with her gravity defying hoop mastery. Get your hips moving with Michela as she teaches you everything you need to know in her hoop dance workshop.


Every post-coup city needs a bit of lovin’ right? You Topia has made sure that this lawless land is no exception to that … with their own unique twist of course. Unleash your inner creature and bust out those ferocious moves at Animal Attraction Speed Dating. Hummadruz will be adding fuel the rebellious fires of the Department of Cultural Affairs with their psychedelic UV show. Lose yourself in their labyrinth of flames and let the citizens of The State show you their revolutionary world.

There’s all this and so much more to discover at The Altered State so make sure you pay us a visit… you might want to go back.

Even more tasty music to announce…

We’re also excited to drop a couple further announcements, just to keep you on your toes… Joining us with their dancehall, drum ‘n’ bass, hip hop vibes are The Nextmen. On the cusp of releasing a new 12-track album, Pound for Pound, in collaboration with Gentlemen’s Dub Club, there’s never been a better time to catch these guys live. They’re even crowdfunding to deliver vinyl to their fans – find out more here.

We’re also really honoured to see the return of Aristocrats, who’ll be delivering a set dedicated to original member, Dubl Sweggerz, who loved Nozstock. We’re looking forward to seeing these hip hop kings doing it right.

H Grimace land with their discordant, energetic, psyche, fresh and punky sound that, ultimately, refuses to be pinned down. Say a hearty hello also to punky lyricist Lucia, garage-psych quartet Captain Suun, smooth folkster Pierre Donahue, one man arsenal of beats and melodies Steve Strong, heartfelt singer-songwriter Freddie Armstrong, indie-folk duo GXDS, Tel Avivian mellow folkster Rotem, Flowcase 2018 Beatbox Champion Beatfox, purveyor of Americana, flying solo, Al Fraser Green, indie-electronica project Yumi and the Weather, and the rest of the stellar talent on display on the Bandstand.

Tribe of Frog return to the Coppice bringing the neon, psytrance dreams to our retro rave. Get your groove on to genre-defying Geo, resident frogger Dr G, dark psy sound aficionado Hemp, high energy party starters Dirty Saffi, new, spiritually uplifting project Banyan, adventurer in music Mr Black, founder of wavey, psytrance heroes OOOD, Steve OOOD, and the rest!

Bristol’s pioneering, worldwide music station 10 Twenty Radio brings an all-female lineup on Saturday in collaboration with Concrete Jungyals, including DJ/producer Sherry S, in demand Jossy Mitsu, winner of Concrete Jungyals LSTD DJ comp Ludo, Concrete Jungyals resident Asterixx B2B with the unique DJ Raggo and more. On Friday, find 10 Twenty regular Dissident, grime and trap-lover Sour Phree B2B with Birmingham boy Circa ft. Wish and Dash Villz, vinyl enthusiast Nakes, chief at Insomniac Disco Walya, blender of beats Detrivore and more, meaning You’ve Been Prango’d will be buzzing all weekend with bass, garage and grime to die for.

They join a bulging line up of tip-top talent including: Chase & Status (DJ set + Rage), Goldfrapp, Grandmaster Flash, The Selecter, We Are Scientists, The Blockheads, Dub Pistols, Chali 2na & Krafty Kuts, DJ Marky & MC GQ, Honeyfeet, Electric Swing Circus, Slamboree Soundsystem, Spunge, The Lovely Eggs,  and many more…


Concrete Jungyals

Quench that thirst, and customise your own merch…

Ever inventive, our potions experts have been rustling up a treat in the kitchen and have concocted a veritably delicious menu of nozstalgic cocktails to whet your whistles, taking you back to the heady days of sweet shops and sticky hands. You can treat yourselves to a Rola-cola, Sour Apple, Cornershop Fizzypop or Tutti Frutti.

Wye Valley Brewery Nozstalgia beer badge

And if beer’s more your thing, Wye Valley Brewery have brewed us up a commemorative fruity, pale ale of our very own; Nozstalgia. Get yours at our homegrown bars.

After the buzz it created last year, we didn’t feel we could miss out on the chance of inviting back Live Ink, to help you make your customised, official Nozstock garms. They return with some snazzy new screens this year (nod to the excellent work done by our design team on these), as well as the usual swag that you love – badges, tattoos, stickers and more. Who needs that royal wedding tea-towel when you’ve got 20th anniversary Nozstock merchandise on offer?

Find out what else is going on in the Village


Fireworks Kristian Lam Clark

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.

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

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!

 

Nozstock takeover Hereford River Carnival on 5th May!

It’s at this point in the year we can feel Summer in our bones… That’s right it’s Hereford River Carnival time! Catch Nozstock taking over once again this year on our very own stage.

The Carnival is a day of fun for everyone, celebrating the beauty and vitality of the River Wye and the life that it brings to the city of Hereford.

The River Carnival is run entirely by volunteers and has welcomed more than 12 000 people since it’s relaunch in 2014. Over 130 local groups are involved showcasing what us Herefordians do best. It is an amazing day of fun for the family. Expect a street carnival, amazing puppet creation, food village, the H.Energy green village, drinks, stalls, children’s activities, floats and of course, some incredible music!

So if you need your Nozstock fix then come on down and get a taste of what to expect in The Hidden Valley this year. Our 2018 line-up below…

The Stiff Joints

The Stiff Joints  are an 11-piece ‘Ska Army’ from the West Midlands bringing an an infectious brand of two-tone ska that makes it impossible to sit still to.

7Suns

Blending Afro/Latin, Ska, Hip Hop, Funk & Rock sounds, 7Suns are a multi cultural outfit based in London making universal music for universal people.

Capas

Capas aka Phil Wilkins is a Worcestershire based, multi instrumentalist composer and producer using electronic and live recordings to create big cinematic sounds. Capas joins forces with drummer Daren Wood and guitarist Olly Irwin creating a super tight unit working in many forms from electronica, jazz, dub, afro and trip-hop.

Performing as a three piece or by bringing in other musicians for larger shows, Capas’ style is diverse and flexible with solid grooves to get your feet moving and haunting melodies to captivate your soul.

Teddy Matthews

Kidderminster based singer-songwriter Teddy Matthews started to turn heads last year with a couple of his releases getting airplay on BBC Introducing (Hereford & Worcester and West Midlands) and BBC 6 Music on the  Tom Robinson Show. Since then Teddy has put together a five-piece band and performed at a number of festivals, whilst still taking in solo acoustic sets along the way.

Drumlove

Bringing their upbeat mix of worldly rhythms, including  African, Latin and Caribbean, Drumlove are professional players, teachers and makers of drums from all across the globe.  ‘Promoting unity through rhythm since 1996’.

Kringo Blue

Worcestershire based Kris Rolfe bringing his original mix of acoustic soul with blues influences. His powerful yet distinctly smooth voice, melodic choruses and articulate rhythmical guitar blends with well thought out lyrics to provide a varied and soulful performance.

DJ Rob Williams spinning tunes in between sets!

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