Amid emerald fields and the lushest rural countryside of Herefordshire lies Nozstock The Hidden Valley.
How did it happen?
Like the very best of festivals, Nozstock was founded by a fun-loving family and their friends – pretty much everyone who had a guitar to play or a joke to tell. It was a hazy, optimistic time at the turn of the millenium, when life felt simple and summers were long and full of amusement. The Hidden Valley has successfully retained this homely, welcoming nostalgia, but we’ve woven it into a delightful amalgamation of performance, art, electronic super-sounds and good old-fashioned guitar-strumming and drum-bashing, thanks to some great advice and not a small dose of audience participation and feedback. Now an established family event, Nozstock is a sonic escape boasting nine stages of entertainment with surprising sights and intimate, secluded areas of theatre and discovery to be unearthed.
When its visitors down tools and hand themselves over to Nozstock’s crew, safe in the knowledge that their hedonistic needs will be met, they discover there’s a small world of frivolity to find, all scrupulously programmed by the festival’s founders, the Nosworthy family and their eclectically informed friends.
The festival’s ethos is about bringing play to everyone, in whatever form it can. Nozstock believes in the value of not only entertaining, but in participation and contribution. It’s an ever-changing event with a clear agenda; to invite conversation, interaction and serious recreation. Above all, Nozstock The Hidden Valley is a blissful family festival that caters to all ages with activities that little ones can enjoy, as well as entertainment for teens, students, seasoned festivalites, party-starters and grandparents.
What’s on site?
The Hidden Valley festival site is situated around a ramshackle Tudor farmhouse which sits on the side of the Valley in the centre of the festival site. It’s nestled against The Garden Stage, which hosts an array of eclectic bounce-inducing artists. The Orchard boasts the headline names and the cream of the upcoming crop, as well as the theatrical crowd-pleasers, and the Bandstand brings forth bands from indie-pop, alt/punk to folk-rock.
The converted cowsheds include the Cubicles, sub-thumping drum ‘n’ bass, to be found aside the Bullpen, an incubator for great promoters delivering bass-heavy beats. Elephant’s Grave hosts reggae by day, house by night, in a secluded lake-side shelter, and The Coppice’s luminous sounds from veterans of psytrance Tribe of Frog flowing through the trees in the valley.
Alternatives and rebels reside in The Altered State – another world full of live performance, comedy, arts workshops, spoken word, games and after-dark, experimental cabaret, with a splash of late-night disco. And beyond the powers of Yeleni’s healing area lies the Cabinet of Lost Secrets, an original slice of weirdness for the brave and bold.
Bringing the family?
Shenanigans for the mini-festivaler occur off the beaten track and over the bridge. The Dingle hosts workshops aplenty for older and younger kids – with arts & crafts, yoga sessions, and a multitude of diversions, there’s entertainment and participation on offer, whatever your energy levels!
You can also catch a late night short film or music video from the mesmerising screenings on offer in the Wrong Directions Cinema, or grab some delicious locally-sourced nosh and a cocktail and take a tour round the site, letting curiosity get the better of you.
In essence, Nozstock The Hidden Valley is all-at-once eye-opening and entertaining, intriguing and delightful – it’s been grown carefully with love and attention, and all under the encouragement of Farmer Noz and his ever-patient cattle.
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We are very proud to have been a fully fledged member of the Association of Independent Festivals since 2010. The AIF work tirelessly to create a united voice for festivals like ourselves, nurturing and empowering us all to make the Great British Isles the world leading hub for independent festivals.