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.

Not suitable for adults…

In case we haven’t hammered it home enough by now: Nozstock is very much a family affair.

Founded by a family in their ramshackle farmhouse twenty years ago with the aid of a few friends and local troublemakers, now uncles, cousins, grandchildren and other assorted Nosworthy clan members are called in from across the country on a yearly pilgrimage to get stuck in and lend a hand with the festivities.

Numerous Nosworthy-and-extended-family sprogs have come into the world since Nozstock’s inception so the Noz HQ team are no strangers to the challenge of combining festival frolics and family fun. In fact, it’s partly the reason why Nozstock prides itself on being so family friendly – that, and our belief that a good festival is for everyone, whether you’re into late-night skanking or glue, glitter and tie-dyeing.

In 2018, Sarah and the Spare Room Arts crew will return to our Little Wonderland kids area to ensure our littlest festivalgoers are suitably enthralled, entertained and enchanted over the weekend. Whether it’s learning a new skill, getting stuck in to make a Nozstock memory to take home with you, or just having a good old fashioned boogie – you’ll find it in the Little Wonderland (and, best of all, it’s all completely free!). Come and learn a few new moves at the Pimp Souls dance workshop, or take an hour out to reset and unwind with yoga classes (and storytelling) for kids and adults alike. Behind The Scenes theatre company will be on hand to take you back in time with immersive storytelling sessions, and the Spare Room Arts resident disco queen will be bringing the party to the Little Wonderland with a guided tour through the hits of yore – with some modern tunes thrown in for good measure – at our Mini Disco. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get yourself all dolled up, with regular facepainting, costume-making sessions, head-dress and mask workshops and tie-dying classes (for mum and dad to get all nostalgic about the 90s). The pessimistic among you can even glam up your wellies in case of rain. Once you’re properly suited and booted, learn a new craft or show off your skills with one of our many workshops. From willow weaving to felt creations, instrument-making to clay pots, pom-pom bunting to kites and puppeteering, whatever you create will surely have pride of place in your home and make you nozstalgic for festival life long after the face-paint has flaked away. Finally, for the tiniest among us who want to chill out in style after a hard day’s toddling, we’ve added a soft-play area for 2018, complete with paddling pools, sandpits and everything you could need to soak up the festival vibes without going near a DJ booth. As well as all this, the Nozstock arena is pretty much a little one’s dream, with captivating walkabout theatre, cinema and interactive artworks, not to mention the music. In addition, all areas which might be unsuitable for under-18-year old eyes will be strictly signposted.

But it’s not all fun and games (though it mostly is) – we know from hard-earned experience the realities of bringing little ‘uns to a festival, and have tried our best over the years to make the whole process as smooth as possible. In the Little Wonderland, you’ll find free bottle-warming services and changing mats, as well as the Lost Kids area where you can stop by for a special wristband to write parents’ mobile numbers on in case a mini raver should wander off the beaten path. If you’re wary of the revelry to be found in the general campsite, then bed down in our dedicated Family Camping area. Family Camping is strictly stewarded so only families with children can camp there, and it’s far away from the music so you can get a solid chunk of sleep every night: however, it has its own dedicated entrance to the Dingle – home of the Little Wonderland – so those little legs are just a hop, skip and a jump away from arts, crafts and fun. The Family Camping area comes complete with nearby food traders, entertainment and games for the kids while you’re setting up camp, and even showers for you to truly create your home away from home. And if all this doesn’t convince you – did we mention that kids aged 12 and under get in scott free to Nozstock?

Phew, there we have it – a quick-stop guide to all the reasons we positively encourage you to bring the littlest members of your tribes with you. But you don’t have to take our word for it: many before you have brought their families to Noz and lived to blog the tale. Daddacool hales us as ‘exactly the sort of festival that is great for kids’, Mum in the Madhouse says ‘the setting is just perfect and the upkeep is great’ (and includes a list of essential Top Tips for festivalling with tweens that would be compulsory reading at Nozstock university), while Tired Mummy of Two says Nozstock ‘feels welcoming and safe for children’. Finally, we were chuffed to bits to be named one of Festivalkidz’s Best Family Festivals in the Midlands 2018. So if you’re trying to find the perfect summer getaway that’ll cater to all ages, tastes and attitudes to glitter, why not come on down and join the ever-expanding Nozstock family in the Hidden Valley…

Shakin’ Elephant’s Grave with skankin non-stop raves

Immerse your senses as you stomp and stamp up the dust where elephants once roamed, all whilst having your ear holes blasted with exhilarating dub, reggae and jungle under the gleaming sun. Then, when the creeping moon takes over, so will monstrous house and techno with a line-up promising the densest, clenching, animalistic grooves to get far more than your feet tappin.

2018 gifts us with Bristol’s legendary Rumble In The Jungle & Friends to fill your blood with skank-juice ’til the evening comes, featuring: Kelvin 373, Gardna, Pull Up Collective and Kamoh. Time to wind up that waist! If that wasn’t enough, Gorilla Tactics will definitely test your ability to ‘dance ’til you drop’, followed by Emotion who’ll be fuelling the day with phat rave bangers hosting hard and classic house.

As the stars decorate the sky, so will the tappy sound droplets of techno and house to power you ’til dawn. Whartone Records present ‘Kukushka’, featuring legendary DJs stampeding into the house hall of fame. Including, Sonny Wharton, Dom Kane, Dirty Secretz, Luke Stranger (just to name a few). Also filling your ears at Elephant’s Grave, Data Transmission will takeover hosting raw, rhythmic grooves from the likes of Ben Sterling, L.O.R.D.I.E, Archie B and Jobi

You can find the full line-up and stage origins here.

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!

 

Accessibility at Nozstock

Everyone should have the opportunity to attend and enjoy live music and festivals, no matter their access requirements and we want everyone to have the best time on our lovely little farm. Whilst there are some challenges in making a festival site accessible for all, every year we strive to create a safe and comfortable environment for all of you Nozzers.

We are always looking for ways to improve the overall Noz experience for you and always listen to feedback from our festival go-ers. We are the proud recipient of a Bronze award from Attitude is Everything, but of course, we are going for gold! Attitude is Everything work to improve Deaf and disabled people’s access to live music by working with the music industry to implement a Charter of Best Practice (and we think they are wonderful).

Nozstock

Some of the things that we do at Noz to make your experience a great one are; a dedicated accessibility coordinator who is there to answer any questions you may have before the festival and is available on site to ensure your time here runs as smoothly as possible; a separate accessible camping area; a separate and more accessible accreditation point and available induction loops. For full details regarding access at Nozstock, please go to our or request a comprehensive access guide from access@nozstock.com which outlines our festival terrain, areas, stages and everything else regarding accessibility.

If you are still trying to decide whether Nozstock is for you, have a look at our Social Story which lays out what you can expect. We can’t wait to welcome you to Nozstock!

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.

Better put that shelf up….

Nozzers it’s Halloween, it’s 262 days until 2018’s festival begins and WE’VE ONLY GONE AND WON AN AWARD!!

Yes, that’s right, an award. Our closing festival fire show won ‘Most Mind-blowing Spectacle’ at the 2018 AIF UK Festival Awards.

Massive thanks to all of our crew who made this happen, production, walkabout, construction, H&S, Hummadruz fire performers and of course all of you lovely lot who routed for us!

If you didn’t see 2017’s fire show then don’t worry watch the video below!

We’re busy plotting for our 20th-year celebration, plenty more mind-blowing things in the pipeline, promise.

Anyway we’re off to celebrate, the shelf can wait.

Xx

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

Dates announced for 2018!

2017 was the most amazing, surreal and special Nozstock we’ve had yet. After some time to digest the magic and of course put our feet up we’re ready (and hope you are too) to celebrate 20 YEARS OF NOZSTOCK! 

DATES for this years festival: Frday 20th July – Sunday 22nd July 2018.

20 years ago we would never have dreamed that our little family BBQ would become the sonic escape that all of you Nozzers enjoy. We can’t wait to celebrate 20 years of making memories, having fun, forming friendships and being magical the only way we know how.

See you on the farm. #20YearsOfNoz

TICKETS: Limited super early birds now on sale.

From £95 for adults / 12 and under free / Booking fees apply

Book here