This summer the award winning festival Nozstock: The Hidden Valley returns once again on the 20th – 23rd July 2023 for its 25th anniversary! It’s hard to believe that this now well established festival was once a small gathering of friends and family. The event has grown bigger and better every year while still maintaining its welcoming and nostalgic feel.
Those of you who follow my blog will know that this amazing little festival is a firm favourite of ours – and for good reason. The relatively small, family-run event is set in a beautiful rural part of Herefordshire on a working farm. Friendly, welcoming and independent, the festival has evolved from a 50-friend gathering into an intimate musical and arts odyssey; and is now one of the UK’s longest running festivals.
Heading the Orchard stage this year will be the sublime Fat Freddy’s Drop bringing their unique combination of dub, reggae, soul, jazz, rhythm & blues and techno – providing the ideal vibe for a summer festival. Jungle and drum & bass trailblazer Shy FX will be on the decks getting the crowd jumping. Groundbreaking ska and reggae legends The Wailers will be bringing those laid back summer vibes with classics such as ‘No Woman, No Cry and Could You Be Loved’. 2023 is the 50 year anniversary of hip hop, so who better to join us than the pioneer of hip hop Grandmaster Flash?! Expect a masterclass in cutting and scratching, with an eclectic set of party classics, old skool hip hop with a little bit of everything else in between. Festival veteran and reggae royalty David Rodigan will be spinning the decks with his impeccable set of dancehall and roots. Continuing the festival and carnival feel-good summer party vibes will be The Allergies, who are guaranteed to get everyone on their feet moving and grooving. Fans of neo-soul will not want to miss singer songwriter Eva Lazarus. Expect to hear her effortlessly jumping between genres from her belting vocals to her punchy rap verses.
Over on The Garden stage will be multi-award winning veteran of the UK urban music scene, the Reggae legend that is General Levy. One of the most exciting drum & bass DJs on the the scene DJ Marky will be tearing up the stage with rapper GQ. Bristol based MC Gardna will be bringing the vibes with his big heavy concoction of Dub, Grime and Dancehall. BBC 1 DJ Charlie Tee will be bringing the most exciting and innovative sounds d’n’b has to offer, producer. DJ and ex Prodigy keyboardist Leeroy Thornhill will be serving up his eclectic mix of electro beats and breaks. While Beans on Toast will be performing his sublime political folk music.
Heading up our dance arena The Cubicles and guaranteed to get your body shaking we have drum & bass producer and MC Mefjus ft. Maksim. British independent drum & bass label Hospitality will also be doing a stage takeover with Brazilian born house and garage DJ S.P.Y joined by accomplished MC and all round entertainer LowQui.
The Kids Area
As always, the weekend is set to be full to the brim with family-friendly activities, including theatre, games, workshops and opportunities to learn funky new skills. As an award winning family-run festival, Nozstock have always had family at their heart, believing that festivals should be a great place for everyone, regardless of their age. Nozstock offers their very own dedicated children’s area ‘Little Wonderland’ that provides a programme of free activities and workshops for children of all ages, in previous years workshops have included beatboxing, DJing, hula-hooping, poetry, yoga, plasticine animation workshops, and much more.
Creative Director Ella Nosworthy says: “My family has always attended festivals together so making Nozstock a family friendly event was so important to us. It’s become even more important to me since I’ve had children, and I make sure there are activities here to entertain the little ones, but I also make sure that there are facilities that new mothers would appreciate, like a bottle warming service. Me being a Mum has definitely made Nozstock a better event! Festivals are a weekend to make magical memories together and to experience a sense of wonder you just don’t get anywhere else.”
The festival has got the practical side covered too, they know that getting kids off to sleep can be challenging at the best of times – let alone in a field with 5000 other people! So to help counter this, they have a dedicated Family Camping field that’s further away from the action (but not so far that little legs will struggle getting back and forth every day!), it has showers and child size toilets as well as a play area to keep children busy while adults set up camp. Only families with children can camp there, so the vibes are much more chilled out and everyone is after an early(ish) night: there’s even a dedicated families-only live-in vehicle field, as well, if that’s more your style.
Nozstock also offer a Save your Space scheme, where you can reserve a patch big enough for your family-size tent and paraphernalia, which means you can save time looking for a camping spot and get ready to jump into the festival pronto. Down in the Dingle, they’ve even got baby-changing and bottle-warming facilities, as well as the ‘Lost Kids area’: A dedicated meet-up spot where any wandering bambinos can wait safely to be reunited with their family.
For more details and tickets have a look at the official Nozstock: The Hidden Valley website. You’d best be quick though, the festival is close to selling out!