This summer Nozstock: The Hidden Valley celebrates its 20th anniversary, entering a small group of festivals who have reached two decades of creating magic each summer.
It’s a huge achievement for the family-fun festival which is set across their working farm in the rolling hills of Herefordshire. It is an event which has grown from a group of like-minded friends gathered together many years ago into a truly mesmeric experience of wonder and enchantment for all the ages.
Ella Nosworthy, who runs Nozstock with her father, says: “No-one is more surprised than us that we’ve made it to our 20th birthday! We’re planning our biggest show ever to make it a real celebration, and we’re sure that anyone who has been to the festival will not want to miss this summer! We’ve bought back some of our favourite and most memorable artists from the past 20 years. Our Nozstalgia theme is whatever you feel fond about from the past. There’s lots of inspiration to get really creative!”
The Nozstock team are incredibly proud to be revealing the first round of artists joining them for their momentous birthday celebrations. As ever, it’s a kaleidoscopic mix of headline names, up and coming talent and seasoned stars forming an incredible range of styles across the event’s ten intimate stages.
Headlining The Orchard, electronic floor fillers Chase & Status are one of the most successful acts associated with drum and bass, with multi-platinum albums, numerous charting singles, and working with the likes of Rihanna. Electronic pop duo Goldfrapp are an enchanting force, releasing iridescent, intriguing pop since 1999 across 7 highly respected albums. The Selecter are a 2-Tone ska band featuring a racially diverse and politically charged line-up, whilst over a 20-year career the Dub Pistols have worked with heroes like The Specials and Madness. Electric Swing Circus is a 6-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 10-piece ska army with a raucous infusion of ska, punk and reggae, and as Oh My God! It’s The Church encourage all sinners to join them, Mr Tea and The Minions bring their gypsy flavoured ska and swing. Mad Apple Circus is an original blend of horn-fuelled styles and Buffo’s Wake are gypsy punk lunatics with a taste for the macabre.
Over in The Garden, rap royalty Grandmaster Flash was a member of his ground-breaking hip-hop group with the Furious Five and developed never heard before turntable techniques; he brings his incredible party-rocking acumen to the stage. Speaking of legends, Chali 2na MC, painter and founding member of hip-hop supergroup Jurassic 5 returns to The Garden alongside Krafty Kutz; the multi award-winning DJ and undisputed King of Breaks. Nozstock fave DJ Marky has worked with Madonna, and Fatboy Slim as well as releasing his own albums fusing drum and bass with full-tilt club beats and laid-back house grooves, and hip-hop duo Taskforce bring street stories and psychedelic flows, whilst living legends Verb T and Pitch 92 will bring an odyssey in rhyme and funk. The dextrous lyricist and M.C of High Focus Records, Fliptrix brings his seamless semantics, Serial Killaz are drum and bass jungle producers signed to Playaz Recordings and London reggae artist Kiko Bun is surfing a dubby resurgence all the way to the top. Not forgetting Pengshui, made up of hip-hop heavyweights Illaman, Fatty Bassman & Prav. The festival’s birthday celebrations will hit their peak with Saturday nights ska and skank party, headlined by Macka B, who after 30 years continues to tour the world and break down barriers and with Sunday’s special 20th anniversary drum ‘n’ bass party.
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 with 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, special guest Octo Pi, whose style of drum ‘n’ bass can only be described as ‘up front’ and homegrown local talent Scope. On Saturday, Black Sun Empire represent the finest in dark and tech fuelled drum and Bass whilst Audio has inspired mass respect from every possible corner of the scene.
At The Bandstand Frauds are a post-hardcore band, whilst Average Sex have been snapped up by Tim Burgess' label O Genesis Recordings. Elephants’ Grave stars Sonny Wharton; a firm fixture in the house and techno scene, whilst Dom Kane’s tracks have been supported by Pete Tong, Deadmau5, and more. Dirty Secretz is one of house music's most exciting artists, releasing on Stealth and Whartone Records. Friday nights welcomes Pro-Ject, providing the true house grooves, whilst in the daytime Ital Sounds reggae collective are ready to provide the rocksteady rhythms.
The Cabinet of Lost Secrets features 7Suns’ music in an energizing blend of Afro, Latin, Caribbean, funk, jazz and rock, The Pink Diamond Revue are an electro-punk duo who play in front of a big screen projecting images they have cut up themselves from old B-movies, and Collective 43 are a multi-instrumental congregation steeped heavy with New Orleans-street style and twists of blues and jazz. And across the site there’s plenty more to choose from. Phil Kay’s unpredictable and freestyle approach won him a Perrier nomination in 1993 and the award for best stand-up at the 1994 British Comedy Awards, and Jayde Adams is a multi-faceted comedian of hilarious repute. The Wrong Directions Cinetent is hosted by local experimental collective MASH Cinema, whilst The Sunken Yard are connoisseurs of a very good time indeed. Puppetual Motion present a wide variety of visually stunning aerial acts and Hummadruz are an ultra-violet theatre group dedicated to performing astonishing psychedelic spectacle. Andrew Szydlo brings chemistry to life with his spectacular demonstrations, whilst the fabulous Little Wonderland Kids Area keeps children of all ages enraptured throughout the whole weekend. A new and improved Craft Area wows with a chance to learn from the masters. Workshops on offer include blacksmithing, spoon carving and plant propagation plus amazing demonstrations and communal sculpture building with a fiery destiny…
Published on 21 February 2018 by Ben Robinson