Festival No 6

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festival number 6 review

The name and venue are surely iconic, set in and around the Italianate village of Portmeirion overlooking the Afon Glaslyn estuary. The name is derived from the character 'prisoner no6' who starred in the TV drama 'the prisoner' - it is clear to see why this event is quickly becoming the no1 up and coming festival in the UK.

This site has all that you would expect from a typical festival, a main stage, headline acts and gourmet scotch eggs, but there is far more to discover here. Replica mediterranean hotels, chapels and halls from the early 19th century open their doors to comedians, writers, poets and a wide variety of music.
My first impressions were made in the location for introducing artists 'Tim Peaks Diner' that setup in the dome gallery, curated by 'The Charlatans' legendary front man Tim Burgess, it introduces a variety of indie and punk bands and sneaks in some more well known ikons such as Paddy Considine fronting the band Riding the Low. The highlight for me though being Cabbage who gave an unforgettable energetic performance.
Rurally situated, if you go down to the woods you'll find hidden forest raves, acoustic sets and all sorts of surprises. The Tangled woods is a fairy tale enclosure sounded by a tapestry of intertwined trees. Then it's over to the virgin train stage, a floating dance floor underneath a giant disco ball, this was the perfect location to catch disco and soul anthems from the likes of Maribou State, Crazy P and Greg Wilson.
Heading down the hill towards the estuary stage, you cannot miss the village green where en-route you can soak up the a unique festival feel.  Visit the quirky local shops and cafes, get your shoes shinned, buy a new hat or relax in a deckchair in front of the Central Piazza sipping champagne (or a can of cider) and enjoy insights from Irvine Wells, Ricky Tomlinson, and John Cooper Clark, or catch the firm local favourites Brythoniad Male Voice Choir. At the bottom of the hill the Estuary stage is surrounded by epic scenery and as the name suggested sits alongside the Estuary. There's even an open air swimming pool where you can take a dip or just lay on a sun lounger and listen to bands and beats from DJ's such as the 2 Bears or house legend Andrew Weatherall. 
Then of course the main stage which is surrounded by all your usual festival favourites, a real ale tent, a giant teepee named the rum rooms presenting a whole host of late night fun including Craig Charles, a giant dance tent and a fine selection of food stalls. With the main stage absolute highlight being Noel Gallaghers High Flying birds, with Noel being on top form and seemingly excited to be there closing the festival...or maybe excited to be joined by the Mod-father himself Paul Weller. Between the two of them they closed the festival in true style.
It really is a festival within a festival, with a feel like no other, there's even a pub to take shelter in if it all gets too much. It's fair to say at time this weekend for a few people it did get too much with a storm and a lot of rain which made the campsite and certain areas some what treacherous and of course I think most people heard about the flooded field/car park. It would be easy to let this put you off but we have faith that the organisers of such a great festival will take heed and ensure that next year they are better prepared for extreme weather and the parking and campsite remain more accessible.  To end in the words of Noel (and Oasis)....Don't Look Back in Anger!  Look back and remember the adventure, or look forward and give it a go.

Published on 07 September 2016 by Ben Brand

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