The meandering, serpentine journey to Festival No6 is beautifully spellbinding, a dramatic horizon of verdant valleys reaching out and over to a smooth golden sandy estuary, here which you'll find nestled the enchanting and mystical village of Portmeirion: a stunning, otherworldly mosaic of magic. The ornate hamlet is a fantastical fusion of a number ofarchitectural example - Baroque, Rococo, Georgian and Gothic, with subtle hints of Asian influence snuggled within.The festival itself plays an astounding devotion to the sensory pleasure of its dashing and diverse assemblage. A human patchwork quilt of glitter, sequins, velvet and furs, fallen down the rabbit hole and delightedly throng through the streets with grins to rival that of the Cheshire cat.The itinerary of No6 is an eclectic, eccentric and marvellous medley of processions, poetry, interactive theatre, masterclasses, meditation and mermaid yoga to name just a few, and, oh! the music! Wow, just when you thought it couldn't get any better, it only went and did, and continued to do so, thankfully before I collapsed from sheer and utter delight. The House of Rum and Castell Gardens finished Friday off with astounding oomph.Saturday morning saw a tropical monsoon of a deluge descend upon the site and the ground became total clag. Trampling like Bambi to source breakfast chow in the downpour, I passed a kooky couple, pointed upward and rhetorically asked "what is this?" and the chap gently smiled and responded "it's nature baby"We were stopped in our tracks in the centre piazza as a game of human chess was playing out, for a moment I wondered if I'd actually reincarnated as Alice in this beautiful land of wonder. Liquid brunch afterward at the prosecco bar, their parasol shelter welcoming as again the heavens opened. Propelled soon after however from refuge as the brass band that had triumphantly broken the silence insisted my feet up to dance, where I held hands with a stranger I'd helped up on to the wall of the fountain for a better view. It was a delight.Not long after, the clouds parted, and joy of joys... Sunshine! On hearing immensely pleasing sounds from the Estuary Bar we skipped to the dance floor and jived alongside a phenomenal concoction of every age group, completely in rapture, beaming at one another in a knowing happiness that this was potentially, at this time, the best place to be on earth. Strangers hugged, high fived and waltzed in perfect harmony.Next we sauntered smugly towards the woodlands to the floating stage. Joy... a feast for the eyes, for the ears, for the feet, feet eager to prance, strut and spin. It was ludicrously good. Later that evening we watched in awe as three elegant mermaids preformed a exquisite show in the stone basin in the gardens. We swayed along to Underwater Love mesmerised, along with little girls whose eyes widened and lit up at this majestic show. Children are well catered for, this venue beats Disneyland by a country mile.Brythoniaid Male Choir brought tears to many an eye in the Central Piazza later that night, reminding me of the scene in the Shawshank Redemption, when Andy plays Duettino- Sull'aria to the inmates and Red says "I tell you those voices soared, higher and farther than anybody in a grey place dares to dream". It was exhilarating.A procession later of glowing effigies cherried the cake.We danced until we could no more between House of Rum and the Castell Gardens and fell, shattered into the land of nod, where no dream could compete with the days euphoric glee.Then again during the night came the drench, but no amount of soak could mar the experience.A double rainbow adorned the Sunday sky, heads gazed in awe, in wonder. If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.The wild show put on by Sunday headliners The Flaming Lips was visually dazzling, and their Bowie rendition had me secretly suspect he was onlooking from the starry night sky. Later, Fleetmac Wood overwhelmed the splendid congregation with an absurdly amazing set. I suffered jaw-ache from smiling and laughing so heartily. Everyone was head over heels in love, in love with everything, with everyone, in love with life.Number 6, you nailed it, good and proper.
Published on 14 September 2017 by Magenta Edwards