Festival season, for many, drew to a close this weekend. As I gripped onto any last remaining ideas of frolicking into fields in a storm of glitter, I chose to end my summer of love with none other than Festival No 6.
Celebrating its 6th anniversary, Festival No 6 is within the beautiful pastel coloured town of Portmeirion. A festival like no other, and one that now has a firm place in my heart, and festival diary.
Following on from the disastrous weather conditions that the organisers had to face last year – flooded car parks with hundreds stranded. They made substantial efforts to avoid any further complications this year. Despite a few periods of deluge threatening to sweep us all into the estuary, the last fleeting moments of summer pushed through, and each day ended on a dry note and full of good spirits.
With only a capacity of ten thousand, no stage or area felt overcrowded; which enhanced the intimacy and overall magic of the place. The site is sprawled out across the village, surrounding fields and woods, taking in every corner, inviting you to set out and explore. A far cry from the usual congregation around a ‘main stage’ and tented arenas that we are used to.
The quaint and brightly coloured village and central piazza of Portmeirion are reminiscent of a Disney toon town. It was hard to comprehend that it was real, and not just part of the production of the festival. Walking down through the village and facing the vast bay in front of you is breathtaking, and it’s here that I think I fell a little bit in love.
A stroll through the woods and you will find an oriental themed floating stage underneath a giant disco ball, The Village Limits. And if you were lucky to stumble across one of the other hidden corners, you’d find The Dugout or the Tangled Woods. Here you would find some of the best raving moments of the weekend, with amazing DJ sets from; Greg Wilson, Felix Dickinson, The Gotwood All-Stars, PBR Streetgang, Crazy P, Krywald & Farrer and much more. On Saturday night, we were even escorted back into the woods after hours, for a secret set by Electric Chair. They dropped some serious disco classics into the early hours.
On Friday night after witnessing the incredible spectacle that is the Brythondiad Male Voice Choir. Ahead of the torchlight parade walk through the piazza, we were lead to the Castel Park; the festival’s main area and central point. Here at the No 6 stage (the main stage if you will), Mogwai were the first headliners for the weekend.
Much later we stumbled onto quite possibly one of the highlights of the weekend, in Castell Gardens. Benji B had to pull out last minute, and Special Request was brought in to take his slot. This ended the first night on an absolute high. His nostalgic 90’s rave era sound was something that spoke to the all-ages demographic of the festival.
The fantastic food market fueled Saturday. And of course the Kitchen Disco and their next level Espresso Martinis. Take a cocktail masterclass for the same price of the cocktail while all backed by non-stop disco and party tunes.
After the dreary and rainy start to Sunday, the sunshine broke, and the crowds descended back into the grounds to see out the festival with a dedication to 50 years of SGT. Pepper. The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra & The Bootleg Beatles celebrated the seminal album and received an incredible response with most of the crowd in full Sgt. Pepper fancy dress.
It’s hard to explain just how much there is on offer at Festival No.6. With such a small population, the overall thought, organisation, production and activities on offer, are that of a festival ten times the size. It makes you feel like one of the lucky ones to be able to say, yes I was there.
Without being able to divulge every minute detail, all I can do is urge you, not to let next years event pass you by; Festival No.6 – you are my new favourite.