We live on the doorstep of Nozstock festival. We have grown up with it and watched it grow into a perfect size. I have not been since 2014, my commitments to working at festivals that have fallen on the same weekend have kept me from being able to go. It will be lovely to go back this year and although I will miss not being crew, it will be nice to have more freedom and time not working.
As a local family that work and play at festivals we recently had the wonderful invitation to interview Ella Nosworthy, the festivals creative director and with some help from Dylan we asked her the following questions and we are delighted to share with you now;
It’s been 20 fabulous years of Nozstock, what has been your stand out moment?
Possibly when Andy C first came and performed. I think for the crew, as we were such huge fans and he is at the top of his game, to get him to the farm, well – that felt like we were a ‘proper festival,’ that we were starting to achieve something exciting and to be really proud of. More recently when we won ‘Most Unique Spectacle’ at the Association of Independent Festival Awards 2017 for our end of festival fire show, that really validated so much hard work and passion everyone had put into the project.
Who are you most excited about seeing play about this year?
Krafty Kuts and Chali 2na. Through the festival I’ve become a huge fan of Krafty Kuts‘ music and we loved having Chali 2na on site with Jurassic 5 in 2016 so am really looking forward to having him back.
What’s the biggest change you have seen in the past 20 years?
I think there is a lot more of a push towards smaller, boutique events now. There’s a new type of festival goer who want to be educated and entertained in different ways. It’s about the experience of the weekend, not just the bands you see. For Nozstock specifically it’s just the development of the festival itself. From a BBQ with 50 people to a 10 stage event headlined by artists like Goldfrapp – that’s way beyond what we ever, ever expected!
Where will you be spending most time?
In my office! Pouring over spreadsheets and logistical plans! But if I get chance to get out into the sunshine I will be heading to The Altered State. It’s our new area for 2018, which is a hive of circus, comedy, theatre and cultural activities. The plans looks amazing and I can’t wait to see it all come fully alive.
What is your dream line up?
I think any type of artist could find a home at Nozstock so different crew members would give a very different answer to this. My brother’s already had his dream headliners when Roots Manuva and Jurassic 5 came in 2014 and 2016 respectively. For me I’d have Muse and headlining, supported by Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer who I love!
What’s in store for the next 20 years?
More of the same I hope! We have no plans to get any bigger, we like the size we are. But I do hope we keep developing in what we offer and keep getting the chance to put on new things, showcase amazing artists and offer a special environment where everyone feels they have a place.
What do you think the ethos and legacy of Nozstock is?
It’s about bringing play to everyone. No matter who you are and what you like, you will find something to enjoy at Nozstock. It is small, friendly and it’s unpretentious with a homemade feel. The legacy? I hope when people think of Nozstock they think of variety. A festival that feels safe and welcoming with lots to explore and discover but can still put on a hell of a party. Where music tastes as varied as drum n bass through to folk can find somewhere to co-exist. I also hope it shows you don’t need huge names, huge crowds and huge budgets to be part of something special. Sometimes, small is best.
Finally From Dylan (age 9) How long does it take to put all of the stages up and how do you do it as some of them are really high.
Some of the stages, like the main Orchard Stage, are never taken down! So they are up all year. The Garden Stage takes about a week to put up. All the other stages are either farm buildings that we have converted or are in big tents which take about a day to put up. You’re right, some of them are very high but we have lots of people to help and all sorts of special machines to make sure we can do it all safely!
A massive thank you to Ella for taking the time out of her ridiculously busy schedule to talk to us. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Nozstock. It is Based in Bromyard, Herefordshire and it takes place from 20th to 22nd July. Tickets are still available on the NozStock website and Kids under 12 go FREE! It’s a cracking festival and we hope to see lots of you there.