FESTIVALS // Nozstock Q+A and GIVEAWAY! | Modern Mummy

Thursday, 13 June 2019

FESTIVALS // Nozstock Q+A and GIVEAWAY!

Everyone knows that festival season is the highlight of our year. As soon as the sun comes out and the bands start playing al fresco we are there with bells (and glitter) on!

This year we'll be visiting a new festival to add and I'm ridiculously excited about it. On 19th July we will be making our way to Nozstock as one of their ambassadors along with our blogging pals from RocknRollerBaby, Mummy Endeavours, Mummy Matters and That's the Way the Cookie Crumbles.

It might be our first year going but it's the 21st anniversary of this independent, family run festival set on a beautiful working farm in Herefordshire and I can't wait to go to a small, gloriously eccentric festival, that's nothing like the other big, commercial events happening across the UK this summer.

There are lots of things I'm looking forward to experiencing - the theme is The Wizard of Noz, and I'm assuming that's the green light for a spot of fancy dress (it goes without saying we'll be dressing up either way). The line up is also incredible - I'm talking Soul 2 Soul, The Skatalites, Sleaford Mods and a DJ set from Rudimental plus many, many, many more.

Something else that I know is going to be brilliant is the Kids Wonderland - workshops and dancing and yoga and crafting and storytelling - everything a child could ever wish for, and the best thing is that everything is free (everything a parent could ever wish for). Yes once you're in, there's no hidden extra costs. No "please can I have £5 to have my face painted" or "please can I have £3 for a go on the helter skelter".    

Onto the more serious stuff, I'm really excited that Nozstock are part of the Association of Independent Festival’s Drastic on Plastic campaign and aims to eliminate single use plastics at their events by 2021. Nozstock also work closely with gocarshare to encourage car sharing to the site, promote the love your tent campaign to stop tents being abandoned at festivals and also support the grown in Britain ethos when sourcing their wood. 2019 is going to be the first year that there's a solar powered stage on site (in the craft area). On top of all that, Nozstock are working with Energy Revolution, a not-for-profit organisation that invests all donations into generating clean, renewable energy. You can use a calculator on the booking page to work out the impact of your travel to the festival and add a donation to your payment replace and balance it (my car travelling from Haslemere will release approximately 40kg of carbon into the environment so it was recommended that I donate £2).

I can't wait to spend a weekend relaxing, drinking rum in the afternoon, listening to music, letting the kids run wild and hanging out with our favourite blogging buddies. That's what festivals are all about if you ask me. And I think I'm on totally the same wavelength as Noz, Rob and Ella, the organisers, who I was lucky enough to have a chance to ask a few questions last month!

Noz, Did you ever imagine Nozstock would grow to become the hugely successful festival it is today?

No, I never did! It’s still incredible really to think of how far we have all come. Also it depends on how you measure success, too. For me it’s seeing everyone having a fantastic time at the festival, bringing some brilliant bands and DJs to the farm and trying to stay true to our roots. We have always shied away from advertising, drowning the site in hoardings etc.

Noz, How do you manage to keep that small, rural party atmosphere which Nozstock is renowned for?

We have always stuck to our principals and what we believe in. Festival promoting is never really easy, yet we have got a great team, from the family through to everyone who helps make Nozstock wat it is, and a lot of that comes from the festival’s intimacy. The farm itself is pretty small really, there’s loads going on across a compact site, and again that creates the sense of it just being a lovely small-ish party. We are independent as well, which means a lot to us, so the whole festival is on us really, all of the time. We want the festival to feel like one big family. It’s a great mix of people from across the UK.

Ella, Has the way you think and organise the festival changed since having your children?

Absolutely. If anything having my kids has made the festival better. Knowing now what it's like to actually have a family and the practicalities of that (not to mention the 17 bags you seem to cart everywhere you go!) has made me much more aware of what families really want, not just in terms of entertainment, obviously we want to keep the children busy throughout the day, but to make everything as smooth as possible. The experience of camping and having everything you need for the weekend. That's why we have a breastfeeding space now, a changing mat and a bottle warming service. Little tweaks like that which mean a little bit less for parents to pack into the car but can make a big difference once they are on site. We have always allowed 12 and unders to come to the festival for free, but it's reinforced to me how important it is to keep all activities free and make sure families don't foot the bill for festivals. Once you have paid for your ticket that's it. No more hidden extras if your child wants to get involved. The older my girls get the more I realise where we can develop and what families would appreciate. We have some teenage focused workshops this year including a graffiti workshop and a beat box workshop, plus some smaller kiddie sized toilets in family camping. Something I'm just beginning to realise are a godsend!

Rob, as a family you must be incredibly proud of what you have achieved, are there any standout highlight/s over the years?

For me growing up with a group of open minded and talented people has made me the man I’ve become. We were so lucky to have such a vibrant experience right on our doorstep repeated every year, from Ella and I being youngsters really all the way to the present.  Of course we had no idea of what a humble BBQ in our backyard would become. Long may it continue.  
Ella, what’s your favourite act that’s ever played at Nozstock and why?
It’s hard to pick just one! A personal favourite for me would always be Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer because I’m a huge fan. But for the festival overall I think the first year Andy C played will always be a special memory. Partly because he was late and had to get petrol off a local to arrive here (local just happened to be a big fan and couldn’t believe who was on his doorstep!) but also because having Andy C was so exciting for the whole crew. It was the first time we felt like a ‘proper festival’ like we had really achieved what we had been working towards for years and had finally ‘made it’ as a legitimate boutique festival who could attract that level of artist.
Nozstock runs from Thursday 18th – Sunday 21st July 2019. It's £135 for an adult weekend ticket, 
- kids under 12 are free - and that includes all kids activities while you're there! 

For full festival info and to book tickets go to: www.nozstock.comI currently have a giveaway for a family ticket over on my instagram - check it out here.

We have received complimentary tickets in exchange for this post and a review after the event. 
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