August 2019 | Modern Mummy

Friday, 2 August 2019

FESTIVALS // Nozstock 2019

This time a fortnight ago we had just got back from our first ever Noztock festival. I may have finally caught up with all the post camping laundry, and the layer of glitter that covered EVERYTHING for the first few days after our return has just about disappeared, but the memories live on!

We've been festivalling as a family for seven summers now so I like to think of my self as a bit of a pro. I've mastered the art of solo parent camping trips; packing light is key, as is being chilled out and not worrying about itineraries or routines. That's one of the things I've grown to dislike about the bigger festivals we've frequented in the past - you pay a small fortune for tickets and want to get your money's worth so you really put yourself under pressure to see ALL the bands and visit every single area on site. Turns out that's not fun in the slightest, you're on holiday! You want to relax and enjoy yourself rather than racking up 30,000 steps a day traipsing all over a massive festival!

And that's exactly why I loved Nozstock so much. As a festival that started off as a party in the Nosworthy family's back garden, it's grown entirely organically and really does still feel like that small personal family gathering, despite selling every single one of its 5000 tickets this summer!

The girls and I were incredibly lucky this year; not only were we offered press tickets in order to be able to review this new (to us) festival, we were also given pre-pitched tents which has honestly opened my eyes to the concept of boutique camping in the future. It doesn't half make a different when it comes to lugging all your gear to camp - especially when you're the only grown up there to do it.

As is festival tradition for us, we camped with our pals Cookie, Ruth from RocknRoller Baby and Carolynne from Mummy Endeavours and their gangs. Over the years we've learnt to share the packing, distributing responsibility for breakfasts/lunches/snacks/boxes of wine/cocktail decorations/glitter/facepaint etc. I'd totally recommend getting a likeminded group together and doing the same if you're thinking of heading to a festival for the first time.

Our tents had been pitched in the family camping field (as well as the general camping fields, there were also quiet and camper van fields). This was located perfectly; close enough to the main area for the walks there and back to be entirely painless and far enough away that the music didn't keep you awake if you wanted an early-ish night. The family field also had showers, incredibly well maintained portaloos and smaller purpose built compost toilets for the kids which seemed to be kept extra clean and also had the added benefit of light at night! There was also a playground built for the event which was lovely, and baby changing facilities including free nappies, wipes and suncream. The guys at Nozstock really had thought of everything to make family camping easier.

The thing I loved most about Nozstock was that it was so small compared to other festivals I've been to. As a parent it made me feel so much more relaxed and it meant I could give the kids that little bit more freedom than I usually would which they absolutely loved. I described it earlier as being like a small, personal, family gathering - and things like the handmade signs everywhere added to this. That, and the fact people (other campers and the artists wandering around) chatted to me quite happily, made me feel really at home and really welcome.

I loved that the festival was so eco conscious - I'm talking entirely solar powered fields, smoothies made by pedal power, reclaimed and repurposed materials used to build stages and sets - and so affordable too. Meals weren't overpriced, beer was only £4 a pint and there were water stations everywhere so no need to shell out for rounds of cans of water three or four times a day. There was also picnic tables and plenty of space to lay down a picnic blanket if you wanted to bring your own food from camp.

The food was excellent. There was a huge selection to choose from; pizza, burgers, bangers & mash, curries, wraps, caribbean, chips, churros and ice cream. Next to the family camping field was a little wooden truck called Cosy Rosie's, which sold great coffee, hot chocolate and crepes which we had for breakfast every day!

There were eleven stages in total, all of which were absolutely amazing works of art in themselves. We loved the incredible neon Coppice and dancing to reggae at the Elephant's Grave. Nothing was too far away from each other so it was super easy to move around and see different acts.

The Little Wonderland for the kids was another of our favourite places to hang out. All activities in there were free, including willow weaving, clay model making and painting, learning circus skills and face painting. The kids loved the clowns that wandered around including them in their acts!

As well as the music and crafts some other highlights of our first Nozstock were the human jukebox (genius!) the henna tattoo and hair wraps stalls (the girls were in heaven) and the absolute abundance of reasonably priced vintage clothes stalls (I was in heaven).

But most of all we just loved the chance to hang out as a family, spend some time with our favourite people and to be able let our hair down for the weekend, in a perfectly curated festival.

Some of my other best bits were the girls sleeping in until gone 8:30 every morning (they are usually VERY early risers, so this was a real treat), plus celebrating Nozstock's 21st birthday at the Cabinet of Lost Secrets was another highlight - accessed down a tunnel and via a mirror maze and with dancers, punch, birthday cake and even party bags once you got inside, the kids and grown ups all had an incredible time.

My favourite act of the weekend had to be Elvana (Elvis fronted Nirvana). What a front man! I laughed, I danced, I sang along, the girls thought I was totally crackers but I didn't care. Showing up your kids is all part of this parenting lark, is it not?

There's no doubt whatsoever that we will be back to Nozstock next year, and we're looking forward to it already!

Super early bird 2020 tickets on sale here now! Adult weekend tickets start at just £100 and children under 12 are free! The festival sold out this year so make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment.

We were gifted tickets and pre-pitched tent accommodation in exchange for this entirely honest review.

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