By Debra, Richard, Miles (8) and Isaac (6)
Our family attended our third Nozstock this summer and yet again had an amazing weekend of fun and frolics! The festival is set in the beautiful rolling hills of Bromyard, Herefordshire and is a magical place to visit.
Compared to some, Nozstock may be a fairly small festival, but there is nothing pint-sized about the variety of entertainment on offer. There are 9 stages offering a large variety of music, comedy, theatre, dance, film and endless activities for children of all ages.
Site and facilities
The festival is well signposted and admission onto the site was quick and efficient. Plenty of marshals were on hand for assistance. There is a short walk (less than 10 mins) from the car park to the family camping area. When we arrived on Friday afternoon there was plenty of space left to set up camp.
The toilets and showers are just a couple of minutes from the family campsite. They were all regularly serviced, and although not squeaky clean were pretty good by festival standards. There were a few water taps close by and sinks for washing up as well.
Children’s activities and safety
The children’s area, known as “Little Wonderland”, was improved upon for 2017. The whole area was set back more from the path leading between the various stages, and was better fenced in giving the area a more secure feel to it.
Over the course of the weekend my boys partook in circus skills, drawing, crafts, Lego building, storytelling, music making, willow weaving, mask making, dancing and so much more besides!
The children’s area was always buzzing with families, while your children are having fun there are always others about to chat to. A fair amount of the activities are in a tent so ideal to catch some shade from the sun or shelter from the rain.
A decent selection of toys, books and games were available for use anytime in the large undercover play tent.
In terms of child safety, there is a Lost Kid’s area in the Little Wonderland where they will add your mobile number to your child’s wrist band. They also offer bottle warming and baby changing facilities there.
Between the campsite and the main festival site was a security check. We got the impression that security and safety were taken very seriously.
We have always found Nozstock to feel very safe and relaxed, even after dark. The festival site once dark is illuminated with floodlights, fairy lights and no shortage of glow sticks!
Food and drink
There was a large variety of food and drink on offer day and night and most of it was quite reasonably priced as well. As a vegan/vegetarian family we were really glad to find there was a good selection of food for us, ranging from chilli to pizza to a good old veggie fry up! There were also plenty of stalls selling drinks and sweets.
Nozstock really does have something for all tastes and you can find everything from pop, rock, ska, electric swing, folk, funk, soul, indie, drum and bass, psy-trance, house and more. You can also immerse yourself in the arts and enjoy stand-up comedy, poetry, workshops and a cinema.
As a family we danced along to acts from the main stage (Orchard stage) including Beans on Toast, Seasick Steve, Happy Mondays and Hayseed Dixie and saw a lot of excellent up and coming talent at the Bandstand.
We danced to the psy-trance in the Coppice and some drum ‘n’ bass, and even caught of a surreal version of Star Wars in the cinema during a summer shower. Bizarre it was indeed!
Our boys had a brilliant time jumping about, singing, dancing and playing air guitar and were thoroughly entertained by the eclectic range music on offer (as were we!)
In addition to the large and diverse range of music available we were pleased to find the orange and brown tent with musicians and instrument where you could join in and jam, a big highlight for the children.
Available to play were drums (including a full drum kits), tambourines, a trumpet, rain-makers, triangle, pots, pans and a steel drum. My two had so much fun joining in and making lots of noise.
Rubbish and recycling
Nozstock prides itself on being a green festival and it’s not hard to see why. The site is kept very clean and tidy by the many volunteers who do an amazing job at keeping litter at bay. Recycling is encouraged and different bags for recycling and waste are provided at the campsites for you to use.
Around the festival site itself there are no shortage of recycling bins for cans, plastics, paper and card which all help to keep the environmental cost of the festival to a minimum.
Would we go again?
This is a real gem of a festival and so family friendly; we will most definitely return for our fourth visit in 2018. There is so much to entertain all of the family in terms of music, arts and kids entertainment in what is a beautiful, clean, and safe environment.
One of the biggest pluses for those attending with small children is that due to the small size of the festival, there are no long walks to reach any part of it, excellent for small, tired legs (and larger tired backs from one-too-many piggy-back rides!)
An awful lot of charity fundraising goes on at the festival as well which adds to the feel-good factor. This festival comes highly recommended!