A reflection on Festival No 6
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Last weekend something surreal, magical and entirely unconventional happened. Sat back in normality/reality, piecing together the fragments of experience, it all seems a little unlikely. The winding journey through Snowdonia’s mountainous vision of perfect natural beauty sets Festival No 6 off as something special even before arrival. But nothing compares visitors for Portmeirion, the eccentric, singular village on its own stunning peninsula – a place captured in cult culture, with The Prisoner bizarrely trying to escape – I never wanted to leave. Mediterranean buildings, expansive woodlands, lovely beaches and nooks and crannies packed with things to discover - there are few places like it, and none that also hold a festival. Festival No 6 itself uses this setting as the blank canvas to forge a palette of colour and imagery. Woodland raves, engaging talks in town halls and towers, torch light processions, human chess games, male voice choirs belting out Chic and New Order numbers, running into your heroes – it’s a tsunami of culture washing over those in attendance. One minute stood in the standard festival surrounds of the main area, the next enjoying a pint on a pagoda watching the sunset over the breathtaking Cardigan Bay, Festival No 6 is a series of different experiences combined – music festival with seaside getaway, with a step through the looking glass into a world of rampant imagination. Music happened as well, great music curated by people who have seriously thought out what would complement the whole feel of the event – folk in the woodland, music snob fodder, and serious party tunes late into the night provided the best DJs around. Even the torrential rain couldn’t kill this event off. Festival No 6 is a very special event, and one that my mind needs time to process. This is the first summation of something for which summaries can never do justice. More reviews, thoughts and findings from the best festival in the UK will be coming soon.