Small and boutique festivals have exploded across the UK in recent years - here are five of the very best.
One of the quieter but most significant revolutions in the British music scene this decade has been the explosion of small, or ‘boutique’, festivals across the land.
No longer is the festival circuit the plain old Glastonbury / Reading & Leeds / T In The Park axis. The latter of those has bitten the dust and transformed into TRNSMT; Latitude and Wireless have established themselves over the last 15 years as rivals; while V has become an almost exclusively pop-oriented festival.
But on a smaller tier than those are the galaxy of boutique festivals that have sprouted up at increasing pace. Here’s the six best small festivals the UK has to offer.
Continue reading: The Best Small Festivals The UK Has To Offer
More acts have been announced for the Wales festival.
All headliners for Wales' Festival No. 6 have now been announced, with Metronomy now heading the bill with Grace Jones and Belle & Sebastian. Further new acts have also been added to the line-up, while many more acts are yet to be announced.
British electronic collective Metronomy head the bill with Jamaican crooner Grace Jones and Glasgow pop group Belle & Sebastian as a host of other new bands are added to the festival line-up. The fourth instalment of this uniquely cultured festival is set to hit Portmeirion from September 3rd to 6th, bringing with it some fine artists such as Catfish & The Bottlemen, Jame Bay, Stornoway and Blossoms to name but a few.
Continue reading: Metronomy Round Off Their Album Tour As Festival No. 6 Headliners
With the UK festival circuit resembling a homogenised circus where the same acts follow suit every weekend trudging the same well-worn path, it's good to know there's at least one event totally separate from all the rest. Step forward Festival No. 6, named so due to it being situated in the Welsh village of Portmeirion, home to cult 1960s television drama 'The Prisoner'. Designed and built by Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 (he actually has a stage in the main arena named after him) and largely inspired by ornate, picturesque Italian architecture, Portmeirion is centred around its grand piazza and comfortably wins the award for most unique setting not only in the UK, but anywhere Contactmusic has previously dared to venture. Its elegant woodland overlooking the delectable White Sands Bay, the village itself provides ample respite from the usual surroundings where bands play in strategically sited tents situated at various corners of a muddy field. Add delights such as the guided village tour; participants hold various pieces of a bus together like a jigsaw puzzle while strolling merrily through its paths and roadways; and numerous impromptu performances from jazz-themed marching bands to Welsh choirs, and it's plain to see this is anything but your stereotypical music festival. (DG)
Nevertheless, this year's line-up does stand out as one of the UK's most enticing, and Temples set on the quaint Estuary stage which overlooks the beach serves as a timely reminder why they're one of 2013's most hotly tipped bands. Money also overcame technical problems to deliver an intense, if occasionally traumatic, show over on the iStage in the main arena. 'The Shadow Of Heaven' is one of this year's finest debuts and songs like 'Hold Me Forever' and 'Letter To Yesterday' leave all and sundry with goose pimples regardless of the miserable weather outside. It's left to Aussie combo Jagwar Ma though to steal the headlines on the first day. Playing to a jam-packed tent, their acid drenched beats and monolithic rhythms proved taut and insatiable to a rabid audience that devoured every last note. (DG)
There was originally a plan to see bands on the Friday night. Honest, there was. But in the end, travelling complications mean that we don't arrive on site until after Neon Neon's 6pm start, so we end up wandering through the beautiful surroundings of Portmeirion - taking in the otherworldly buildings and the seemingly enchanted colourful walls. But it's deep in the woods that we find ourselves - over at the Audio Farm DJ booth - buried away in the branches so that all we hear is an enticing beat through the trees, leading us closer like some musical Pied Piper. We spend some time there listening to an eclectic mix of deep house, disco, funk and techno until we return to the main arena and spend the evening dancing away to Content DJs and Frankie Knuckles until the early hours. The first day at a festival where I haven't seen any bands and I'm already intoxicated with Festival No. 6 - a testament to how much there is going on around the site. (DE)
The Manics closed last weekend's Welsh festival.
Manic Street Preachers brought this year's Festival No 6 to a highly anticipated and triumphant close: a true reward for all those who'd braced the lashing rain and blasting gales throughout Sunday's stormy weather.
Nicky Wire Has Spoken Of The Honour Of Playing At Portmeirion.
Portmeirion's festival weekend saw a mixed cornucopia of acts including Chic and Nile Rodgers, Daughter, My Bloody Valentine, Brythoniaid Welsh Male Voice Choir, John Cooper-Clarke and Johnny Marr perfor,m whilst The Staves, Islet and Sam Airey's shows had to be called off due to the torrential downpour and accompanying relentless wind that started at 7am and refused to let up.