Nozstock 2019

Nozstock The Hidden Valley 2019 Review

Nozstock is an independent music festival held on a dairy farm in Bromyard, Herefordshire. Starting as a gathering of friends 21 years ago, it’s since grown into a 5,000-strong family festival which isn’t afraid of a good time. Like many festivals, Nozstock are waking up to the impact festivals have on the planet and are working hard to minimise this while providing the festival experience they’re known for. They invited me and the kids along to check out their green initiatives – here’s what we thought.

Disclosure: gifted product

Featured image: Rory Watson

vegan vish ("fish") and chips at Nozstock 2019

Vegan food at Nozstock The Hidden Valley 2019

My biggest worry coming to my first Nozstock was what am I going to eat? I arrived fully prepared for chips all weekend with the occasional salad roll or veggie samosa for variety.

It turns out I needn’t have worried. There were at least four stalls offering vegan food, including completely vegan stall The Vegan Pyramid who blew me away with their vish and chips!

Other tasty vegan nom noms from Nozstock include sausage in batter and chips and a massive breakfast burrito, chickpea “chuna” mayo jacket potato, sausages and mash and a myriad of late night curries. Vegans will not go hungry at this festival!

A water refill station at Nozstock 2019

Sustainability at Nozstock The Hidden Valley 2019

Waste – there were refill stations for water all over the site and all bars served drinks in reusable cups. You could rent some camping equipment from Camplight for a fairly reasonable price. There was no disposable plastic served at any of the food stalls – everything was either cardboard or wood. I noticed an eco bond scheme on my way out, where you got £5 back for correctly recycling your waste at the end of the festival. It’s a nice idea, but I feel £10 or £20 would be even more of an incentive.

Renewables – the craft area of the site was completely off-grid, complete with a pedal-powered smoothie bar, a solar stage and solar lighting. However, renewable use seemed to be limited to the craft area and is definitely something they could expand upon in 2020.

In the craft area there was a wall for people to make a sustainability pledge and Extinction Rebellion gave talks and advice. After watching one of their talks, I filled out their membership form. I’ve been watching XR for a while, and since I’m already doing what I can in lifestyle and in politics, what else is there for me to do but rebel for life?

Children at a coconut shy at Nozstock 2019

How child friendly is Nozstock The Hidden Valley?

There was plenty of reasonably priced child friendly food and there were plenty of free activities for the kids in the main areas of the site. The family camping area had a cute little park which was great for when we needed a quiet rest away from the festival and there were even child sized loos.

What we loved

The massive range of vegan food, the music (especially Elvana and Oh My God! It’s The Church), the pedal powered smoothies, the refill stations which were everywhere, the mental health workshop with Herefordshire Mind. The craft area was completely off-grid, complete with a solar powered stage. None of the food and drink sold at the stalls or bars were served in disposable plastic.

What we didn’t

I have to be honest here – there wasn’t a great deal not to love! I’d like to see renewables embraced across other areas of the site – more solar powered lights, more pedal power, more off-grid areas and a way to easily identify which areas/bars/stalls are green. However, I don’t see any of this as a negative. I see this as an indy music festival taking steps to improve and having room to improve more. That’s not a bad thing, and Nozstock deserve credit for taking the steps they have.

A family having fun at Nozstock 2019

Our best bits of Nozstock 2019

Me: Pretty much everything I bought from The Vegan Pyramid.

Rhian: The sweets from Lick.

Caden: The virtual reality experience, the little gamer-in-training!

Shane: The park in the family camping area. I have to admit, I liked this too – it gave me a few minutes longer to come round.

Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Bromyard anymore

The takeaway

We loved our first Nozstock! Seeing more festivals minding their impact makes me very happy. I can’t wait to see what they get up to next year.

Nozstock 2020 is on 23rd-26th July. Super early bird tickets are on sale now, and you can catch up with them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Spotify. Want to see more photos and behind the scenes stuff from my time at the festival? Check out my Instagram Story highlights. Feel free to follow me while you’re there!

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