MM’s Robert Johnson took a trip over to Port Merrion to enjoy the UK’s ‘most beautifully located’ music fest – Festival No.6.
There was a point during this weekend’s proceedings at which I'm certain I reached 'Festival Nirvana'.
I had just returned from a porcelain toilet (a porcelain toilet!) and retaken my seat by the roaring fire in a beautiful converted castle. I soaked in the atmosphere and reached for my locally brewed ale (no watered-down, over-priced Tuborg here) and just as I did so the Welsh Male Voice Choir, who were drinking in the bar, burst into song.
It was a beautiful moment and a moment that summed up the intangible surreality of this excellent, eclectic festival. It really was like nothing I've ever been too.
Set against the gorgeous backdrop of the village of Port Merrion, Festival No.6 already had a slight head start against the calendar’s other boutique festivals but it was a head start all involved refused to squander.
The Main Stage delivered, as most main stages do. The Whip reminded me of their consistent brilliance and Primal Scream were on particularly good form but for me this festival was about the oddities and of those there were plenty.
The village itself played host to several reenactments of 'Prisoner' scenes with an afternoon beer often interrupted by three ladies walking past with lampshades on their heads. The village pavilion played host to poetry readings, Q and A's and, of course, the mighty Welsh Male Voice Choir and if you got tired of the Al Fresco entertainment you could nip across to the Town Hall and watch Tim Burgess accompanied by a string quartet perform a couple of Charlatan's classics.
If you got tired of village life you could amuse yourself with a two or three mile walk around the woods where you could stumble upon a whole host of weird and wonderful entertainment. I sewed my name on a blanket, made up a song (thank you 'Let's Make Hay') and wrote a poem.
Tired of the arty stuff…? Then you could amuse yourself at any number of the small sound systems that sprouted out of the woods.
I'd personally like to thank Ssssh'ed as I haven't had a better hour in the woods since I snuck off on a school trip with Donna Whelans. Excellent!
A superb weekend in beautiful surroundings, and hat's off to all involved because it was entirely hassle-free.
The festival has set the benchmark, not just for boutique festivals, but for festivals in general. If I can only get to one festival next year I know which one it will be.