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Festival No.6 Thrills On The Welsh Coast



Separated from the rest of the world by outstandingly beautiful national parks is the alternate reality of Festival No.6.

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Hosted in the picturesque village of Portmeirion, the Welsh weekender this year celebrated its third birthday, bringing a combination of music, film and arts to the ten thousand strong crowd.


Playing host to dozens of stages located along the coastline, the festival stretches from the Tim Burgess curated town hall to the sloping main arena, all overlooked by the dominating Castle Deudraeth. For sustenance, local vendors sell local produce - from pies to pints, fudge to falafel.


On the sandy banks of River Dwyryd (easier to write than pronounce), the Estuary Stage brought crowds to its cultivated lawns through the draw of some of music’s behind-the-scenes names. Awesome Tapes From Africa fractured his experimental DJ set with stories as to how his sound has been developed over the years, before Joe Boyd and JP Bean gave a fantastic talk on their experiences in the development of the British folk scene.


The folk music continued on the extravagant Central Piazza, with Sam Lee performing his spoken works ahead of the Brythoniaid Welsh Male Choir’s now-annual showcasing of perfectly reworked pop songs.


Overlooking the Piazza is the forest, concealing unique festival gems amongst its ponds, coastal tracks and foliage. Veyu, a heavily distorted adaptation of White Lies, shook the trees surrounding the Lost in the Woods stage, whilst the Virgin branded Floatilla brought a mum-and-dad’s discotheque to those wanting to dance to David Gray remixes.


Admittedly this was one of the weekend’s more niche appeals.


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The main arena, located on a huge clearing on the side of a Snowdonian mountain, drew the featured performers at this year’s Festival No.6. Saturday afternoon’s standout came courtesy of Lake District duo Aquilo, with their phenomenal vocals resonating throughout the i Stage.


Psychedelic Temples frustrated and delighted the main stage in equal measure, with their nearly two year old "Sun Structures" set now as polished as it is predictable. A quick thanks to England mid-performance didn’t help things, but with the drop of ‘Shelter Song’ it was swiftly forgotten.


Jon Hopkins, once the foreplay of Coldplay’s global tour, continued his evolution into one of dance music’s leading DJs with a fantastic performance, before Todd Terje continued the shaking of the Late Night Pavilion with a two-hour set heavily comprised of this year’s hotly-anticipated-and-critically-acclaimed It’s Album Time.


The weekend’s highlight came courtesy of the L. Ron Hubbard endorsed Beck, who after opening his headline slot with ‘Devil’s Haircut’ and ‘Loser’, was still able to draw on enough material to justify his lead billing. In between Sea Change’s ‘Lost Cause’ and Guerro’s ‘Girl’, the LA born artist praised the festival for avoiding ‘molestation’, speaking of its ability to be a fantastical as it was secretive.


Let’s hope this continues.


http://www.festivalnumber6.com/ Written by Luke Forshaw              

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