No. 6. Festival had only been around since 2012, but became something of an instant classic, filling a niche left open by other summer festivals. It’s not hard to see why; festivals don’t come much more boutique nor much more eccentric. The location itself was unbelievably bijou: an Italianate town in pastel colours, set, uncannily, against the damp mountainous backdrop of North Wales. And then there was the festival itself: a four-day banquet of art and music, woven between the village, adjoining fields and woods.
2018's line up was characteristically brilliant. The acts on the bill ranged from satirical, grotesque and often hilarious Will Self, to post-punk sounds from The The and reigning indie darlings Django Django. Franz Ferdinand (who lost their guitarist the previous year to family commitments – plunging the group into a period of artistic rebirth) also descended on Portmeirion to headline the festival, while disco-oriented outfit Friendly Fires, and revered sophisti-pop singer Jessie Ware also performed. Night owls flocked to hear electro-house DJ Erol Alkan and emerging musician Hak Baker play late night sets.
As part of the Trojan Records 50 year anniversary, Don Letts – the producer who in the late 70’s single handedly turned a whole generation of punks onto reggae – performed, alongside a wider celebration of the record company that had Bob Marley and the Wailers, Inner Circle, and Gregory Isaac, to name but a few.
Festival No. 6 also hosted an array of talks, live comedy and cinema over the years, in addition to what the organisers enticingly termed 'spectacles and installations’. Here’s hoping the festival morphs into a new, equally stunning version of itself for 2020.
|Festival No. 6 2019 is off
|Portmeirion, Wales | MAP
|Click here to find out more about past festivals