Village People: A Festival No.6 preview

All you need to know about the party in Portmeirion this weekend

Photographer:Andy Squire

Chris Eustace - 12 September 2012

I’m pretty sure there’s been more than six festivals this year…

True, true, but there haven’t been too many festivals like this one ever – set in the Welsh village of Portmeirion, where cult 60’s TV show The Prisoner was filmed (“Number 6” being The Prisoner’s number), if you don’t fancy a tent or a tipi, you could always sleep in the castle. What other festival do you know that has a town hall or a promenade?

Ok, my head hurts slightly already. What else is going on?

There’s film screenings, readings, performance art, installations and talks, including the likes of Caitlin Moran, Stuart Maconie, Grace Dent and John Niven. Food-wise, if a burger’s not your thing, how about the pop-up oyster and champagne bars, or a posh banquet in the medieval castle? There’s also a luxury spa if a walk along the shore or stroll through the woods, with Snowdonia in sight, doesn’t get you going.

I’ll bring my tux and my wellies, just to be on the safe side. So what of, y’know, the more traditional festivally bits?

For a start, there’s a heavy-hitting comedy line-up, with leading lights of laughter like Phill Jupitus, Marcus Brigstocke and Andrew Maxwell rubbing shoulders with the cream of the new breed, fresh from the Edinburgh Festival.

There’s also stellar DJ’s like Erol Alkan, Francois K, Andrew Weatherall, Derrick Carter, Don Letts, Justin Robertson, Jon Carter and Specials mastermind Jerry Dammers, plus there might also be some bands….

Bands! Who’s headlining?

The three bill-toppers are all institutions: on Friday, Jason Pierce’s psychedelic masters Spiritualized do the honours, while Primal Scream celebrate 30 years in the business by doing the honours on Saturday, with Manchester legends New Order closing things out on Sunday.

Cool! Who else should I see then?

If you don’t go and see all of these, Rover’s going to get you. Fact:

'There Are No Innocent Bystanders' with Carl Barat (Friday, Sonic Cinema)

Not strictly a band, but unmissable for all Libertines fans, as not only will Carl Barat be on hand to introduce Roger Sargent’s compelling documentary examining both the band’s history and their triumphant 2010 reunion shows, afterwards there’ll be a Q&A, and Carlos is also set to play an acoustic set full of Libs classics.

Jessie Ware (Friday, Stage No.6)

Jessie’s been winning friends everywhere she’s gone this festival summer with rave reviews for her classy electro-tinged pop, and with her debut album ‘Devotion’ recently going Top 5, the atmosphere will no doubt be even more celebratory now that people know the words.

NZCA/Lines (Saturday, The i Stage)

Michael Lovett, aka NZCA/Lines, brought to mind early Depeche Mode, Hot Chip, Metronomy and Junior Boys when he released his atmospheric debut album full of synth-laden longing earlier this year. One minute it sounds like some great lost 80’s album, the next like we might have our very own Timbaland on our hands. Come and see for yourself early on Saturday afternoon, and prepare to be impressed.

King Krule (Saturday, The i Stage)

Archy Marshall, formerly Zoo Kid, is now King Krule. His night bus-style rasping laments bring to mind a teenaged Tom Waits if he’d been catapulted to London and made to listen to ‘Original Pirate Material’ on repeat for a year or two. He might be building things slowly, but there’s bags of potential and skilful songwriting going on here.   

Everything Everything (Sunday, Stage No.6)

The radio-rattling singles from the band’s debut album ‘Man Alive’ inspired some of the most idiosyncratic festival singalongs of the last few years, and ‘Cough Cough’, the first taster from January’s second album 'Arc', keeps their signature R’n’B-fuelled frenetic indie sound, but it seems this time around the hooks will be clearer, and even more primed to take over any dancefloors that stand in their way. Sunday will see the band dip their toes back in the water ahead of what sounds like a big step up next year.   

I am not a number. Can I get in free, man?

Very funny – actually Six Of One, the official Prisoner appreciation society will be at the festival to re-enact classic scenes from the show, including the Human Chess game, and loads of other stuff including processions and speeches, so your little quips might come in handy. Plus Rover WILL be there (see? Don’t say we didn’t warn you!).

Yeah that hilarious joke was actually my way of asking how I can get tickets…

Oh, right. Well, Festival No.6 tickets are on sale now, priced as follows:

Weekend Camping Ticket (Tier 2) '£129.00 + Booking Fee'

Weekend Camping Ticket (Tier 3) '£139.00 + Booking Fee'

Young Persons Weekend Camping Ticket (11 years - 15 years) '£79.00 + Booking Fee'

Weekend Car Parking (Park & Ride) '£10.00 + Booking Fee'

Weekend Camper-van Pass '£75.00 + Booking Fee'

Adult Local Ticket Weekend Camping Ticket '£99.00 + Booking Fee' (Purchased from Portmeirion from May 15)

Young Persons Local Weekend Camping Ticket (11 years - 15 years)'£40.00 + Booking Fee' (Purchased from Portmeirion from May 15)

Click here to buy Festival No.6 tickets.

Festival No.6 2012 takes place in Portmeirion, Wales from 14-16 September 2012.


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