You may remember that I attended Festival Number 6 for the first time last year, and took my husband and daughter along to review it as a family day out. This year, I decided to leave them at home and take my mummy friend Clara along, to celebrate our birthdays and to have some much needed #MamiTime…we all deserve that once in a while don’t we!
Saturday was the only day we could go, so we decided to stay the night too – why not! After arriving the car park this year, I was really pleased to see the bilingual signs and information and I must say that I think the Festival has made a little bit more effort this year in terms of the welsh language, not only with the signs and information, but also in terms of showcasing more Welsh acts.
The Welsh weather was kind to us! It stopped just in time for us to put our tent up in the VIP camping area! It was quite disappointing that we had to walk up to steep hills to get to the site, but once we were there it was great. The showers were clean and the toilets were lovely – waterless toilets which really fascinated me, but what a great concept! They also had a nice selection of deodorants and sanitary products – we were VIP after all!
We were only there for one night, so we decided to sleep in a pop up tent for ease. Within 5 minutes it was up and pegged down…I was just crossing everything that ours wouldn’t be full of water like the poor lady next door!
Glitter was literally everywhere at Festival Number 6! I’m sure sales have rocketed over the past few weeks as 90% of festival goers had glitter on their faces! I had some spare glitter and face glue in my bag and used them to decorate a few faces along the way! I LOVE glitter!
The festival ‘look’ was awesome at this year! Men in rainbow leggings, grannies and grand dads in wigs and feathers and if you hadn’t got anything ‘suitable’ to wear, there were lots of great stalls there this year selling all kinds of festival clothing, accessories and more. There were more stalls this year and I was glad to see this.
As we wondered along the amazing site, we met lots of other mums who had attended for the first time and they were all loving it! The organisers make a real effort to use every nook and cranny of the beautiful Portmeirion Village, and there’s such a great variety of performances, events and discussions. There is a really good free app which allows you to plan your day way in advance, but we just wanted to make the most of the opportunity to relax and go with the flow for once, we do enough planning, organising and rushing around with the family!
The food stalls and bars were amazing again this year, plenty of choice and all beautifully decorated and providing their own entertainment. There were cocktail bars, rum bars, gin bars, fizz bars and anything else you can think of and you could use contactless to pay for your drinks which made it easy…a bit too easy maybe?!
One of my favourite bars was the Rum House, I didn’t drink rum by the way – it was the £6 a pint cider all the way! It was busy and buzzing all day and night and my highlight was the ‘Disco Mums’ – a group of really cool mums from Manchester who have always loved the clubbing scenes and who have now turned to the decks since becoming parents! The kids and adults were dancing nonstop to their amazing house, techno and reggae tunes! Awesome work Mums!
Another highlight was seeing Geraint Jarman opening the main stage on the Saturday afternoon. Despite the rain, many oldies and youngsters and us mums in the middle were rocking out to some old faithfulls like ‘Gwesty Cymru’, ‘Reggae Reggae’ and ‘Hiraeth am Kylie’, as well as a chance to hear a few new tunes too. Jarman himself had some very interesting and memorable moves during the set!
We spent an hour enjoying a posh pint at the Portmeirion Hotel, the perfect place to hide from the rain! After this we ventured into the woods to see some more experimental performances and bumped into friends who had also escaped from the kids for the day!
En route to the food stalls, we came across a huge crowd of people at the center of the village, they were there to see the Brythoniaid Male Voice Choir. I love choir music but I was sceptical about staging this on the Saturday night. I soon eat my words as this was the highlight of the day! The song choices and the sound was breath-taking, there were literally thousands of people watching them and all of us in awe! Many people were moved to tears like the New Zelander who grabbed my arm as she was so emotional!
After returning to the Rum House to dance to some more techno and disco music, we went over to the main stage to watch The The. I must admit that I had never heard of them (sorry), and I wasn’t impressed! I would have expected a better headline act on the Saturday night to be honest.
I finished the evening with a massive burger and the best fries I’ve ever had! They were cooked in truffle oil and had grated parmesan on top and they were to die for! I have no photos as I’d more or less inhaled them before Clara had the chance to take a photo!
Fortunately, we had no puddles in the tent and I slept like a baby! Amazingly, I had no hangover the next day, and anyone who knows me knows that this is a miracle! I get the worst hangovers ever! Cider and Truffle Oil Chips is obviously the way forward!
There was no music on the Sunday morning, but we made the effort to walk around the beautiful village before returning home. People were queuing for bacon rolls and vegan options galore, others were far more energetic and attending yoga classes or running around in their lycra, others were relaxing in the hot tubs by the water! It literally is a festival like no other!
Near the hotel, we watched some kids taking part in a treasure hunt with some entertaining pirates! We started talking to a Nanny who was there looking after children form a very posh London family. I asked her about the kids entertainment at the Festival, and was really happy when she said that it was brilliant – much more than last year, with den building and cookery lessons in the woods, kids entertainers and the Little Big Top where Elsi spent most of the day last year. Fab!
Now that I’ve finally managed to wash off 99% of the glitter from my body, I want to say a huge thanks to the organisers for a top weekend! We had a great time, full of fun and sparkle. The new developments have worked and are appreciated, and I would certainly recommend it as a getaway for mums and dads as well as a great family day out…BUT unfortunately there won’t be a Festival Number 6 next year. We’ve heard that it will be returning in 2020 and I really hope it does, as myself and Clara will be celebrating a special birthday that year and I can’t think of a better place to spend it than at Festival Number 6 with my mummy friends and family! In the meantime, good luck with the clear up and enjoy a well-deserved break next year!
By Heulwen Davies, Mam Cymru.