Alexiabergstrom is up and running again. So much so in fact, she ran up to Wales a while back. Specifically: Portemirion; a wonder village in North Wales. Yep, while all you crazy kids headed to Burning Man, I headed to Festival No. 6. I now know how to say “Fuck Off” in Welsh, but of course, my dear readers are far too sophisticated for such foul language.
I have never seen such a beautiful little village. Straight from a fairytale, the pastel coloured houses remind me of the Amalfi Coast, a place that definitely influenced the designer and architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis when he built the place between 1925 and 1975. There is a beautiful, medieval castle here too – but of course you’d expect nothing less when Your’s Truly decides to lose her Festival Virginity. You see, this was my very first festival! Outrageous!
Me and Diana hitched a ride with our friend Brad, who gallantly came and picked us up at an un-godly hour so we could get to this place far-far- away in time to enjoy some of the many activities on offer. Like an audio book, I “entertained’ Brad for the 4 hour drive, since Diana fell asleep upon entering the vehicle.
So we arrived and got settled into our little house, and the fact that the view was so breathtaking was great for me, since it gave my aching jaw a chance to rest from all the talking. Our house was in the centre of this My Little Pony Village, but other accommodation alternatives included ‘boutique camping’ (pretty luxurious tipi’s) and good ol’ fashioned DIY tents. There were so many beautiful things to see here, so I couldn’t resist asking for permission to use the official photographs taken over the weekend by Fanatic : Danny North, Richard Johnson, Justine Trickett, Gobinder Jhitta & Bethan Miller.
What struck me about this festival was the wide variety of things to do; there really was something for everyone. Activities such as wood carving, Bear Gryll’s survival camp, book readings and paddle boarding were mixed with raves in the woods and awesome performances by the likes of Beck, Kelis, Pet Shop Boys, Bonobo, London Grammar, Nene Cherry and Tom Odell, to name a few. Headlining DJ’s included Laurent Garnier, Todd Terje, Julio Bashmore, Danny Krivit, Prosumer, Michael Mayer and Anrew Weatherall. The full moon provided the perfect backdrop when the Brythoniaid male voice choir took to the stage in the centre of the piazza and belted their tunes.
The wood raves were seriously cool – the magical backdrop of the ultra green trees, with a little pond (with a floating dance-floor on it!) and people dancing around in spectacular costumes was definitely something special. My favourite person throughout the weekend was a dude who kinda-looked-a-bit-like-Jesus and he danced like he was… well, happy to be there, shall we say. I greatly admired his creativity in using his only garment (a white skirt) in so many different ways. A toga, a turban, a skirt, a matador cape… the list goes on.
When it was time for us to leave, I really didn’t want to… Getting on the train back to London and getting verbally abused by drunk idiots didn’t feel entirely in-line with the magic of Portmeirion. Note: the abusers weren’t from the Festival (everyone was extremely friendly and nice at no 6.) This is a really fun place to go if you, like me, enjoy your wood carving as much as your wood raving. Welcome to the Wild Wild Welsh.
View from our house
We got recruited to a new save-the-world movement called The Future.
The guy with the creative fashion sense, above
A little backstage never hurt nobody
Plenty of Lol’s all weekend
You can take a girl away from the Amalfi coast, but you can’t take her away from the damn porcelain.
In front of the main stage during the day